Why we use Retired Dairy cows

What is “Retired Dairy Meat”?

5-10 years ago, retired dairy meat wouldn’t have been spoken about. Sadly, even today, many old school (stuck in their ways) butchers still do not see its true value as some of the best meat on offer, anywhere in the world. It is important to note that when we talk about “retired dairy cows” we mean cattle that have once worked in the dairy industry and have then been retired on pasture for a minimum of 12 months, to fully rest before making their way to us. This is extremely important to note, if this retiring phase is not implemented the beef will not be classed as premium due to the fact that the cow has worked tirelessly in a milking parlour and not been given the time to relax. The deep intramuscular fat and flavour can only be developed when the animal is stress free – which is exactly what will happen after 12 months, or more, away from “work”.

How is it Different?

Being raised on pasture, and grass fed its entire life means two things. Firstly, the flavour is on another level, true beefiness, incomparable with anything else. Secondly, while the farming of any animal has it’s ethical and sustainability implications, by repurposing a mature animal at the end of its working life in one industry, and moving it into a secondary role, has positive impacts on food security and food waste in the dairy industry, promoting sustainability.

In terms of the meat, the showstopping flavour is coupled with a texture that has more bite to it. Each mouthful of this fantastic beef is a true pleasure and again is something that 99% of meat eaters will not have had the opportunity to try. Animals that have lived to 5 years old or more (some of the ones we’re sourcing are as old as 11 years) have eaten a LOT of grass and matured on the bone for 2-3 times the length of time a standard animal will have, packing a serious amount of flavour!

So retired dairy cows will have a much more prevalent flavour profile due to the age of the animal, but will also have a stronger texture than that of a normal pasture fed animal and os much more than a grain fed product.