We have been sampling the 4 yr old bull we put in the freezer. According to previous owner he was grass fed. The meat is very lean and a dark red color. I instructed the processor to save the whole ribeyes and tenderloins then had the rest of him ground into hamburger. The hamburger has been excellent with a delicious flavor unlike anything you find from a CAFO in the grocery store. The people we have shared this hamburger with have all agreed. Recently, I thawed out one of the whole ribeyes and cut it up into 1” steaks. We had a grilled ribeye supper with some friends. Being very lean, I cooked them slow. I couldn’t have been more disappointed. The flavor was great but the steaks were as tough as the sole of my boot. To me, very uncharacteristic of a ribeye. What have your experiences been with the quality of grassfed dexter beef? Are the prime cuts always this tough when Dexters are grassfed? Has anyone identified any bloodlines within the breed that have better carcass traits?
Grassfed Dexter Beef typically wins in taste/tenderness tests. Here is a very recent contest.
Also, there are DNA tests for beef traits including tenderness and marbling. Many Dexters test well for these traits.
This 3 year old super friendly true-short, non-chondro Dexter bull of mine, Cascade's Ambassador, tests excellent for beef traits including tenderness, marbling, and ribeye size. He also is A2/A2 for milk.
first was the beef aged and how long. We aim for 3 weeks when possible. this was a 4 year old bull and that is your problem. with old bulls it is a crap shoot on tenderness. The flavor is always great but they can be tough at that age. We aim to butcher just under the 30 month mark. I butcher in the fall I have found that is the best time of year for grass fed. the forage is still good and they are naturally putting on weight for winter. We will be starting this year at the end of September and going for 3 weeks. I butcher bulls and steers all have been good. If i get an older bull I keep it for myself instead of selling to customers because you just never know how tender it will be. I did a just under 4 year old last year and the steaks were tough. tenderizing with a maillot before cooking works wonders. This year we are butchering an older herd bull and we are keeping only the prime steaks and hamburger. We are having it labeled for resale. we will sell the hamburger and if the steaks are tender enough we will sell those to.
I do not put much stock in the dns test for tenderness it does not apply to Dexters it is for commercial cattle. they have even found that it does not apply the same to red and black angus so how cold we expect it to be applicable to dexters.
I'm retired now, but I had Dexters for almost 40 years. I ate bulls that were eight years old with no issues. I cooked everything the same way, regardless of age. I used to tell the butcher work from both ends and meet in the middle. If the knife felt dull, hamburger, if not, regular cuts. The only bull I had problems with was the last one, stored on a neighbors' farm for a few months after I sold out, and he's like shoe leather. I find that adrenaline is a huge factor. In my case, the neighbor chased the bull, whacked it, and in general got it all fired up when loading it. If your bull is the nasty one you mentioned, then adrenaline could be the answer. c.
Yes, the beef came from the bull I was talking about. You could very well be right. I took him to the processor first thing in the morning and he was the only animal there to be processed so he went in right away. However, it was difficult to get him out of the trailer and he was worked up.