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Perfectly cooked Dexter beef on a lovely Brioche roll.

Perfectly cooked Dexter beef on a lovely Brioche roll. For me a roast beef sandwich, especially one as elevated as this, is a perfect representation of Great British Beef.

A customer/colleague of mine who lives overseas questioned why much of what he’s seen to promote Great British Beef Week has been anything but British, continental beef crossed with Danish milk cows, or Japanese beef on a dairy cross. I had no good answer.

All of those have a place in British farming but in my massively biased opinion in terms of taste, quality, and succulence then the British native beef breeds have so much more to offer.

Plus they have evolved over hundreds of years to be ‘right’ for the land which is common in the areas which they originate from.

This means in 100% of cases that they will finish naturally on grass so meaning they are better for the environment.

The reality is they cost a bit more to produce as they take a little longer and finish a little later so the meat trade pushes the cheaper continental breeds which are bigger, grain fed but simply and I don’t think subjectively are anywhere near as good.

So to celebrate Great British Beef Week here’s a run down of some of those Great British Beef breeds.

In the north we mainly get Longhorn, Shorthorn, Highland, Galloway, Belted Galloway moving further South there are these plus more Herefords, Welsh Black, Red Poll, North Devon, South Devon, names which are familiar to us even if the breed isn’t.

Of course there is the mighty Dexter too the breed was codified in Kerry and like the cattle of that name, and the Welsh Blacks they descended from the cattle of the Early Celts which is probably fairly authentically British.

I would like to thank all my customers, chefs, butchers and wholesalers who are prepared to pay that little bit more (and it is only a little bit) to keep these fantastic Native and Traditional breeds prospering. ✊

Picture credit big thanks to @meat_with_beer for allowing me to use it.

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