The Rare Breed Meat Company offers the finest pedigree rare breed beef in the UK. All of the livestock we rear or buy directly from local producers has been reared in a totally free range and stress free environment, feeding on grass, hay and silage, which produces a meat that is not only succulent but also full of flavour. These rare breeds need a longer time to mature and do not grow to the same size or as quickly as the commercial continental cross breed cattle. It is this slow growing nature that gives the meat its flavour and is why it is renowned by many of the top chefs.
All our beef is for hung for up to 21 days to ensure the meat will not only taste good but is very tender as well.
The breeds we offer:
The British Angus cattle of the 21st century are the ultimate beef animal, not only for purebred breeding but also for crossing with other beef breeds and equally importantly crossing with the millions of dairy cows around the world. They calve easily and have shorter gestation than most other breeds. The breeders in Britain have developed the breed expertly to thrive on grass based systems, to live outside and to finish much younger than most other breeds.
The British White is one of the country’s oldest breeds of cattle. Believed to have been brought over to Britain by the Romans in 55bc; it can certainly be traced back to the 16th Century. In 1940 the British government in fear of invasion shipped this breed to the U.S. to safeguard what it regarded as a piece of national heritage and it is still registered as a minority breed today.
British White’s are a very docile breed that serve a dual purpose as providers of both milk and beef, producing a lean carcass full of flavour. The British White beef is available here has been grazed in a stress free environment to produce a succulent marbled meat which has more importantly been matured for a minimum of three weeks.
Gloucester Cattle are an ancient breed, dating back to the 13th Century. They were highly valued for their milk (producing double Gloucester cheese), their beef and for providing docile draught Oxen. However due to the introduction of more commercial cattle suited to intensive farming, this breed nearly became extinct, and although it has revived as a breed, it still remains listed as a rare breed. The Gloucester steer produces a lean, quality carcass, with sufficient marbling of fat within the meat to give excellent flavour. The quality of the Gloucester meat available here is reflected in the way in which this animal has been cared for; it has been reared outdoors, grass fed and on a Suffolk farm in stress free environment.
Sussex Cattle are a red breed of beef cattle from the Weald of Sussex, Surrey and Kent, in south eastern England. Descended from the draught oxen long used on the Weald they were selectively bred from the late eighteenth century to form a modern beef breed which is now used in many countries around the world. They have a thin summer coat and many sweat glands, but grow a thick coat in winter, so they are suited to both hot summers and cold winters. They have a placid temperament but can be very stubborn. The beef produced is of a fine texture, with a traditional flavour that is much in demand by high quality retail outlets.
The Longhorn is beyond equal as a suckler cow. Its combination of qualities in terms of milk, calving ease, longevity, docility, length and leanness of body is unrivalled by any other breed. It has stood the test of time but does not rest on its laurels. Responding to market trends the breed continues to adapt and improve, so much so that the Longhorn is now superbly placed to meet the challenges of quality beef production in the 21st Century.
It is a well established fact that intramuscular fat or “marbling” within meat is largely responsible for succulence, tenderness and flavour – the hallmark of beef with superior eating quality. Unlike many rival breeds, which require the laying down of excessive amounts of external fat before the formation of intramuscular fat can take place, a properly finished Longhorn carcass will benefit from “marbling” without such excess external fat cover. Today’s Longhorns are clean, modern cattle; well capable of producing lean beef with superior eating qualities to suit today’s discerning market. Such beef can command a premium price, which when coupled with the economical costs associated with its production, place the Longhorn in pole position for quality beef production in the 21st Century!
The Red Poll is the native breed of Suffolk and Norfolk and has been recognised as a breed for well over 200 years. These counties, which lie in a low rather marshy part of England, border the North Sea and have soil that is generally lacking in fertility. The first general agricultural records of England record a great interest in dairy, particularly in Suffolk County. However, the farmers did not specialise in dairy animals but preferred cattle with a combination of milk production and high quality carcasses. Red Poll is on the rare breeds list and originates from breeding of the Norfolk Red and the Suffolk Dun. Much of the flavour of the beef comes from the fat, which is well marbled and yellowish in colour, indicating a grass-fed animal. The meat is fine-grained and full red in colour.
The Shorthorn was developed during the last quarter of the 18th century through selective breeding including the French Maine-Anjou blood line (originally quite a controversial decision at that time). The cattle now mostly local in the Teeswater district, Durham County, in the north of England. It is characterised by short horns, blocky conformation, and colour ranging from red, red with white markings, white or roan resulting from a mixture of red and white hairs. It is the only roan-coloured modern cattle breed.
This breed is excellent for calving, as they spring to life quickly and are excellent milkers as well as providing succulent meat. Fed on a diet of wheat, barley and grass. The texture of the meat and the marbling through it are completely different to continental meat.
Dexter cattle are the smallest breed available in the UK. Originating from Ireland in the 18th century, they are a dual purpose animal and were regarded as the ideal house cow for small tenant farmers. The beef produced is of excellent quality and the cuts are small in comparison to the larger breeds. But what it may lack in size is more than reflected in what it gains in flavour. The Dexter beef available here has been reared in a completely free range environment in south Suffolk and fed on a diet of grass.
Belted Galloway cattle originate from the hills of South West Scotland where they were bred as a hardy cow that would thrive outside and efficiently used poor grazing and marginal land. They remain outside all year, although they have access to shelter in buildings if they choose, and are fed no cereals or other concentrates, grazing only grass in the summer and being fed hay in the winter. The Beltie is now very firmly a beef breed and has earned for itself a deserved reputation for producing beef of the highest quality which is served in a number of top restaurants. The meat is dark in comparison to much beef available and carries a more even distribution of fat through the muscle promoting succulence and flavour.