The Story of Old Cow

We have been working with Richard & Natasha Mann at Yarn Hill for a number of years and their grass fed Lincoln Red Beef is a regular offering in our butchers shops.  But we have also created something which is just a little bit extra special - our Lincoln Red Old Cow Beef

Natasha and Richard Mann with their Lincoln Reds


There is a tradition in Northern Spain where cows are left to mature for up to 17 years before slaughter and their meat, known as rubia gallega (or vaca vieja) is considered a real treat. The idea is that the longer you leave cattle to graze on lush grassland, in a free-range and stress-free environment, the longer it has to develop the depth of flavour in its creamy-yellow fat, which, over time, infiltrates the meat like fine lace. 



After tasting this for ourselves, we set out to produce our own, local ‘old cow’ from a pasture-fed, traditional-breed herd, rather than import it from Spain.

Old Cow - Yarn Hill Lincoln Reds


In 2014, we trialled our very first ‘Old Cow’ and the results were really quite astonishing. Since then this meat has gained quite a following and as it is not always available, when we do have some, it has become rather sought after. Over the years we have supplied our customers with Old Cow Beef from a selected mature Lincoln Red ranging in age from 5 - 12 years. The Yarn Hill Lincoln Red cattle graze for their whole life on the meadows and marshes at Iken, next to the River Alde. After slaughter we leave the carcass to hang for at least 8 weeks.

The results are always fantastic - the colour is dark and intense; and the yellow fat runs lightly but consistently right through the meat, due to a rich and long diet of good grass. The steaks are wonderful to cook over an open fire grill and the braising steak and the mincemeat have an extra layer of flavour and texture that brings real depth to bolognese, curries and burgers. And whilst our Old Cow is a rarity, it’s no more expensive than our other grass-fed traditional-breed beef. 

The good news is that Good Meat Club members are always first to know when Old Cow is ready to buy so if you’re not a member yet, make sure you sign up here.

July 08, 2021 by Gerard King
Tags: beef
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