Red Poll Beef

By Andrea Reusing

Published on December 17, 2010

The best steak I've ever eaten was a grilled rib eye from a Red Poll steer that had grazed belly-deep in wheat, millet, and alfalfa for two years on Wilkshire farm, near my restaurant in North Carolina. Most farmers who grass-feed their cattle have a hard time competing with ranchers raising corn-fattened breeds. That's not the case with Red Polls. Bred for both high-quality dairy and rich, finely grained beef since the mid-19th century, Red Polls marble beautifully on a diet of grass. And while the fat of corn-finished beef can have a bland, waxy quality, the marbling in Red Polls has the effect of melted butter, bringing with it all the complexity of the pasture. —Andrea Reusing, Lantern, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

More information on Red Poll cattle is available at American Red Poll Association (502-475-7850)

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