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Shorthorn Beef Sirloin Steak- Review

The Sirloin Steak has always been a favourite of mine. There is a little marbelling, making it typically more tender than a rump steak, whilst holding plenty of flavour in the meat. It possesses a nice rind of fat along the top which I always find adds a little extra punch to the taste. The Ribeye steak has exploded in popularity in recent times in part due to its ability to hold fantastic marbling, but In my view the sirloin is the best cut of steak you can get, but there will be plenty who will disagree with me and this debate will go on for a long time yet, and it does come down to personal preference!

Why always compare Sirloin Steaks?

In the same way a lot of people try vanilla ice cream to compare different brands ice cream quality, I typically go for sirloin steaks from the different cows we get back, then I can have a clear comparison in my mind about which breeds have different strengths and weaknesses. I have always found the sirloins from the stabiliser cow to be exceptionally well marbelled and as a result they are very tender in the mouth and very forgiving to cook, overcook it slightly and it will remain tender and juicy. Comparing this to the Ruby Red Devon breed steaks that we have sold, I found they are less tender but pack a stronger flavour. Interestingly as a result, I typically prefer a Red Devon as a roasting joint, especially a slow roasting joint, to a stabiliser roasting joint but prefer a stabiliser steak.

What is Shorthorn Beef like?

Shorthorn Beef is a very good compromise between the two regular Ruxstons offerings of Red Devon and Stabiliser Beef. Whilst it will not have the intense marbling of a stabiliser it does have a fair bit, especially for a grass fed native breed, and this really helps keep it tender in the cooking process. Having cooked both the tenderness difference is more noticeable once you cook beyond medium, a medium well stabiliser steak is remains tender, a shorthorn steak will not be as tender as this stage. As I cook the Sirloin rare I find the Shorthorn steak to be my favourite when compared to the Stabiliser and Red Devon as it is both tender and flavourful.

Where the shorthorn beef really ranks highly on my view though is the amazing flavour, it holds such a strong and powerful “beefy” flavour that only a few native breeds in the UK really hold. As with a lot of 100% grass fed beef, which all of Ruxstons is, there is always a slightly more “gamey” flavour than an animal fed grain which leads to them having a slightly sweeter flavour. The shorthorn really ticks off of the boxes here.

How to cook a thin Sirloin steak rare?

Firstly we have to get the frying pan incredibly hot. This will ensure even if the steak is quite thin that the surface can get a nice caramalised finish. If the pan is not hot enough it will cook the steak slowly which will be harder get a rare finish. As the steak will be in the frying pan for less time it is vital to ensure the steak is left out of the fridge at room tempreture for 20 minutes before cooking starts, this will mean the centre of the steak will not be cold when being cooked.

What are Shorthorn Cows like?

Shorthorn Cattle are a dual-purpose breed originating from the North of England. With the onset of industrial farming in the mid 20th Century, dual purpose breeds became less popular because they were less profitable. It became more financially beneficial to simply get a Holstein cow which could produce a lot of milk or a continental beef cow which could grow very fast when being fed a lot of grain and cereals. However, with the growth of modern, low-input farming, and a desire by consumers for a slow grown beef (and slow grown meat in general) the Shorthorn breed has seen a huge growth in popularity.

The shortcomings of the Dairy industry, such as killing bull calves at birth, can really be helped if more farmers are willing to adopt duel purpose cows such as the Shorthorn. Whilst this may sound simple it is not because there are complexities to this and there is also variation within the shorthorn breed itself, as some have been bred towards beef and some milk, it remains, however, a good starting point to solve some of the ethical issues found in the dairy industry.

Shorthorn cows can be found all over the world. They are very adaptable cows and can cope in a wide range of different environments. They have a relaxed temperament and their ability to forage on a wide variety of vegetation gives their meat a delicious taste.

Shorthorn Cattle on Exmoor
Shorthorn Cattle on Exmoor

Where is Ruxstons Shorthorn Beef from?

Holly Purdey from Horner Farm in Porlock farms a mixed farm with Goats, Sheep, Cattle, Pigs and laying Hens. They are all slow grown and 100% grass fed. You can read more about Horner Farm here.


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