In this article, we are going to tell you about a breed of cattle particularly courted in Anglo-Saxon countries but also Europe: the Aberdeen Angus cattle.
What is the Angus Cattle Origin?
The Aberdeen Angus is a prestigious breed of cattle originating in Scotland, more specifically in the North West between the counties of Aberdeen shire and Angus. It was selected at the end of the 18th century from predominantly black and hornless breeds.
Red Angus Cattle History
Today the Angus cattle breed is found all over the world. It has been exported to the United States, South America, Australia, and, due to the exceptional quality of Angus meat, breeding farms have been established all over the world.
The Red Angus Association of American History says early livestock records in Scotland show Red and Black Angus as the same.
Hugh Watson of Keillor, Scotland, at one point, decided that Black was the breed’s preferred colour.
Today, however, in all the countries except the United States, red and black Angus cattle are still registered with no distinction between the two.
What Are the Differences Between Red Angus and Black Angus Cattle?
Red Angus cattle and Black Angus cattle are distinguished by their skin colour, dark red for the first, and black for the second. However, it can be noted that three-quarters of the current livestock is black. Besides, both types of Aberdeen Angus cattle are a naturally hornless breed of medium height and particularly massive in stature. The differences between the red and black Angus cattle are minimal; both are resistant and easily adaptable.
The Red Angus Association of America states that the reddish colour makes cattle more heat tolerant, less likely to get eye cancer, and sunburnt udders. Crossing red Angus also creates more authentic colours than black Angus, which can produce a grey colour.
Also, on the table, there is no difference between red and black Angus.
The Angus breed is appreciated for its calm character and meaty characteristics. It is also known for its early maturation and meat with natural mottling. According to the American Angus Association, Angus cattle are a hearty breed that does not require a lot of maintenance. By crossbreeding, the Angus cattle allow the improvement of dairy and carcass qualities. Moreover, the peculiarity of this breed lies in its excellent maternal characteristics and its reproductive capacity.
What Does Angus Meet Taste Like?
Aberdeen Angus cattle meat is known for its delicate and subtle marbling, that is, for the equitable distribution of its intramuscular fat within the muscle fibres. This characteristic gives it a unique and melting taste, which makes it famous.
The taste of the meat is also associated with its environment. It reminds us of the great outdoors and the great meadows of Scotland, where Angus cattle graze freely. Angus meat releases floral and herbaceous flavours on the palate while retaining the smoothness and tenderness that the connoisseurs love.
For many steak eaters, Angus is their favourite beef because of its known high quality.
Angus, Today’s Best Meat
Considered one of the finest and tastiest cuts of meat on the market, Angus has now become an increasingly popular food on the tables of beef lovers on all the continents. The Angus cattle are distinguished by particular physical characteristics and eating habits, which then translate into very tender meat, but with a strong and sweet flavour at the same time, which well explains the enormous success it is enjoying in the food and wine sector. But let’s see in more detail what the characteristics of Angus cattle meat are, and which are the best cooking methods.
The consistency, quality, and flavour of the cut are closely linked to the physical characteristics of the animal, which is distinguished by the short black hair (to which we owe the name of Black) and by the relatively reduced stature, therefore characterized by short limbs.
But this bovine breed is distinguished above all by its considerable weight: females can, in fact, reach up to 750 kg, while males generally exceed 1000 kg. Added to this is also a conformation with a compact and rounded trunk, and impressive muscular development, especially as regards the thighs of the animal, from which the finest cuts generally come.
These physical characteristics, which denote exceptional robustness, have thus allowed the Angus cattle specimens to adapt to different environmental types. This then explains the spread of the breed from the pastures of Northern Europe to the great plains of the United States, from which some of the tastiest cuts of meat used on many tables currently come.
If the physical characteristics of Angus cattle play a rather important role in the quality of Angus meat, the same also applies to the diet they follow on the farm. As it is well known, these animals are fed almost exclusively on hay and wheat, except for the last two months before slaughter, during which they follow a diet based only on corn. This diet allows farmers to ensure relatively soft meat, with a compact appearance and adequate infiltration of fat in the muscle tissue, which then translates into a unique taste.
What are the characteristics that distinguish an excellent Angus cattle meat cut?
Here are a few:
- a typical bright red colour of the meat
- the presence of bright white fat
- a relatively soft texture to the touch
- a somewhat fresh and pleasant smell
As already mentioned, although originally from Scotland, Angus is a cut of meat that currently comes from farms on all the continents.
Each area of origin has animals with different physical characteristics and eating habits, which then end up affecting the nuances of flavour of the meat itself.
More in detail, we can distinguish:
- Australian Angus cattle raised mostly in the pasture of the great prairies of Australia, where they were imported in the early 18th century. This cut is distinguished above all by very compact meat, characterized by the presence of filaments of white and creamy fat, therefore soft and very tasty on the palate. Specifically, the Australian Angus cattle meat proves to be less fatty than other Angus cattle meat. Still, it contains a higher amount of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, CLA, carotenoids, and vitamins A / B / E.
- Argentine Angus cattle are generally bred in the wild in the beautiful plains of the Pampas. The result is, therefore, meat with uniform musculature and a relatively strong flavour.
- American Angus, whose distinctive feature is the marbling that is the thin streaks of fat present in the meat, which give it an intense and tasty flavour. Indeed, the greater the marbling, the more delicious the meat will be.
What Is the Best Way to Cook Angus?
All cuts of Angus beef are a treat if cooked the right way. Indeed, to fully appreciate your beef, you must prepare it properly. Therefore, choose meat that has undergone an optimal maturation time for maximum taste. The tender pieces will then be grilled, pan-fried, cooked on a metal plate, or in the oven. The front pieces that are less tender are more intended for stews, cooked in a liquid over low heat for a few hours.
But given the natural characteristics of Angus cattle meat, the best cooking method seems to be on the grill. Fast irradiation at a rather high temperature allows the formation of a well-browned layer on both sides of the cut, which prevents the escape of liquids. Indeed, to avoid loss of meat juices, it is advisable to avoid the use of sharp tools during cooking and preferably to let the meat rest for at least 3 to 4 minutes and then salt it just before serving.
Grilling also allows the strands of fat to melt somewhat slowly, thus giving the meat a distinctive flavour. In short, the Angus breed is the pearl of breeders and gourmets!