1

votes

Is the meat from an old animal unpalatable?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 30, 2012 at 5:08 PM

My favorite farm to get my pastured meat from updated their delivery order form recently with a steal on ground beef - $4/lb for a 5-lb pack. However, they recommend it for pet food only.

I asked them why they recommended that, and one of the owners just replied, "This particular set is from our bull. The meat will be much different than one is used to as he was fairly old - it will have a very strong smell and taste - so most people will not enjoy the flavor...but your pets will!"

She said that the other owner, who knows more on the subject and could explain it better, would reply later, but for now I'm wondering if anyone here has any experience with meat from older animals, and if so, what is the taste like? I'm afraid it'd be a mistake to get it (I don't have a pet to give it to if it doesn't work out). If I don't like it on its own, would it be easy to make it taste better? For instance, I enjoy liver more when I use the hide-in-ground-meat trick, so could I apply the same method to this stuff?

7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on March 31, 2012
at 03:34 PM

Back when I tried deer hunting and ended up with a freezer full of venison, the only way I could enjoy it is if I completely hid the taste of the meat with garlic and chipotle pepper. In China, they use preserved bean curd (tofu that has been fermented into the soy equivalent of Limburger cheese) to cut the gaminess of meat.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 31, 2012
at 12:42 PM

Also worth pointing out is that the fat is where some of the off-flavors are stored. Deer fat is sort of icky, so when we butcher, it's all removed. Any ground deer we do, is usually supplemented with pork/beef fat.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 31, 2012
at 12:41 PM

If you like gamy, go for it. I've never had a gamy bovine though, now a buck in rut, I've had and it's only good for ground meat and chili with boatload of chili powders.

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1071)

on March 31, 2012
at 11:17 AM

^ Sorry if that comes off a bit angry; it's hard to soften a limited-character message while still getting the point across...

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1071)

on March 31, 2012
at 11:08 AM

I don't understand what's so difficult to understand about this *not* being an option for me *at all* right now. If you want to take a whack at convincing my SAD-eating, meat-only-in-moderation, what's-so-bad-about-CAFO parents to inconvenience themselves to make room for one, and then spend a few hundred bucks upfront to fill it, then you're welcome to try. If it were my own house and money, we wouldn't be having this conversation, but it's not. I appreciate you trying to get me the best deal but this is completely irrelevant to the question at hand and absolutely no help to me.

6b6c938c368e7a135e74c468c9ed1189

(633)

on March 31, 2012
at 06:21 AM

We got our 25 cu-ft commercial deep freeze @ Salvation Army for $100. It sits in the middle of our kitchen, totally in the way, stuffed with as much meat as I can afford whenever I find it on sale. Surely you have $100 and ten square feet of floor space.

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1071)

on March 31, 2012
at 12:41 AM

Is gamy necessarily bad, though? Isn't venison called gamy a lot?

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1071)

on March 31, 2012
at 12:36 AM

Guys, we don't have the freezer space for buying that much meat (nor do we have the space for another freezer), so we have to buy in small quantities, for which the prices go up. I can normally get grassfed ground beef for $5.99/lb, which is why I primarily eat organ meats (which I get for $3-4/lb). In bulk it would obviously be much cheaper, but that's not an option. $4/lb for muscle that's neither heart nor tongue is a steal for *me*, given the options available to *me*.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 31, 2012
at 12:03 AM

By the time you make those worn-out dairy cows into pink slime, it all tastes the same. :P

Eea6a68f5a7190d13c60e1c72417a581

(1376)

on March 30, 2012
at 11:35 PM

I agree, not a huge deal. I pay 3.85 hanging weight for half a cow. So it works out to about 4something s lb for everthing from ground to sirloin steaks. Upstate NY, very rural area.

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1071)

on March 30, 2012
at 10:39 PM

This was very helpful, thank you.

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1071)

on March 30, 2012
at 10:31 PM

True; part of my original question was if cutting it would even work. I feel like it should...

C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

(3499)

on March 30, 2012
at 08:52 PM

With five pounds to work on, you could try making a smaller, 1 or 1/2 pound batch first. You could also then try cutting it with other meat if it's too funky.

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1071)

on March 30, 2012
at 08:41 PM

^ Embarrassed by the random dollar sign in that comment.

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1071)

on March 30, 2012
at 08:20 PM

It's the cheapest I've ever seen for pastured, grass-fed non-organ meat... Where the heck are you two getting your meat that that isn't a good deal? And it's an extra 2 bucks. :P

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1071)

on March 30, 2012
at 08:19 PM

That's what I'm thinking, but at the same time I don't want to ruin a whole pot of chili if it doesn't work out.

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1071)

on March 30, 2012
at 08:18 PM

Could you describe the taste? Do you think it could be masked easily?

35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on March 30, 2012
at 07:46 PM

I completely agree.

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1071)

on March 30, 2012
at 05:51 PM

Nah, this farm is a couple hours away and they come up to my area about once a month and make drop-offs, so getting ahold of a sample would be pretty tough. Plus, I'm sure by now they've already portioned the meat of the bull into their $5-lb packages. Otherwise I would definitely try, though.

35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on March 30, 2012
at 05:22 PM

Can you get a small sample to taste?

  • D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

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7 Answers

best answer

3
4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on March 30, 2012
at 09:25 PM

The older an animal is, the longer they have been working muscles and aging. This is why 30 day milk veal is more tender than rose veal, which is more tender than 2 year old steer (most grass fed beef are around 2 years old.). It's also why turkey can have more taste and texture differences than chicken, because it is older.

I'd probably buy it, but I may not eat it myself. My partner can't tell the difference between types of meat, so it would go into chili and sauces for his lunch. I cannot eat cheap ground beef at all, so I wouldn't buy it for me.

To give some perspective, most fast food beef in the US is from dairy cows that are no longer productive, and they are usually 4-5 years old.

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1071)

on March 30, 2012
at 10:39 PM

This was very helpful, thank you.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 31, 2012
at 12:03 AM

By the time you make those worn-out dairy cows into pink slime, it all tastes the same. :P

3
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 31, 2012
at 03:21 PM

We had an older cow butchered recently. Definitely not prime steak or tartare material. This is what steak sauce and heavy BBQ seasonings were made for. And meat tenderizers. We had a bunch of it made into heavily seasoned sausage too. I've been eating it and don't mind it at all. Most of it ended up as ground meat and I just mix it in with some good seasonings before cooking it and it's perfectly good.

7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on March 31, 2012
at 03:34 PM

Back when I tried deer hunting and ended up with a freezer full of venison, the only way I could enjoy it is if I completely hid the taste of the meat with garlic and chipotle pepper. In China, they use preserved bean curd (tofu that has been fermented into the soy equivalent of Limburger cheese) to cut the gaminess of meat.

2
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 31, 2012
at 07:17 PM

We killed and old rooster (he was getting vicious) a while ago, and all it took was a good loooooooooooooooong looooooong cook in the crock pot to make a gamey, lovely, tender stew. I think the same strategy can be applied to old-cow beef. I use "for dog food" meat scraps for these long, long (emphasis on the "long") stews). Use some really good broth, maybe a splash of red wine, cook it off over 20+ hours, cool it, skim it, strain it, reduce the liquid, shred the meat, and add the meat back in so any tough "fibrous" bits can soak up liquid. If it doesn't have very much fat on it, I would wrap it or sew a bit of pork fat in to help it get lush. Stir in some caramelized onions and steamed broccoli at the end for a nice, simple, glossy stew. The best kind.

2
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 30, 2012
at 11:20 PM

Sex, age and season in which butchered all have an effect on the flavor/texture of the meat. Male, aged, butchered in breeding season - all tend to produce stronger gamier flavors.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 31, 2012
at 12:42 PM

Also worth pointing out is that the fat is where some of the off-flavors are stored. Deer fat is sort of icky, so when we butcher, it's all removed. Any ground deer we do, is usually supplemented with pork/beef fat.

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1071)

on March 31, 2012
at 12:41 AM

Is gamy necessarily bad, though? Isn't venison called gamy a lot?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 31, 2012
at 12:41 PM

If you like gamy, go for it. I've never had a gamy bovine though, now a buck in rut, I've had and it's only good for ground meat and chili with boatload of chili powders.

1
C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

on March 30, 2012
at 06:18 PM

It sounds like a good candidate for making chili.

C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

(3499)

on March 30, 2012
at 08:52 PM

With five pounds to work on, you could try making a smaller, 1 or 1/2 pound batch first. You could also then try cutting it with other meat if it's too funky.

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1071)

on March 30, 2012
at 10:31 PM

True; part of my original question was if cutting it would even work. I feel like it should...

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1071)

on March 30, 2012
at 08:19 PM

That's what I'm thinking, but at the same time I don't want to ruin a whole pot of chili if it doesn't work out.

0
6b6c938c368e7a135e74c468c9ed1189

on March 30, 2012
at 07:45 PM

$4/lb isn't really that good of a deal IMHO. Pay the extra buck and get the good stuff!

35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on March 30, 2012
at 07:46 PM

I completely agree.

Eea6a68f5a7190d13c60e1c72417a581

(1376)

on March 30, 2012
at 11:35 PM

I agree, not a huge deal. I pay 3.85 hanging weight for half a cow. So it works out to about 4something s lb for everthing from ground to sirloin steaks. Upstate NY, very rural area.

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1071)

on March 30, 2012
at 08:20 PM

It's the cheapest I've ever seen for pastured, grass-fed non-organ meat... Where the heck are you two getting your meat that that isn't a good deal? And it's an extra 2 bucks. :P

6b6c938c368e7a135e74c468c9ed1189

(633)

on March 31, 2012
at 06:21 AM

We got our 25 cu-ft commercial deep freeze @ Salvation Army for $100. It sits in the middle of our kitchen, totally in the way, stuffed with as much meat as I can afford whenever I find it on sale. Surely you have $100 and ten square feet of floor space.

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1071)

on March 31, 2012
at 12:36 AM

Guys, we don't have the freezer space for buying that much meat (nor do we have the space for another freezer), so we have to buy in small quantities, for which the prices go up. I can normally get grassfed ground beef for $5.99/lb, which is why I primarily eat organ meats (which I get for $3-4/lb). In bulk it would obviously be much cheaper, but that's not an option. $4/lb for muscle that's neither heart nor tongue is a steal for *me*, given the options available to *me*.

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1071)

on March 31, 2012
at 11:17 AM

^ Sorry if that comes off a bit angry; it's hard to soften a limited-character message while still getting the point across...

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1071)

on March 31, 2012
at 11:08 AM

I don't understand what's so difficult to understand about this *not* being an option for me *at all* right now. If you want to take a whack at convincing my SAD-eating, meat-only-in-moderation, what's-so-bad-about-CAFO parents to inconvenience themselves to make room for one, and then spend a few hundred bucks upfront to fill it, then you're welcome to try. If it were my own house and money, we wouldn't be having this conversation, but it's not. I appreciate you trying to get me the best deal but this is completely irrelevant to the question at hand and absolutely no help to me.

0
E40b32563baba703ee3d23998c849cd0

on March 30, 2012
at 06:02 PM

I can't handle eating beef from old bulls. My Inlaws had an old one butchered and I just couldn't handle the taste. I wouldn't do it.

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1071)

on March 30, 2012
at 08:18 PM

Could you describe the taste? Do you think it could be masked easily?

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