It's one thing to find a great bit of beef, it's a lot harder to get it time and again. It's even more fun trying to grow consistant quality beef, but that's why we do it. Other people have golf, we have rearing cattle to produce the best possible eating experience that we can - both are fascinating, infuriating and obsessive. After 70 years we've deduced that fundamentally it comes down to three things: breeding, feeding and handling.
Every breed of cattle has a unique flavour, just like a grape variety, and consequently so does every cross-breed (blend of breeds).
Hardiesmill use only pedigree (pure-bred) Aberdeen Angus cattle, with blood-lines that can be traced back to the original Aberdeen Angus cattle, as listed in the "Polled Cattle Herdbook" (1887), which have been in the family since 1949. Our Aberdeen Angus are mostly all black but we do have some red (gingers). They have no horns naturally. Hardiesmill cattle have been developed to be grass converters, 365 days a year. The native beef breeds (Aberdeen Angus, Herefords, Galloways, Highlanders etc.), were always bred for beef, so are slower growing and often fatter than their continental cousins or the now dominant cross-breeds, but are more tender and should carry more marbling, given the same feeding regime. The dams (mothers) all have family names whilst the bulls (fathers) run with something a bit more macho (Nevis, Marathon, Bullet etc), the first letter always being the same as their mother's.
Feed affects flavour, juiciness, water content and texture. We use grass in the summer, hay silage and straw in the winter. No concentrates, no hormones, no steroids, hence the tremendous impact of the "terroir" on its flavour. It's light on the front of the tongue but big on the top and sides with amazing longevity of taste. Hence we expect you to be enjoying the flavour of our beef 10 minutes+ after being swallowed. Studies have shown grass-reared Aberdeen Angus beef to be both rich and naturally balanced in Omega 3 & Omega 6 (ISSFAL (Howe)).
Consistancy in the Quality comes from success by design. It's all about team-work. Planning conception, birth, animal husbandry, haulage, lairage, abattoir: happy cattle is not a strap line, it's a vital ingredient for good beef!
Hanging, butchery, packing, cooking and serving all play their part. Cutting down the muscle rather than down the bone changes a bit of beef from stew to a prime steak, but take it too far with the hanging and it'll go gamey. Cook a Bavette beyond rare and it'll be tough, serve a feather steak blue and it'll be bland. We have adopted a culture of marginal gains along the whole supply chain and, over time, it's paying dividends.