Post by Anniebethj on Jan 30, 2009 18:16:59 GMT -5
For the last 2 years, we have purchased 1/2 a beef from a neighbor of my sister. The hamburger and the really lean meat taste fine, but anything that has any amount of fat on it, we can't stand to eat the meat within 1/4 of the fat. It tastes awful, and will even make me gag. We didn't get any beef from this guy this year because it was so bad. Well, my sister in law gave us some of her meat that they raised themselves, and it has the same bad flavor but even stronger. Where they were raised by different people, but processed by the same butcher we are assuming it has something to do with the way they were processed. Does anyone have any ideas what the problem could be? My husbands best guess it the hanging time, but we have no experience so we don't know for sure. It is almost like a bad fishy taste.
Ewwww! Gross!!! Fishy tasting beef sounds horrible! If the only common denominator is the butcher, then he sounds suspect. We have ours hang for 10 days. They may be hanging too long or in the wrong temperature. Hopefully there is a different butcher locally that you can use for your own meat (when you raise it!), or suggest that your sister in law use sometime.
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I would suspect improper trimming or hanging longer than the fat cover allowed. I had 2 cows done at the same time. They were the same age,just under 3 years, maybe a month difference, but one was much larger than the other. One hung for 14 days, the other for 21 days because the larger one had much more fat. The smaller one on a few pieces, not all, had a slightly fishy tasting perimeter fat, easy to trim off and didn't affect the meat at all. So, my theory is, if the meat hung too long, the oxidation would pass through fat into the meat. But a good processor should know how long to hang.... -Jenn
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Anniebethj, I have had similar problems with pork. It does not taste so much fishy as gamey or just a strong animal taste. I raised the pigs myself and I KNOW what they were fed. I too blamed the butcher. However I am now thinking it has more to do with how it was killed. I think the animal was 'run' or stressed before it was killed, like a stressful loading or transport. You will get that extreme 'gamey' taste from a deer or moose that is wounded and runs, or is chased a lot before it is shot. Now that I think of it the guy who killed my pig is scared of them and ends up whacking at them with a stick to get them loaded, in fact he can not get them loaded until I intervene. I wish so much I could do it myself. I raise them myself and I HATE for them to be scared. Anyhow I will try to get someone else next time.
I agree with ozarkfarmgrammie I think it's how you finish. Some grass fed beef can have off flavor in the fat, (I think if there isn't enough sugar in the grass not total sure on that). But based on my experience my family likes grain finished for 60 days. I don't grain a lot about 12lbs a day split into 2 feedings, it makes a big difference in the fat tasted for us. Alicia
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Post by elyssaestrong on Apr 25, 2009 8:39:00 GMT -5
I own and run a deer processing business. I do not do beef for the public, but I do one once in awhile for our family. I had one that we bought that was fat but not grain fed that had that taste you are talking about, another I did was feed lotted for 2 months and tasted great. Both hung for the same amount of time and at the same tempurature. I tend to believe the taste is more from the feeding or the stress level at kill. Elyssa
The last steer we bought was had that taste to it as well. It was really nasty. He was totally grass fed. Our own steer that was processed a few weeks ago at the same place tastes wonderful. None of that nasty flavor at all. He was mostly grass-fed. He was with his mom on milk until we sent him at 15 months and he got occassional grain treats. I'd love to know what causes the off-flavor so we can avoid it.
In our experience, grassfed beef is best NOT aged very long. The palate of most American's is not tolerant to any oxidized flavors resulting from the fat sitting too long and causing the off flavor on the outside edges of the carcass. Our first beef we had done hung for 21 days and tasted awful (the fat, not the lean). The next one was for 14 days and although it was much improved, it was still too 'gamey' for us. The next one was hung for 7 days and was pretty good, but since we were sensitive to that off flavor, we still tasted it. The last few beeves we've done we have butchered them ourselves and hung them overnight in our root cellar before cutting/wrapping, and those were the best of all! Granted we're butchering cows, not steers/heifers, so most of the meat is ground into burger, but the few steaks we DO keep have no off-flavor in the fat what-so-ever. That's just our 2 cents worth.
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We NEVER hang meat. While it might affect the tenderness, said tenderness is due to the rotting process starting. People have been conditioned to think rotting meat tastes good. We kill it in the morning, and have fresh steak for supper, and it's in the freezer that day.
Post by rezzfullacres on May 24, 2010 9:51:46 GMT -5
When any animal dies it goes through a metobolic change immediatly. This is due to a sudden lack of oxygenated blood flowing through the muscle tissue. Only time reverses this completely natural action. At room temp this usually occurs within 18 hours or so of death, however no one wants to allow meat to hang at room temp for more than the minimal time to allow for gutting, skinning, large piece breakdown etc. This is why meat is hung in a cooler, the muscle needs to come back to its natural state to be at its fullest flavor and it just takes a little longer in a cooler. Grass fed animals should not be aged as long as grain fed due to the different protiens that each is high in. Animals higher in fat content take longer to revert than heavily muscled ones, most grass fed animals are much more muscled than a grain finished one. Depending on the animal reversion in my experience can take anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks, in a cooler at about 40 degrees. Care of the carcass is the other fact that will greatly affect taste, kill it cleanly, bleed it out good and fast, cool it quickly.
I always hang or have my grass fed beef hung for up to 21 days - as long as the fat cover is adequate. When I've had them hung for 10-14, the meat has no flavor to it.
The only time I've had trouble with the off-tasting fat is one cow that we butchered ourselves. I'm sure it took us longer to get the quarters in the cooler - plus when it came time to process, we didn't have the help that had been promised, so I ended up hauling the quarters to the butcher to cut and wrap. The meat was good, but any big pieces of fat were yucky.
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We are in the meat business for 30 years. The taste you are talking about is a result of grass fed as opposed to grass finished beef. Grass fed beef has a high uric acid count, and the result is a fishy or "urine" taste to the fat. IF the animals are lean, it will also get into teh meat. Grass finished is actually finished FAT on grass at it's peak growth, never allowed to get under 4" in hieght and GROWING. Most people kill a beef off grass because the the grass is gettign short. THE BEST GRASS FINISHED BEEF IN THE WORLD IS FED GRASS WITH GRASS PELLETS AND GRASS HAY AVAILABLE AT ALL TIMES. While the kill, hang times and cut and wrap are all important, most butchers that have been in business know what they are doing. Watch the new guy. Cattle should be killed where they get fed to keep adrineline levels low. Also grass finished beef is cooked different than grain fed. NEVER cook it done, should always be rare to medium with the fat crisp and the meat inside still pink or red. HOep this helps. Hogs are different. Rarely grass fed but may happen. Also hang time shoudl always be over 30 days. Better over hung and throw some away than under hung and tough. We hang 45 days and cut off the "hair"
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We had the same problem and thought it was freezer burnt. It wasnt edible, it was almost rancid. I have had beef that hung for 21 days and it was fine, but this stuff was vile and he only fed it grass. Not grain finished, we assumed that played into it?
Hate to argue when you are dealing with bad meat, but grassfed beef around here hangs fro 10 to 21 days- depending on the butcher..... I've sampled 5 other NYS farms beef in the past month. ALL were 100% grassfed- yes I know them all and have been to the farms, none were bad. All were extremely tasty. I got some grain finished crap from someone nearby was pretty darn disgusting but she takes grain feeding to a new level. Locks cows in barn and only feeds corn for a month.... only corn.... serious stress? Calls it all natural grass fed grain finished.... to each there own but don't blame the grassfed for bad taste. It isn't to blame.
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