It’s stage four of the Rare Breeds Steaks Challenge. The mission is to measure steaks new to me against the best steak I’ve ever eaten: Australian wagyu. Via ‘purveyors of great taste’ Farmison.com, I’ve sourced beef from farmer Charles Ashbridge’s Abbotts Close Farm in North Yorkshire.
The cuts I’ve chosen to compare are British Porterhouse. This is essentially sirloin-on-the-bone. Marbling is essential – the intra-muscular fat that lubricates the steak and gives it both juiciness and amazing flavour – but I’m not a big fan of lots of visible fat, so I always super-trim my steaks before cooking.
The fourth breed up for the challenge is….DEXTER
The Breed: One of the smallest breeds of cattle, the Dexter was bred in Tipperary in the 1750s from descendants of the native black cattle kept by the early Celts. The breed was endangered in the 1930s, but now this usually black, but sometimes red and dun-coloured breed has come back into favour, thanks to its ability to mature early feeding on grass and the impeccable eating quality of its neat, small cuts.
Price: Around £9.00 per steak
Appearance: Glossy and dark ruby red with lots of marbling.
Trimmage: Weight before trimming external fat: 334g; weight after: 260g.
Cooking: Heat a cast iron pan until it’s white hot. Oil the steak, not the pan. Cook for exactly 2 minutes each side for medium-rare. Season the steak after the first 2 minutes. Leave to rest for 2 minutes. Carve.
Tasting notes: Rich and juicy with an open texture and Umami, almost Marmitey, flavour. The exterior crusty is sweet and toffee-like. Utterly delicious.
Marks compared to Australian wagyu: 8.5/10
• For beef from farmers you can actually see , try Farmison.com, who sent me these steaks for review purposes. The opinions are my own.