Last month, we sat down with a member of Sciacca Grill’s team and discussed what makes their establishment stand out from other meathouses and restaurants in Malta. The first helping was so good that we’re back for another! Read on for Part 2 of how the kitchen wizards at Sciacca always manage to leave their customers not only satisfied, but asking for more.
Some of our meats are certified free-range products, although not all of our produce is. One of the best free-range meats we have in house is the Rubia Gallega.
Calves are milk-fed directly from their mother, as this is an important bonding phase for the young animal. Depending on the country and the breed, the cows will either roam eating grass and edible plants, or are given a grain-based feed in order to maximise the marbling content. This serves to create the main distinction between grass and grain-fed cattle, including their nutrient profiles and the flavour of the meat.
Each country has its own regulations and practices for each individual breed. The rule of thumb generally states that grass-fed meat is leaner with less marbling and has an earthy/grassy flavour; an important note is that it cooks 30% faster than grain-fed meat. The latter also has more juiciness, a stronger flavour profile and more tenderness due to the marbling of the meat; however, this is not always the outcome, and the same could apply to certain grass-fed meats too.
The above is all highly dependent on the climate of the country in question, which affects the soil as well as the grass and plants that the cow feeds on. Grass-fed beef from certain breeds, such as the Rubia Gallega, gets its marbling from the fact that the cows are slaughtered at a very old age.
To reduce the high amount of fibres that accumulate over time, we age the meat for a minimum of 30 days. During this process, the blood and water content are dried out by temperature, wind and humidity control.