This pasture grain-finished, dry-aged ground beef has fresh air, sweet, caramel smells coming off the grill and a bright, balanced flavor, even when cooked well done. At medium rare, hints of caramel and Parmesan are a little more pronounced. As the burger cools, you’ll probably find the flavor of mushrooms peaking through. No condiments needed, just a hint of salt.
–The Artisan Beef Institute, Carrie Oliver (based on tasting of Dundonald Highland ground beef)
The Farm (Dundonald Highlands)
This beef is raised on the lush flood plains near Three Rivers, MI, by a native of Scotland, one Eddie Mackay: the president emeritus of the American Highland Cattle Association. Like all heritage beef, his cattle is raised on pasture, using rotational grazing and feeding on nutrient-dense turnips and clover. The beef that you’ll try from Dundonald Highlands is the offspring of a bull genetically tested and rated five stars for tenderness (the highest possible rating). The cattle are finished on cracked corn for 90 days in an attempt to fatten them up. And, like all heritage beef, it takes between two to three years to achieve that flavor that can only come from “the fullness of time.” Never mind the tenderloin, in a blind taste test of top sirloin of Dundonald Highland’s beef one panel member remarked, “This is superior to the filet mignon [beef tenderloin] I had last night at [a nationally renowned prime steak house].” If you’re a Scotch drinker, beef from Dundonald Highlands is the Glenlivet 12.
Highland cattle is one of Britain’s oldest cattle breeds, world-renowned for making excellent beef. In fact, the British Royal Family keeps a herd/”fold” of Highlands at Balmoral Castle. It is a breed that developed over hundreds of years in the northern regions of the Scottish Highlands, a land of rugged terrain and harsh conditions. It is both a hearty and docile breed, like the people who come from that land, people who have been described somewhere as “poet-warriors”.