Red Ruby Devon: what's the beef?

by Dan Izzard

03 April 2018

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With uncertainty on how Brexit is going to impact the UK's access to cheap imported meat; it's time for some of our native breeds to step up and get the recognition they deserve. We’ve teamed up with the Devon Cattle Breeders' Society to show why Red Ruby Devon cattle are a key part of post-Brexit British farming.

Officially recognised as a breed in 1851, Red Ruby Devon cattle have been a familiar sight across Devon ever since. They really are fine looking beasts, rich red in colour giving them their name.

Fifty shades of graze...

Until recently, their popularity has been secondary to other faster growing breeds that have been used to stock our supermarket shelves. But we all know that good things come to those who wait, and slower grown cattle like the Red Ruby actually produce a higher quality of meat. With consumers more aware than ever of the provenance of their food, popularity in Red Ruby is on the rise. You can find it on the menu at Cow Shed in Bristol, and also behind the counter at the nextdoor Ruby and White butchers .

Red Ruby cattle are built for moorland and tough environments that most other breeds can’t handle. They’ll happily forage amongst the gorse and heather for the tasty herbage which gives flavour to their meat. Their digestive systems are great at extracting the maximum nutrition from foraged land and their metabolism converts the energy into slow growth. That means a meat high in Omega-3 fatty acids and proteins. All that time grazing on pasture building up muscle, which makes for a meat with big flavour and character.

No one knows this better than the Bridgette Clamp from Trenowin Farm in Cornwall. She was one of the original members of Ladies in Beef , an organisation set-up to promote and drive awareness of the quality and versatility of British beef. You’ll find Bridgette in her element among her Red Ruby Devons on Higher Trenowin Farm.

“When our customers come to buy a joint or a steak, we can usually show them our herd and how their beef has been raised,” she tells us. She can even normally point out the mother of the steer/heifer that they are buying, maybe the grandmother and the sire!” For some, she admits that this is bit too much information but for others, it is “fascinating!”

As for Bridgette’s favourite way of enjoying Red Ruby Devon beef, she adds that “in the winter it would be a large joint of Brisket, slow cooked in the Aga and in the summer a Sirloin steak on the BBQ but most of all enjoyed with friends.”

Beef?! We wouldn’t want to argue with that!


To find Red Ruby Devon beef from farmers and butchers local to you head to redrubydevon-beef.co.uk

This is a paid partnership content, made possible by Devon Cattle Breeders' Society., and independently created by Crumbs Editorial team.