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Each steak weighs approximately 125g.
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An excellent value and somewhat forgotten cut that you won’t often see on the butcher’s block, feather steak is a hidden gem taken from below the shoulder. Running through the centre of the steak is a distinctive seam of cartilage. Although it looks the same as the cartilage you might see on beef shin, it’s far more yielding – as it doesn’t do a lot of hard work – and melts easily with short cooking, imparting both moisture and delicious flavour.
At Pipers Farm, free range beef from Devon Red Ruby cattle is an integral to our philosophy. We believe that traditional ways of growing beef cattle slowly on a wholly natural diet of grass are best for the animals and produce the best meat. It makes sense to us to rear a breed of cattle that’s native to our part of the world, well adapted to the climate and able to convert the abundant pasture into meat with exceptional depth of flavour. Many continental cattle breeds have been selectively bred for quick, heavy muscle growth around the rump and shoulder. Devon cattle have a far more traditional shape – stocky and robust they carry meat evenly over the whole carcase and slow growth means their muscles have worked hard and their skeletons are strong.
After slaughter at a small abattoir nearby, all beef carcasses hang at a regulated temperature for a full 4 weeks. By allowing some of the moisture to dissipate and the muscles to relax, hanging results in meat that’s packed with deep, intense flavour and tender texture.
Feather steak is a versatile cut to cook with. Let the natural flavours take centre stage by lightly oiling and seasoning your steak before searing it in a smoking hot pan for a minute or so each side. Rest it briefly for a juicy steak with plenty of bite. If you’ve got a bit more time, feather steak braised slowly in a rich sauce of red wine and beef stock is a succulent and warming winter treat.
In the summer, try this dead-easy and mouth-watering recipe for Barbecued Feather Steak.
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