Rubia Gallega, the new premium beef arrives in gourmet restaurants

Tall, strong, cinnamon to orange in color and a “sexy cute name” are attributes of an animal that a beef industry pioneer says will be the last item on the menu at Australia’s top restaurants.

The new breed of cattle is David Blackmore’s “retirement” plan. He was the mastermind behind premium Wagyu cattle in Australia.

Mr Blackmore’s Wagyu meat, grown on farms in northeast Victoria, has sold for over $ 500 a kilogram and has appeared on luxury menus in Australia and around the world, including the homeland. from Wagyu, Japan.

His latest project is a breed of cattle he brought to Australia called Rubia Gallega.

“They call it cinnamon to orange in color, they are solid in color, they are a horned breed and they are definitely more muscular than the traditional British bred cattle that we have in Australia,” M said. Blackmore.

Rubia Gallega cattle are raised in the Galicia region of Spain and one animal can produce 700 kilograms of meat.(Provided: David Blackmore)

The Rubia Gallega is a heritage breed of cattle bred in the Galicia region of Spain, which includes the popular pilgrimage site of Santiago de Compostela.

It was in France about 15 years ago that Mr. Blackmore first tasted meat, launching a long odyssey for the breeder to research the required genetics and bring the cattle to Australia.

“These animals had been bred as plow animals to pull plows and carts and we even found a farm where they still did 15 years ago.”

“It’s a working animal and they’ve developed marbling (distribution of fat throughout the meat); not as good as Wagyu but better than anything I’ve seen on the grass,” Mr. Blackmore.

“It is a very traditional heritage breed in Spain.”

But it wasn’t easy for Mr. Blackmore to get the genetics he wanted.

“We had association breeders in Spain who were trying to prevent us from getting the embryos just because they wanted to protect the breed for themselves, but we ended up getting the embryos we wanted,” said Mr. Blackmore said.

Many of these embryos have now been born and Australia now has its first herd of Rubia Gallega with plans for growth.

“I guess we bought cattle from five to six different farms as well as the stud blood lines,” Mr. Blackmore said.

a very large uncooked t-bone steak on a platter
A Rubia Gallega carcass has good marbling and yellow fat, due to the carotene in the cow’s grass feed. (Provided: David Blackmore)

Giant steaks

It’s still early days, but the cattle are now serving as a test for some of Australia’s best restaurants.

“We did one before the lockdown and the whole hulk went to Rockpool. Half went to Rockpool Melbourne and the other half went to Rockpool Sydney.”

Rubia Gallega cattle are big and so are the steaks they produce.

One animal can produce around 700 kilograms of meat, which restaurants use in a range of dishes for their customers.

Mr. Blackmore hopes the unique flavor and grass-fed history behind the breed will be a hit with diners.

“It’s very tender. It has a very fine texture due to the mottling and being grass-fed, it’s a completely different and distinct flavor, an earthy, nutty flavor.”

“And Rubia Gallega is a pretty sexy name!”

Rubia Gallega has arrived in Australia but don’t expect her to be widely available as Angus or Wagyu.

David Blackmore insists that this is his retirement plan and that it will be top quality beef with the intention of processing just 30 animals per week.

“We don’t want to feed the world; we just want to feed the same restaurants that we provide our Wagyu to. “

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