The meat from young animals of the Brown breed born and raised on the Lucciano Farm combines safety and nutritional values with an excellent flavour suitable for many a recipe.
The provenance of the meat is fully documented throughout the life of the animal – from its birth on the farm, and its daily routine including its diet, to the moment it gets to the table in a variety of dishes.
Ideally the meat should not be consumed during the ten days following the slaughter of the animal. During this time the meat is left to rest, and allowed to go through a crucial maturing process, which enhances its quality and makes it more tender. This process takes place in the farm’s cool room at a temperature of around 0°C. For this process to be effective, the meat should not be cut up into too many parts. Considering the size of the animals (24-30 months old), Ovidio and Paola cut each carcass into four quarters.
The forequarter consists of the following cuts: chuck steak, shoulder, skirt, blade steak and brisket.
The hindquarter consists of the following cuts: round steak, topside, rump, silverside, eye of silverside, fillet and sirloin steak.
The most tender cuts are fillet and sirloin. However, the most flavoursome cuts are in the forequarter, more precisely the shoulder.
Brisket is ideal for broth and boiled meat.
Blade steak is a very special cut because it is tender and tasty at the same time, and can be used for stews and casseroles.
The shoulder is a schnitzel cut, very flavoursome and similar to rump steak, which is in the hindquarter.
Chuck steak is used mainly for stews and casseroles.
Gravy steak is similar in both the fore- and hindquarters, and is ideal for white or red stews, and to be served as boiled meat.
Tongue, tail and liver are quite popular too.
Customers will be able to buy as they please, the cuts and quantities they require. They will not be obliged to purchase pre-packaged meat selections.
This arrangement was decided at the very start. Fattoria Lucciano aimed at establishing an intensely collaborative rapport with its customers whereby both the needs of the producer and those of the customer could be fulfilled so that through the knowledge of the different meat cuts (cooking methods, flavour and so on), as well as a number of other requirements, the customer would succeed in purchasing a more diversified selection of meat.
Despite the demands of such an approach, Paola continues to be very pleased with it.
“Over the years, our customers’ orders, - says Paola – have been for both hind- and forequarters in about equal numbers. We’re very pleased with this outcome, which has allowed us to overcome the idea that hindquarter cuts are better quality than forequarter ones”.
This bias stems from a cultural attitude attributable to the economic boom in the second half of the twentieth century when consumption of goods and services soared, more notably in the food sector with a high demand for hindquarter meat cuts, that up to that moment had been an exclusive privilege of the more affluent classes.
Forequarter cuts “provide the tastiest meat, which, however, requires more preparation time – these cuts are especially suitable for casseroles, broth or boiled meat”.
Among those products implying trust and confidence between customer and producer, mince is the first to spring to mind. Paola maintains “a clear sign of the deep trust our customers have in us is the popularity of our mince. Usually we make it using brisket or other tasty forequarter cuts. Mince is intrinsically tender thanks to the grinding process it undergoes – its versatility makes it ideal for the preparation of a wide range of dishes children and younger consumers are very fond of such as rissoles, meatloaves, hamburgers etc..
“Our mince meat is ground once only, which results in a coarser grain than usual. We tell our customers how important this process is. In fact, every time the meat goes through the grinder the meat heats up and the higher the temperature the shorter its shelf life and the greater the loss of nutritional values. We can grind it twice upon request.
“Two popular cuts are silverside and eye of silverside. These cuts prepared schnitzel-style, flour-coated, dipped in egg, crumbed and cooked in oil are particularly tasty and tender. However, lightly-marbled meat proves to be the most tender.
“A much sought-after ‘form’ of meat is the so-called ‘straccetti’, thin strips of meat, tender and tasty, ideal in combination with rocket, courgettes or other seasonal vegetables".