Tesco and The Irish Angus Cattle Society

A long-standing partnership with the Irish Angus Cattle Society has seen Tesco finest* beef products boast a standard of quality and taste that is unrivalled. Here, we talk to Charles Smith, general manager of the Irish Angus Cattle Society, about what makes Tesco steaks so special.

Tesco and the Irish Angus Society

Charles Smith

Hailing from a farming family that can be traced back to the 1700s, Charles Smith takes huge pride in his beef herd in Navan, County Meath, where extensive grazing allows his cattle to be grassfed all year round. A supplier to Tesco for many years, Charles also heads up the Irish Angus Cattle Society, which has had a partnership with the retailer for almost 20 years. “Nothing comes close to certified Angus beef, which is unique to Tesco," says Charles.

"The beef is special because the cattle are special. Not only does Angus beef produce marbling, which ensures the very best taste, but the cattle themselves also adapt so well to Irish farming conditions. Everything that happens in a cow’s life affects the flavour of the meat. They are easy-going as a breed and this adds to the quality of the beef. In the main, the farmers who produce Angus for the Society are on small farms, meaning their methods are very traditional. They also farm on marginal land where there is great biodiversity in the grazing, which you wouldn’t find in a manicured farm: lots of old grass and indigenous herbs that all add to the flavour of the beef.”

This natural, family farming, Charles explains, also adds to the general well-being of the cattle and, as a result, the quality of the product.

“We aren’t farming in a ranch-type situation, so it is not unusual for the animals to be seen two or three times a day.” This close interaction between the farmer and the cattle, he says, is really important for animal welfare and ensures a really great end product.

Charles’ Three Top Tips for Choosing Your Meat This Summer

1.Look for aged beef. This will guarantee a better taste. All Tesco finest* beef is matured for 28 days, as standard.

2.Beef should have a nice bright colour and good marbling, soft white plains of fat throughout the meat. When you are cooking it, this will melt and keep the steak really succulent and full of flavour.

3.Finally, it is really a matter of preferred taste. For me, rib eye is the most flavoursome cut, as it has the most fat, but for others a more lean cut like a fillet is preferred.

Choice Cuts

Rib Eye

Tesco Finest Irish Angus Ribeye Steaks 450g

Charles’ personal favourite, this cut offers lots of fat marbled through the flesh which ensures the meat stays tender and succulent during cooking.

Tesco finest* Irish Angus Rib Eye 450g

Striploin Cut

Tesco Finest Irish Angus Striploin Steaks 454g

From the middle back of the cow, this piece of meat does little work and is therefore very tender.

Tesco finest* Irish Angus Striploin 454g

Sirloin

Tesco Finest Irish Angus Sirloin Steak 454g

A prime cut of beef from the back of the animal – ideal for barbecuing.

Tesco finest* Irish Angus Sirloin 454g

Fillet

Tesco Finest Irish Angus Fillet Steak 400g

One of the more expensive cuts of beef, the fillet is tender and lean, prime for grilling or frying.

Tesco finest* Irish Angus Fillet 404g