Beefalo is also referred to as cattalo, which is a fertile hybrid generation of domestic cattle. The breed was created to combine the features of both animals for beef production. Unlike domestic cattle, they can survive in areas with a harsh climate, with less food and less economical investments. Beefalo can reach about 55 inches in height and 1.500 – 2.000 pounds of weight and it also produces meat of better quality. Today, the number of beefaloes in the world, especially in the USA, is continuously growing. Its meat is often favored for its leanness, but all grass-fed beef has nutritional necessities like CLA and Omega-3 fats.
- Beefalo has a higher tolerance to diseases and the ability to survive in the areas with cold climate that are not suitable for domestic cattle.
- Female offspring are always fertile.
- Young beefaloes are hardier and often healthier than calves of domestic cattle.
- Beefalo doesn’t require growth hormones because it grows and develops quickly.
Cattalo: Hybrid between the American buffalo and domestic cattle.
Grass-fed: Animal that was allowed to forage and graze for their fresh food.
Irrigated pasture: An area in which the pasturing of livestock is of. Prime importance, not secondary to a crop of hay.
Carcass: The dead body of an animal.
Beefalo Buying Guide
It’s best to buy beefalo meat locally, if at all possible. You should keep in mind that it should be very high in tenderness, juiciness, and flavor. Beefalo meat should be virtually free from defects such as bruises nor discolorations. The surface of the meat should not be too dry or too wet; neither should it have any blood splashes on it.
Any fresh meat will neither be too soft nor too tough. You can test it by poking it. It should slightly get pressed and then should come back to its original shape. If the meat doesn’t go back to its unique form or is too tight to poke has been on the shelf for long.
Beefalo Production & Farming in Texas
Raising beefalo is like taking care of any beef animal. The American Beefalo Association promotes foraging ability, hardiness, calving ease associated with the bison mixed with the fertility, milking ability and ease of handling associated with beef cattle breeds to be the breed’s strong points. Irrigated pasture runs about 1 to 1.5 cows per acre for the grazing season. This capacity is adjusted upward or downward depending on the management of irrigation water, the fertility of the pasture, a mix of grass species found in the grazing and pasture rotation of the animals. For the winter months, supplemental feed like hay and grain is needed.
In Texas, Beefalo roamed freely for hundreds of years. They are perfect for this hard Texas weather. They have sweat glands to help them stay cool in the hot climate of the southern plains; yet their thick, dense hair keeps them warm in extremely cold weather. Much lower in fat naturally, which places the cholesterol level at a match to chicken and cod; and enabled the Beefalo to earn recognition by the American Heart Association.
Beefalo was developed in the early 1970s by a Californian producer who successfully interbreeds American Bison with domesticated cattle. After almost 150 years of the breeding process, the perfect balance was found in 3/8th’s Bison and 5/8th’s domestic cattle. This new crossbreed had high fertility success and a superior balance of traits for modern-day uses and needs. With this crossbreed, the hardiness of the bison was retained but was melded the natural temperament, excellent body structure and the quality of meat of the domesticated cattle.
The American Beefalo Association was built as the popularity of the breed sky-rocketed in 1975. Ten years after, USDA meat testing had concluded the differences in the nutrition profile of the beefalo when compared with traditional beef. Today, the production of beefalo is experiencing a resurgence in the health food market as most people are actively becoming more conscious about where their foods come from, invested in animal welfare and engaged in sustainability efforts.
The Beefalo is commonly known in the USA and Australia. Increasing numbers of consumers are learning about Beefalo beef, and demand is rising, more growers are needed to meet the growing requirements for Beefalo meat. As one of the best-kept secrets in the health food market, Beefalo has been shown by USDA testing to possess superior vitamin levels, higher protein, and fewer calories than conventional beef.
The storage of fresh buffalo is best in the coldest section of the refrigerator. Some refrigerators can change the temperature; if there is a great deal of meat to store, you must select that option. The ground buffalo should not be stored for more than a couple of days while roasts and steaks, must not be stored in more than four days.
Beefalo meat must be frozen at -10 degrees F. to -30 degrees F. for preservational purposes. When the meat is quickly frozen, it will allow for the smallest amount of crystallization and extinguishes or arrests potential organisms that produce spoilage. The meat is then stored a 0 degrees F., and if kept frozen, the meat will retain its freshness for at least nine months.
Beefalo cooks about 30% faster than traditional Beef. It is naturally tender and incredibly flavorful. The taste and tenderness of the meat are directly related to how the meat is cooked. It should be simmered at low to medium temperatures. As there is no fat to act as an insulator to the meat, the meat is cooked directly.
Remove Beefalo from heat one level of doneness sooner than how you like it because it will still continue to cook after it has been removed from heat. Overcooking can make your meal seem dry or tough. The recommended cooking range is rare to medium, and internal temperatures should be 135 degrees – 155 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a meat thermometer for best results.
Frying – Beefalo must be fried at a lower heat, and you must use a small amount of water or ¼ teaspoon of olive oil as a starter to avoid sticking.
Grilling – When grilling, prevent overcooking the beefalo by turning it more frequently, by using a lower heat, or by raising your rack to the next highest level.
Roasting – Roasting lean beefalo requires keeping the oven temperature at a lower setting of 325 degrees. The roasting time needed will vary depending on the size of the roast and your oven.
Beefalo offers up to 6 times less cholesterol, 1/2 the calories, and up to 4 times less fat than beef. It is the only red meat shown through a university study to help lower LDL cholesterol levels. It has a healthier makeup of fat than beef and is raised with an all-natural grass-fed diet.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamin B: Has a direct impact on your energy levels, brain function, and cell metabolism.
Vitamin C: An essential nutrient required by the body.
Calcium: Essential to all living things, particularly for the growth of healthy teeth and bones.
Iron: Plays a vital role in the conversion of blood sugar to energy, red blood cells production, transportation of oxygen around your body, and production of enzymes
Potassium: Important for your body’s electrolyte functions and essential elements to maintaining healthy blood pressure.
Phosphorus: An essential mineral primarily used for the growth and repair of body cells and tissues.
Sodium: Control blood volume and blood pressure, and it allows the properly working of muscles and nerves.
Zinc: Boost the immune system and promote healing.
Selenium: An extremely vital mineral for the human body as it increases protection from damage caused by free radicals.