And that's according to a Frenchman! His comment even made the front page of my newspaper yesterday. But I need to explain. Yves-Marie Le Bourdonnec,who has been described as France's most famous butcher (I didn't realise that any butcher is famous) has made a documentary in which he travelled the world to find the world's best sirloin. And he declared that British grass-fed Aberdeen Angus, Galloway, Hereford or Longhorn cattle are the tops, far better than the 'food porn' (his words) that is the beef from the French cereal-fed cattle.
I have to say that I fully agree that British beef is far and away superior to French, especially when grilled or roasted. The Old Bat narrows it still further, saying that she thinks the best beef is Scotch. Whichever, the important thing, to my mind, is that the animals are grass-fed and brought to maturity slowly, not pumped full of hormones or whatever unnatural things are put into the food. They should be kept calm before slaughter and the carcases should be properly hung for three weeks minimum.
We are lucky in our butchers, there being two from whom we buy our meat locally. We enjoyed a leg of lamb yesterday although, unusually, the butcher failed to tell us the farm on which the animal had been raised. Generally he does tell us, and it is always only a few miles away.
The other butcher from whom we buy is my cousin - but that is only when we are staying on the farm with him in Somerset. His beef is from Dexter cows crossed with Highland, grass-fed and properly hung. His mutton - from Hebridean sheep, a sort of cross-Soay breed - tastes better than most lamb and is just as tender. But his main line is venison, and much as I like that, I do prefer beef. Just not French beef.