Left Continue shopping
Your Order

You have no items in your cart

Vaca vieja

Old cow meat

Particular and delicious beef

Old cow meat is a delicious dish that disorientates those who are convinced that only old hen makes good broth. Let's move away from clichés, let's keep faith with popular sayings and discover the best meat in the world, made valuable due to its long and slow preparation.

The Galician vaca veja is a cattle breed known to few, only for true beef connoisseurs, those who choose to taste the best and find delicacies around the world. On this tour it is enough to stop in Spain, reach the Iberian peninsula to find Galician meat or rubia galicia which is rapidly climbing the rankings of fine meat. Some Italian restaurants offer it showing the best cuts of meat, others are more reluctant, we choose to start getting to know it.

Old Galician cow Florentine

Fine Spanish meat

In Spanish they call it vaca vieja gallega, in Italian the translation is old Galician cow, the fact is that it is a cattle breed that is enjoying fully deserved success. First in the East and now in Europe, fine Spanish meat is increasing its success slice by slice. Old Galician cow meat has truly unique and excellent characteristics, the sublime aroma combines with an authentic taste that brings back ancient memories at the sight, children of tradition when once upon a time the meat on the table was completed with a layer of yellow fat. The color of the fat is the real added value of Rubia Gallega, and is obtained by following a specific and well-defined breeding process.

Rubia Galicia breeding

The philosophy that revolves around the breeding of vaca vieja is linked to the times of nature. Spain is rich in natural environments such as rivers, streams, forests and mountain landscapes, thanks to this high percentage of rural areas, agriculture has always represented a thriving market for the Iberian peninsula. Despite the large spaces, the Spanish artisanal agri-food chain chooses to divide the spaces into small farms where a limited number of animals are cared for and raised with extreme attention and dedication; in the case of Galician meat, in fact, the figure reaches five animals per capita.

The animals are called vaca lecheras - dairy cows - and before offering the famous fine Galician meat, they are used for dairy purposes and to wean the calves that are born and graze free. The animals, as per peasant tradition, feed on carrots, grass, fodder and corn, and this seems to be one of the causes that allow the meat to acquire a unique flavour, in addition to the rather acidic climate due to the proximity to the Ocean.

Is the old cow a breed of cattle?

Doubt arrives undisturbed and takes over the reasoning of anyone who chooses to approach the race - or maybe not? If it is true, how true is it that the rubia vieja is an animal bred in a specific area of ​​Spain. If it is equally true that it is a particular type of traditional and very ancient breeding. So it is certainly true that the old Galician cow is not a bovine breed, but identifies the breeding area.

The situation is different for the Rubia Gallega which represents one of the breeds that make up the various pastures. The only characteristic that defines the best meat in the Spanish world is the weight of the animal which varies between 350 kilograms and a ton. Nothing more, nothing less.

Old Galician cow breeder

Old cow and cuts of beef

Now that the characteristics have been listed one after the other, we need to take a step further, after all the mouth watering is unleashed, the desire to taste a slice of Galician rib is increasingly stronger, as is finding the vaca vieja for sale. Well, here's another detail that will offer the best choice! The cuts that best represent the organoleptic and peculiar characteristics are: the hindquarters, the loin and the entrecôte of Galician cow. Among the three cuts of beef, the loin has the upper hand as it is cut differently than is customary in the Bel Paese, an important part of fat is retained which contributes to the maturation and the consequent amplification of the flavour.

Chuletón: it's a matter of taste

Spain considers this cut to be fundamental and, unlike what happens in Italy, the bone is removed, but not the fat. Chuletón is a rather tall rib that is only seared and reaches a significant weight, almost 1.2 kg. The boneless rib has an intense flavor and allows diners to enjoy an authentic piece of meat without cooking adjustments.

Old cow's Florentine

La Vaca Vieja in Italy

And here we are at our borders, here where this prized Spanish meat has just begun its rise and is unlikely to be able to oust our great classics. However, it will be able to enter fully into the starred restaurants that will choose to offer it as a specialty and as a dish deeply linked to peasant traditions. The old cow is quite expensive and reaches 40 Euros per kilo, today it is dedicated and selected by a few admirers who, first of all, discovered the authentic taste of a prized and still too little known meat.

Several traditional Italian farms are preparing to create a home-made solution that fully respects the Galician breeding rules but, it seems that not everyone has yet perceived some steps, details that make the difference. Or maybe not all?