Scottona is actually the female half of the bovine, aged between eighteen and twenty-three months (sometimes as long as 4 years) who hasn’t ever given birth. The etymology of this word isn’t very clear, but it probably derives from an old definition, once highly regarded, that once considered the primary difference between “warm meats” and “cold meats”. This definition may well have included cold meats like beef, venison, chicken or turkey, and warm meats like mutton, goose or pheasant. Today we simply call any goose, pheasant or other warm meat a “sheep”, hence the origin of our term “bbq”.
I’m going to assume from this that you know nothing about cooking a sheep, unless you’re from Australia and know what a “pony” is. A pony is actually quite a common name for a sheep, particularly in Australia, New Zealand, and some parts of Ireland. So if you’re wondering how to cook a scottona, you’d be right on target. This gentle meat is most often cooked with vegetables (though occasionally it’s also cooked whole) and seasoned with herbs. It can be eaten raw or cooked (though often only the skin is cooked), and is a great all round meat.
The best way to prepare scottona for consumption is probably by preparing it as a whole and grilling it. The reason this works so well is because the flesh of this small bovine is quite mild, in comparison to the hot meats we’re accustomed to eating. Because of its mildness, scottona makes a great all-round meat. It’s versatile enough to be cooked and served cold, cooked medium rare, or cooked stove top. It’s even perfect for stuffing, as the natural moisture content of the meat helps make it a great addition to stews and soups
In fact, one of my favourite ways of cooking scottona (and the favourite way of cooking most Italian bovines) is by cooking it along with some bison for the large quantities of fat that it has. See more about Italian Scottona cooking style here: https://atuttagriglia.com/consigli-barbecue/scottona/.
Cooked alongside the beef of similar weight, scottona forms a great lunch food for when you’re short on time. Served with steamed broccoli and peas, or with a prawn or two, it makes a great change from its bison ancestor and serves to make your vegetarian friends happy too! You can serve it with fish too, to add a different twist to a fish dinner.
Blending Scottona with Beef or Even Protein Shakes
Scottonas are also very good for blending with beef or other proteins for great shakes, such as beef burgers. You can use a blender to achieve a great shake, or you can use a processor, or even a mortar and brick. The result is a fantastic protein-rich paste which can be used for meat-free pancakes, or for a delicious breakfast food for young female bovines.
If you’ve never cooked with scottona before, I urge you to try it. Unlike other heifer meats, scottona can be cooked on all ranges of temperatures, so if you find that the bottom of your pot is too hot, don’t panic, just adjust the heat level a little. You will also find that cooking this kind of beef in the oven, rather than on a barbecue, gives it a unique flavour. Don’t overcook it, just keep it warm. There is even an internet cookbook dedicated to teaching the basics of how to cook beef with scottona.