Like many others from Trás-os-Montes, António Martins was born in a humble house where subsistence farming was practiced.
Quinta de Riassós
Lugar de Riassós, Bairro do Eiró
Texto de Tiago Pais
Fotografias de Tiago Pais
Like many others from Trás-os-Montes, António Martins was born in a humble house where subsistence farming was practiced. The Mirandese cows that the family had were used, above all, to work in the field. When António got married, he went to help his father-in-law, a breeder of bulls, in the business. “But you can't imagine, that was all injected. It got to the point where I stopped eating cow and veal”, he recalls. It was for “not wanting to eat injected meat” that he decided to start his creation of Mirandese breed, 30 years ago. He started by having them for his consumption, but the herd grew and today, on the 16 hectares of Quinta de Riassós, on the outskirts of Vinhais, which he manages with his daughter Cátia, he accumulates about 50 heads of cattle, who are free during the day and only at night they collect to the stable. They only eat grass and flour approved by the Mirandese Cattle Breeders Association. It’s this strict diet that allows animals to form subcutaneous fat and thus obtain the flavor that makes the famous Mirandese steak one of the ex-libris of the region's gastronomy. And, more importantly for António, without resorting to injections.