Barrosã Beef


The Barrosã Meat is a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product, that is “unique and distinguished from all the others, the result of the combination of several specific factors, namely the pure breed of animals - Barrosã breed -, as well as the environmental and human factors associated with the production of this meat”, explains Albano Álvares, president of CAPOLIB - Cooperativa Agro Rural de Boticas. 

CAPOLIB - Cooperativa Agro Rural de Boticas
Avenida do Eiró, 19
5460-320 Boticas
How to get there

+ 351 276 418 170

presentado por
Vítor Adão, Plano
Tabernas do Alto Tâmega

Texto de Patrícia Serrado
Fotografias de Vânia Rodrigues

The geographical area of ​​the Barrosã breed covers the Barrosão plateau in the north of the country, and “we currently work with around 350 producers”, says Albano Álvares, referring to livestock producers of Barrosã cattle. 

The origin of Barrosã Meat PDO - community recognition and protection published in the regulation of 1 July 1996 - lies in the homogenous Portuguese native breed cattle whose feed is made according to traditional methods, to preserve the purity of this strain from the highlands of Portugal. “The adult Barrosã animals feed according to traditional methods in natural pastures, on the mountainous slopes of vacant lands and based on agricultural products produced on the farm, such as hay, corn, rye, potatoes, among others. Young animals feed on breast milk and farm products from the farm”. Traditionally in some areas, the animals are sent to the mountains, where they stay during the spring and summer. In the autumn, when the cold arrives, they return to the lowest part of the valleys. “Even today, this phenomenon is highlighted and celebrated in some areas”. It is Brandeiro Day, and the celebration is still held in Vila das Caldas do Gerês.

Let's go back to Carne Barrosã DOP, specifically slaughter. “The entire process is managed by the Cooperativa Agro Rural de Boticas, which concentrates the production offer, promotes the transport of animals to the slaughterhouse, arranges for their slaughter, as well as the entire cutting, packaging and shipping circuit, that is, CAPOLIB articulates the process, from livestock farming to meat distribution through different national and international points of sale”, explains Albano Álvares. 

Furthermore, Carne Barrosã is mostly made in the veal class, a group that falls between five and nine months. The characteristic of meat is another important aspect to be taken into account. “The meat of young animals is lighter, pinker, with a higher percentage of water and less fat. It is a softer, more tender and juicy meat". The meat of adults differs in colour, as it is darker, and has greater fat infiltration and less water concentration, being less tender and juicy, but it has a more intense flavour compared to veal, despite the fat present, “in addition to giving the most evident flavour, stimulate salivation, which translates into a later increase in juiciness, during the chewing process”, explains CAPOLIB’s president, “Carne Barrosã has the peculiarity of infiltrating fat into muscle cells from a very early age, which is why its flavour, even in very young animals, is very intense and the tenderness and succulence of the meat are particularly benefited, by the process mentioned above, which distinguishes it from the others.

Let’s talk about the cut. Albano Álvares recommends that the cut is made “in the direction of muscle fibers, that maximizes tenderness”. The quality control of the product is shared by the Barrosã Meat Producers Organization, based in CAPOLIB, by AMIBA - Association of Bovine Breeders of Barrosã Breed and by Kiwa-Sativa, certifying entity.