MRIJ Piet van den Berg
As a schoolboy, master butcher Piet van den Berg, born on 27 May 1946, paid more attention to what was happening outside than what the teachers were saying in the classroom. His love for the butcher’s profession began as a small child and he started working full time in his father’s butcher’s shop at the age of 14. Before taking over the shop in Zoetermeer in the mid-1960s, he completed his training at the butcher’s school in Utrecht. Like his father before him, Piet van den Berg is a dedicated professional with a great deal of passion. The meat he supplies is of a consistent and exceptional quality and Piet has won many distinctions in the category ‘best female fatstock’ at national championships. His dedication has won him many plaudits over the years but he is not resting on his laurels. The huge demand for artisan and natural products is still growing.
The red and white cattle that guarantee the quality that is Piet van den Berg’s hallmark are farmed by Sjaak Kooter in Berkel en Rodenrijs. Or rather, they graze the pasture lands of the Groenzoom nature reserve. These beautiful animals with their healthy shiny coats are free to eat as much as they want. The fatted, mature cows – no fat, no taste – are slaughtered when they are between three and three and a half years old. They are bred exclusively for slaughter, not for sale to others They are slaughtered according to a fixed regime, in which the fattener takes each cow individually to the abattoir. On the way and on arrival they do not come into contact with other cows or bulls. This prevents unrest and stress that would impair the quality of the meat.
Meuse Rhine Issel cattle
Van den Berg works exclusively with red and white cattle of the Meuse Rhine Issel breed. These purebred cows calve twice before they are sent for fattening at about two and a half years. In the field or in the cattle sheds they are fed a traditional diet: a balanced mix of sugar beet pulp, straw, concentrated feed and water. The secret to the mix lies in the precise proportions worked out by Van den Berg and the fatteners, the brothers Kooter. All the ingredients have to be of the highest quality to achieve a superior product.
Steak Tartare of MRIJ of Piet van den Berg
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