How we achieve perfection and why we’re different.
Rearing Longhorn Cattle
The herd at Great Berwick produces 100% Longhorn beef (not cross-bred) from pedigree cows, where the calves spend their first year growing on their mother’s milk. The young stock are then allowed to grow on naturally and are taken up to between 24/29 months old where they finish in a relaxed mature manner.
We believe that the animals lifestyle has an important effect on the quality of the end product and we therefore take much care in rearing our Longhorn cattle. A peaceful and stress free upbringing creates relaxed muscles and it’s those relaxed muscles that equate to tender, supple beef.
This lifestyle is very much enhanced by their surroundings, grazing on traditional sweet river meadows enriched by thousands of years of winter flooding. The flooding leaves fertile deposits full of trace elements which alongside a herb rich grass diet is turned into delicious tasting meat. Our philosophy is that cows should eat what they’re designed to eat and that’s grass! Therefore our cattle are reared on a strictly non-intensive grass fed system. Some of the intensive beef enterprises feed a lot of corn (carbohydrates) which results in fast grown, flavourless meat which is very often found in the supermarkets.
The Ageing Process
When the cattle (usually castrated males) have reached maturity between 24—29 months we take them, a short distance, to a small Organic abattoir at Bishops Castle.
The sides of beef then return to our own purpose built cold room on the Farm to be dry aged on the bone. The forequarter is hung for 21 days (3 weeks) the industry standard is 7 days and the hindquarter gets 35 days (5 weeks) the industry standard 21 days. This gives us complete control and results in beef with a wonderfully, buttery, nutty taste.
Many of our customers make the comment that our beef tastes like beef used to taste. Afterall it was the Longhorn which made England famous for it’s Roast Beef!
We guarantee that the whole carcass is hung and properly matured and we never compromise our quality by cutting early to meet demand. We employ a Master Butcher to break down the carcase and present the beef to the highest standard.
Organic Beef Farmers
We’re also proud of the fact that our beef has the lowest possible carbon footprint, with very few food miles involved in taking them from the field to being ready to be sold to you. All the hot water used in the cutting room is generated by a large log boiler and all our day time electrical power is produced by a 50kw solar panel array.
No extra feed is bought in as they only need grass, clover and lucerne to mature naturally and slowly without being pushed or fattened with corn from Australia or soya shipped from the Amazon. We also feed straw generated by our cereal enterprise.
Our Longhorns have a harmonious relationship with our organic cereal production. The cows eat the clover rich grass and at the same time the clover is working wonders under the surface by locking in the naturally occurring nitrogen. This, in turn, helps produce better cereal yields.
The manure produced by the cows also has enormous benefits adding nutrients and essential organic matter to the soil structure.
As Organic Farmers (we are registered and regulated by Organic Farmers and Growers), we don’t use any chemicals or artificial fertilizers, instead we harness and work alongside nature.