With just 7 weeks until Christmas and our Order Book filling up rapidly this is a timely reminder to place your orders for the festive season sooner rather than later so as to avoid disappointment.
We will be offering our Christmas Box again, which is a super dooper present for nearest and dearest, but we can, of course, put together any combination of the items on our website and include a personalised Christmas message.
The Nation has just celebrated Great British Beef Week. Consumers have been encouraged to support Britain's beef farmers by 'Beefing up their butty'. Research shows that the humble sandwich is increasingly becoming the meal of choice for time pressed families. The campaign has concentrated on getting the very best from beef, from creating a show stopping Roast, using the leftovers in a proper butty, to advising on the huge range of steaks which are available.
We're absolutely delighted to announce the arrival of our first ever Longhorn twins at Great Berwick. Two bonny little heifers with a very proud Mummy. They will be two of our breeding cows for the future.
We love this time of year and the arrival of new calves reinforces just how wonderful the cycle of the farming year really is. Happy Easter!
The last couple of months have flown by in a whirlwind. The Great Berwick Team (Sarah, Martin and Mike) pulled out all the stops to meet an unprecedented demand for Christmas beef. Our Courier APC/TWC collected and delivered in a timely and efficient manner and our new eco-friendly Woolcool packaging appears to have worked brilliantly. We've had some wonderful feedback from customers. So, THANK YOU to everyone involved! Without every link in the chain we'd be unable to do what we do. We are enormously grateful for all the support and encouragement you give us and we look forward to supplying more of our beef to you throughout 2016.
There is still time to place orders for Christmas and New Year. Our last despatch date is Tuesday 22nd for delivery on Wednesday 23rd. Supplies are limited but we do have Fillet, Rolled Sirloin and Topside as well as the Slow Cook joints and cuts. Also, if you're struggling to know what to buy for your nearest and dearest, how about one of our Mixed Boxes? This is our Christmas one and it includes a bottle of red and jars of hot/creamy horseradish and beetroot relish.
Team Longhorn are busy gearing up for an exciting weekend ahead at the Ludlow Food Festival which takes place on Friday 11th, Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th September in Ludlow Castle grounds. It’s an amazing event and it promises to be especially so as this year marks it’s 21st Anniversary. Great Berwick Organics will be there serving Roast Beef rolls and Longhorn Burgers and we’ll also be selling beef from our chilled meat counter.
Spring has arrived and here at Great Berwick we’re surrounded by the joy of new life and the expectation which comes with it. Now the ground is drier and warmer we’ve been busy cultivating and planting new seeds for this year’s harvest. We’re also starting to plan ahead for the Summer and Autumn Food Festivals at Shrewsbury and Ludlow. This Easter weekend promises to be a busy one too with our regular pitch at the Shrewsbury Farmers Market which is taking place on Good Friday. We’re really looking forward to seeing all our regular customers and to meeting and introducing potential customers to our wonderful Longhorn Beef. Happy Easter!
Just look at the Spring sun on her face! She's not the only one who's enjoying the brighter, longer, warmer days. The ground has dried out and warmed up beautifully over the last few days which heralds the arrival of the seed drill. Our team has been flat out ploughing, cultivating, harrowing and rolling in readiness for this years crops of spring barley, linseed and quinoa. Quinoa is something new in Britain and we are very excited to be the first UK farmers to be growing it organically. With increasing numbers of people opting for gluten free diets this is one of the grains which fills the gap.
Our cows are looking good too having wintered well on good silage and hay and with lovely thick beds of straw. They'll look even better once there is grass under their feet and they've got their Spring bloom. Rather appropriately our first 2015 calf was born on Mother's day and now the maternity field is beginning to fill up quickly.
Easter is fast approaching and although we're not offering any traditional organic lamb this year we do have some fabulous beef available. Please let us know if you'd like some.
With very best wishes for Easter and the year ahead.
Sam and Claire
Spring is in the air
On the move
It's always fun and a little bit nerve racking when we move some of the herd down the main Shrewsbury to Baschurch road, especially when we have one or two youngsters in the group. Making sure we have some of the older, wiser matriarchs who the routine helps to ease the journey.
Meanwhile the motorists, who's day was slowed up a bit whilst they waited for the procession to pass by, seemed to enjoy the spectacle!
Our recipe book shelf
Spot the theme? Whilst there is nothing better than a pure steak or classic roast beef, we're always looking for new and inspirational beef recipes. Our new website (yes, watch this space for further news on this) will feature some of our tried and tested favourites for you to try. If you have any recipes you'd like to share with us do please drop us a line.
Houghton Hall Joseph
We were pleased to have had our Vet's confirmation that this young man, who joined us from Houghton Hall, Norfolk in the autumn, and our other two bulls have been performing well over the last few months. For ease of management the herd is now split into two with one group calving in the Autumn and the other in the Spring.
Dates for your 2015 Diaries
27 & 28 June: Shrewsbury Food Festival
11, 12 & 13 September: Ludlow Food Festival
12 & 13 December: Shrewsbury Christmas Fair
First Friday of the month: Shrewsbury Farmers Market
Cooking perfect roast Beef.
We have learnt (mainly from our mistakes, trial and error and reading lots of different cook books) a fail safe way to cook most of our roasts (that is, if you like it pink in the middle). It's also great if you're unsure as to what time you are going to serve, as the meat will be at its optimum at any time.
Over-cooking our meat is a real shame, as everything we've done to reach this stage has been connected to presenting you with tender, juicy meat with tonnes of flavour. If you over cook it, dry it out and make it furry, it will make us cry! Believe us, we've been there.
So here's our advice:
Take the meat out of the packaging and let it breathe. Because our meat is dry aged you will notice some areas are much darker (almost black) than others, these will be areas of meat that have been exposed to air for up to 5 weeks, so it will almost have turned to billtong. In fact these are the most yummy bit of all when cooked. You will also find that the fat may have discoloured as well, but this is quite normal.
Next you need to seal the meat, this does several things; its adds colour and flavour to the outside of the meat by crisping it up. Secondly it helps seal in the moisture. Thirdly it starts a chain reaction though the enzymes, which weaken and tenderise the meat.
We use a blow torch. This is ideal as you can get into all the nooks and crannies where you might struggle with a pan of hot oil (but any method will do). Just a few seconds on each area is plenty.
Next pre heat the oven to 50°C(no less than 48°C or more than 52°C) which is easier said than done, unless you have a proper slow cooker, but it pays to check this also.
We find the best way to achieve this is to place a meat thermometer in a mug of water and then in the oven. Guess where you think 50°C is on the dial (as it's often not where you think it might be), turn it to that and wait an hour or so then check the reading and adjust up or down accordingly. Once you know where the dial needs to be you can trust that for future cooking.
Place the meat in the oven uncovered and sit back and relax.
You obviously need to allow the whole joint to reach that temperature, which you can check with your meat thermometer, then it's up to you how long you leave it in for.
The longer it is in, the more tender it should get, we recommend between 12 hrs and 24hrs, but don't go getting up at silly times of the day/night to achieve that, let it work for you.
Adjust the length of time to the type of joint. Silverside will need longer, as it's a less tender cut, whereas the Forerib only needs a short time as it's already really tender.
Half an hour before you intend to serve give it a quick blast for 10 - 20 mins at full heat (the length of time will depend on the size of the joint). Finally, take it out of the oven, cover with tin foil and leave it to relax for another 15-30 mins before carving. You will then have the most tender and tasty meat imaginable. You'll also find that it is a consistent colour throughout.
* Please note that we sell meat thermometers for £5 each - worth every penny.
This savoury crumble uses a delicious mixture of Diced Casserole, Skirt and Shin (all available on line or or through our butchery) to create a casserole which is then topped with grated potato and parsnip.
6tbsp Olive Oil
2kg Diced beef (mixture of Diced Casserol, Skirt & Shin)
3 Celery Sticks
3 tbsp plain flour
salt & pepper
2 Bay leaves
8 Sprigs of Thyme
2 Large Potatoes
4 Large Parsnips
2tbsp Black mustard seeds
20cm Piece of shin bone
Preheat the oven to 160C. Heat olive oil in large oven proof dish. Brown the beef in about 4 batches. Deglaze the dish with a little water and pour into the bowl of browned meat. Heat some more olive oil and soften chopped carrot, onion and celery. Return meat to dish and springle with flour. Add enough water or stock to almost cover the meat and then season with salt and pepper and stir. Add thyme and bay leaves and leave to simmer on low heat.
For the crust, grate the raw potatoees and parnips. In another pan melt the butter and add the mustard seeds. Toss the potatoes and parnips in the melted butter and mustard seeds so well coated and then spread over the casserole. Make a small gap in the middle of the crust and poke the shin bone into it so that it stands upright.
Cover in foil and bake for 2 hours, removing the foil after an hour to allow the crust to go crisp.