Slow Food Supporters Swaledale Butchers provide meat to some of the finest restaurants in the UK – think temple of meat St John amongst many.
Specialising in native breeds, many of which are in the Ark of Taste, Swaledale are whole carcass butchers: they take the entire animal from farmers from the finest farms (mostly in the Yorkshire Dales) then cut it into joints after perfectly hanging the meat.
It is of course fairly easy to sell prime cuts – the steaks and prime roasting joints, but it’s those other parts of the animal which take a little more cooking which also give wonderful flavour.
Here comes the magic of Swaledale’s meat boxes which contain many of these cuts which benefit from low and slow cooking; the type of cut which you can pop into a Slow Cooker or into a cast iron pan, bring to temperture, turn down the heat and forget about it for an hour or two. Using far less fuel, these tasty cuts are not only cheaper to buy, but cheaper to cook too.
So how does the meat taste? Diced beef came well marbled, dense, and cooked to melting tenderness with rich flavour – more steak than beef. Minced beef cooked into a chilli in the bottom of the oven was deeply savoury, beefy and rich – so flavourful and sustaining that you need less than even premium supermarket mince.
Superlative meat, from regenerative farms supporting native breeds at phenomenal value. This is Sunday night supper from now until the end of winter.
1 Swaledale pack diced beef
1 Bottle of beer (500ml + 500ml water) or 1 bottle red wine + 300 ml water
1 Bunch herbs – thyme, bay.
Butter, dripping or oil for frying
Brown meat in small batches – don’t overcrowd the pan – in a little butter, dripping or oil. Remove from pan
Roughly chop veg and batch cook in pan, again taking care not to overcrowd the pan.
When both meat and veg are browned/lightly cooked, return back to the pan, add beer/wine and herbs
Bring to a simmer, lid on the pan, and gently cook for 1.5 hours until meat is meltingly tender
Serve with mashed potatoes and cabbage
For recipes by Slow Food Cooks’ Alliance member Valentine Warner using Swaledale meat visit https://journal.swaledale.co.uk/recipes/