I have recently been purchasing my meat from Swaledale Foods. They are a small collaboration of chefs & butchers based in Yorkshire with a total dedication to supplying exceptional native breed meat, taking time to consider breed, feed, length of time ageing & butchery techniques.
Swaledale work with a selection of small farms in the Yorkshire Dales who are passionate about their craft. Their farms rear traditional breeds (which at one time were becoming forgotten due an increase of commercial farming) which take longer to mature. Their cattle for example are generally 4-6 years old whereas commercial animals can be a young 14 months.
Beef breeds include the rugged striped Belted Galloway, the shaggy orange coated Highland & the smaller Celtic beauty the Dexter. These traditional breeds are ideally suited to our climate & terrain especially the Belted Galloway & highland who can remain outdoors on the moors all year round grazing on a totally natural diet of luscious grasses, wild herbs & flowers. Being reared outdoors all year round the land is being fertilized stimulating plant & wildflower growth. As they are reared on solely grass & hay based diets there isn’t the need for large areas of our country side to be cleared destroying a variety of plants & wildlife life for the production of grain feed. In short resulting in a huge benefit to our environment & ecosystem.
Their lamb includes breeds such as their name sake ‘The Swaledale.’ These are often seen wandering the wild upland terrain of The Yorkshire Dales foraging for heather & wild grasses. Again like the beef breeds maturing slowly thus producing a robust, sweet flavour to their meat.
Their pork is a real treat too featuring breeds such as the ‘orange beauty’ the Tamworth or the ‘beautifully ugly’ Yorkshire favourite the middle white. Both breeds thriving outdoors producing fantastic flavoursome pork with a generous fat content & marbling.
Their meat is then carefully aged-the beef in their Himalayan salt room, then expertly butchered. With all these steps from field to plate patiently & passionately carried out it is no surprise the most exceptional product is produced. I’ve enjoyed cooking a variety of their goods and whether it be their ‘Higland’ Cote de bouef with its wonderful marbling, Swaledale Lamb rumps with their rich herbal flavour or their Middle white pork with it’s sweet porky flavour & snowy white fat which enables the most superb crackling I cannot recommend them enough.
Swaledale Foods supply some of the country’s best restaurants and gastro pubs but now offer a service delivering Yorkshire’s finest meat to your door. Check them out at www.swaledale.co.uk