Hazel, willow and storytelling from Bedfordshire

Red Poll beef

Great tasting beef…

..produced slowly using a system that minimises our impact on the environment, maximises the welfare of our animals and protects a beautiful piece of Bedfordshire. That’s the ideal anyway!


 

Next fresh beef day announced

Our next fresh beef will be available on Thursday 20 October 2016. To place an order please download our order form, which includes prices. Complete the form and return it to us by some means or other, or just call or send us a list.

We will be in touch to confirm your order. Just drop in to collect on 20 October. Simple? If you need advice about anything beef-related (you could try us on other matters but the accuracy of our responses might vary), please talk to us – we know a fair amount about the multitude of cuts available and how to cook them. If we don’t know, we’ll do whatever we can to find an answer for you.

Download the order form


 

This page focuses on our Red Poll beef. If you’d like to read about the farm and the cattle, click here.

Red Polls grazing our old meadows

Red Polls grazing our old meadows

We are a very small producer and sell most of our beef to customers who live within a handful of miles. To make sure you hear when fresh beef will next be for sale, please click on the link to the right and sign up to receive news including our next beef dates.


Comments from some of our customers…

“Just a quick note to say how much we have been enjoying your beef – it really is very very good, easily equaling the best beef we’ve had, in Scotland! – and such a treat, as meat really should be. We don’t eat all that much meat these days, but to have a store of such good beef to break into in the freezer every couple of weeks or so is working out really well for us, as a treat to look forward to every so often” Richard, Shillington

“.. the fillet was probably the best steak we’ve ever tasted…”  Joan, Bedford

“We have eaten beef in many different places all over the world… ..and have to say that this was the best piece of meat we have ever eaten”.  from a letter to the Gravenhurst Grapevine magazine.

The beef was as good as it looked, and I have to say absolutely marvellous cold in a sandwich the day after. Mmmmmm Phil, Oakley

Dear Jane, I just wanted to email and say that we had beef stew tonight and I must say that is the best stew I have ever tasted!!! I never knew what the fuss was about with beef until now – it tastes completely different and we get all our beef from the farmers market usually!! Debbie, Huntingdon

A very belated email to thank you for providing us with such delicious meat.  The braising steak we had was the best I honestly have ever tasted – it was so tender.  The beef burgers were exactly the same and it was the first time in my life that I have grilled burgers and not been left with a grill pan full of fat – I was amazed.

Meant to say how much we enjoyed the beef I bought last weekend. Lovely tender meat with a great flavour. Even the children gobbled it up which is a HUGE recommendation… Kit

Our System

In our extensive system, steers are ready for killing at 24-28 months, compared to more intensive practice where animals can be killed as young as 18 months. Our single suckler herd allows calves to suckle milk to around the age of seven or eight months and grow quickly in the most natural way possible. The herd grazes beautiful riverside meadows that are in the Countryside Stewardship Scheme, for most of the year, eating fresh grass and a wide range of herbage in the summer months and our own hay and a little bought-in feed over the winter.

All of which adds up to contented cattle.

Omega-3 fatty acids and grass-fed animals

This is an area that we’ve steered clear of up to now. That’s partly because we don’t wish to suggest anything about our beef that we don’t know to be true and partly because we don’t really want to be seen as part of a wild and radical fringe. Actually, we’re probably ok with the latter – just a bit worried about losing the support of some of our customers.

Ready to bale? Making hay for winter feed

Ready to bale? Making hay for winter feed

It seems that the levels of omega-3 fatty acids in meat derived from animals that eat grass is higher than from those that are fed cereals. This doesn’t seem to be a controversial statement to make. Here’s a snippet from a research finding originally published in Nature, and cited at Wikipedia.

“Omega 3 fatty acids are formed in the chloroplasts of green leaves and algae. While seaweeds and algae are the source of omega 3 fatty acids present in fish, grass is the source of omega 3 fatty acids present in grass fed meats. When cattle are taken off omega 3 fatty acid rich grass and shipped to a feedlot to be fattened on omega 3 fatty acid deficient grain, they begin losing their store of this beneficial fat. Each day that an animal spends in the feedlot, the amount of omega 3 fatty acids in its meat is diminished”.

The controversial next step is the health claims made about omega-3 fatty acids. There’s more information in that Wiki reference above and loads of stuff, particularly American, elsewhere on the net. Still for all of you who pack away tons of oily fish every week, it might be that the occasional Wassledine steak or beef stew might be just what you need.

From Field to Fork

Having watched the whole process of slaughter from start to finish (thanks to EBLEX and Dawn Meats, Cardington), we are convinced that the most stressful part of the process is transportation. Killing on the farm is not possible so the next best option is to make the journey to the slaughter house a short one.

Slaughter
We use the services of Evans of Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, to kill our animals, a trip of about 12 miles which takes less than 30 minutes.

Butchering meat beautifully is a highly skilled task

Butchering meat beautifully is a highly skilled task

Butchery
From the abattoir the carcase is collected by the butcher and hung for 3 – 4 weeks. This allows the beef to develop a fantastic depth of flavour. The butcher then cuts and packs the beef according to our customers’ orders.

Point of sale
We receive meat back, all vacuum-packed, weighed and labelled ready for us to deliver direct to our local customers on the same day. Any not with customers on that day is frozen.

Join our customer list

If you would like to know when our beef will next be available and to be added to our customer list, have a look at the top of this page or contact us.  We are currently a very small producer – killing only four or so animals each year, so we don’t always have fresh beef available.

Ordering
Once on our list, we will let you know when beef will next be available. You place an order and your fresh meat will be ready for collection or delivery on a specific date.

Delivery and collection
We currently do not mail order meat. We can deliver free in Gravenhurst. Otherwise you will need to collect by prior arrangement.

Frozen meat
Available throughout the year – please contact us.

Favourite beef recipes
Top side minute steak being prepared for a ragu

Top side minute steak being prepared for a ragu

Here are some recipes that we like, that have been recommended or that we just like the look of. Why not give one or two a try? Fancy sharing a favourite? We’d love to include yours here – let us know.

Elke’s Rinde rouladen – a German take on slow cooked, rolled topside steaks; similar to the ragu recipe below and just as good. Thanks Elke!
Norma Vogt-Carney’s Pot Roast – We are grateful to Vicki Chappell-Apling, now of Cardington for passing on her step mother’s recipe for chuck or brisket, which sounds fantastic.
Boiled beef and carrots – we know a song about that (well not really, but you know what I mean). Something very traditional to do with salt beef.
Spiced beef – another salt beef recipe which must be in the running for the longest cooking award (assuming there is one?)
Stuffed beef rolls in tomato ragu – apparently a very traditional Sunday lunch in southern Italy; absolutely fantastic!
Sylvia’s Westmoreland steak – a simple slow cook recipe using stewing steak, with a great-looking cheese crust
Margaret’s burgers – easy to make and lovely to eat
Bresaola – a ‘classic Italian salt-cure’ that makes something extremely special from a silverside joint. Quite a lengthy process but definitely worth it.
Winter warming casserole – recommended by our daughter who copied it from a library book
Slow cooked silverside with bacon and Guinness – a simple, hearty pot roast of beef in Guinness that is a great no-fuss dish for larger gatherings of friends and family.

Get In Touch

  Address: 45 Clophill Road, Gravenhurst, Bedford, MK45 4JH

  Phone: 01462 711815

  Mobile: 07794 013876

  Web: http://wassledine.co.uk

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