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How we Select and Hang our Beef

When you are one of Britain’s best butchers it is important that our quality matches our skills and customer service; therefore we use our superior knowledge to select our superior beef.

We are very conscious of animal welfare and the feeds our animals receive; therefore, we will not buy from a farmer until we have inspected the farm. Our master butchers will make a site visit to a farm before we place them on our supplier list and this is followed by an independent inspection, commissioned by Chadwick’s Butchers. The European Food Safety Inspection Service (EFSIS) will inspect the site unannounced; they will consider animal welfare, feed processes, feed, the paperwork and passports of the animals.

Another one of our important standards is that we like our animals to be grass fed in the summer and in the winter when the weather is bad, and it isn’t possible grass feed the animals, we like them to be fed the barley and other feeds that are grown on the farm or locally. Such important standards ensure that the animal welfare is at it’s best and that the beef when produced will be tender and have a fabulous flavour with plenty of marbling and good conformation.

Our next requirement is the animals themselves must be pure bred; why pure bred? By choosing only rare breeds such as Red Poll, British white, Aberdeen Angus, Dexter Beef, Charolais and many others; we ensure the survival of the breeds as many of the above mentioned breeds were almost extinct 15 years ago. Another reason is that Rare Breeds are slow growing animals and therefore we are certain that the animal will never have been given growth hormones as such action would cause defects which is why they are not used by the big producers. Slow growing animals will ensure that the bone and muscle ratio is in correct proportion to the animals size.

Supermarkets will only use animals that are cross-bred and cross-bred again until they find the leanest and most suitable size for their use. This is based on size, conformaty of fat and lean content and quickness of growth which will force down the price. If an animal is too fat then the butchers in the factories will have to trim it, costing time, creating waste and inevitably more important for them is the loss of profit. Also, if they take too long to grow this will also add to the price due to feed costs and management costs. In contrast we only specify a that the animal is not overly fat and the size does not matter only the breed; the size is therefore determined by the breed.

We do prefer hiefer to bull meat as it tends to be sweeter and lighter, nevertheless we will buy bull meat with the right assurances from our farmer, however, this is rare as bulls are a very valuable asset to a small farmer.

There are other important technical specifications that we could use to determine fat coverage and meat content, however, we believe putting such restrictions on a farmer will inevitably lead to a more structured farming process and a less traditional approach.

When we hang our beef the time given to hanging is determined by the cut; for instance, we will hang the rib of beef from 21 days to 40 days. In fact we are already hanging ribs of beef for easter and have been hanging them for the last 2 weeks. In contrast the fore beef which is used for casseroles and stews will only need 10 to 14 days. The steaks such as sirloin, fillet and rump will need 21 -28 days and the topside around 21 days.

Why is our beef is superior and will always be superior to that of the supermarkets and big producers? They are tied in knots by the ‘profit gods’ where as we do our job because we love the people we work with and the community we live in and most importantly the customers we serve.

Tradition with Taste

  • March 16th, 2013