Swaledale Butchers in Yorkshire – There is a lot to be said about knowing where your food comes from. People today are becoming increasingly passionate about the food they eat, the environment in which the animal was raised, how it is fed, and whether the food is local, offering a lower carbon footprint.
Armed with this knowledge bridges the gap between farm to table, and having this connection develops a healthy relationship with food allowing people to appreciate and respect what they are serving. It allows for the understanding of how vegetables are grown, how cows are raised, or how whole wheat flour is produced and accentuates that eating should not be a fast mindless action, but rather an experience that also nourishes the body.
Improving the relationship people have with food can in turn improve the way people eat and their overall health.
Women Talking had the opportunity to try a selection of meats from Swaledale butchers; they are strictly whole-carcass, nose-to-tail butchers based in Yorkshire. Their passion, expertise, and dedication are to supply native livestock breeds of Britain to homes and businesses throughout the UK and from our experience, the quality and taste have been exceptional.
Historically in the UK, we have farmed traditional breeds of cattle, they are well-adapted to our climate and able to flourish on the terrain. Take for example the hardy Belted Galloway left to graze on The Dales year-round, they don’t just survive there, they thrive. The Beltie’s natural ability to forage acres of relatively rough grazing, and convert this low-level nutrition into stunning, highly marbled beef, makes them ideally suited to their surroundings.
You should make a point to be aware of what you are putting into your body and your family’s bodies. The mass commodification of meat for low-priced supermarket-style retail has favoured fast-growing, lean, and high-yielding continental breeds. The life span of these cattle is usually short to optimise profitability, with the cost of supplementary feed being measured as it converts to grams of meat on the carcass. Buying packaged and processed food means that you are buying a bunch of ‘extras’ that you may not want to be consuming.
Slower maturing, grass-fed, native British breeds live for years longer than commercial breeds, and in terms of fat content, texture, and depth of flavour, there is no comparison. Consumers are often amazed by the difference in taste, but this should come as no surprise when you consider the difference in their lives.
Eating local also means a smaller carbon footprint, your food doesn’t have to travel as far to get to your plate. Less travel means fewer carbon emissions negatively impacting the environment.
We love The Swaledale Classic Steak Meat Box, which contained their traditional breeds of cattle, such as Dexter, Highland, and Belted Galloway, slowly grown on limestone pasture and high-quality hay, then properly dry-aged on the bone in their Himalayan salt aging room for >28 days. The box features 3 classic prime steaks – Sirloin, Ribeye, and Rump, perfect for a stylish BBQ or simply pan-fried over intense heat.
The Tuscan-style Pork, Fennel & Red Wine Sausage Meat, was a sheer delight. I can fully understand why this is one of their best sellers as this deceptively simple combination is perfect for a proper Italian ragù with pappardelle and parmesan, but also great crumbled onto a pizza.
They produce meat that is interesting to cook, flavoursome to eat and it arrived safely in a well-packed box for recyclable or compostable packaging.
For over a decade, Swaledale butchers have been working with some of the best chefs in the UK, their community of chefs have become great friends and often visit their farmers without whom, it goes without saying, none of this would be possible.