From Farm to Plate Series Launched.

 

Recently, we worked with our fishing boat crews, Farm Shop fishmongers and local chef Michael Caines to create a series of three films, ‘From Boat to Plate’. The films followed the journey our fresh fish takes, from leaving the sea and being prepared and sold by the Greendale fishmongers to being made into a delicious finished dish. Now, we’ve created three new films to tell the story of Greendale beef in exactly the same way. Titled ‘From Farm to Plate’, the series begins with the Greendale beef herd as it grazes above the Jurassic coast, moves on to visit the double award-winning butchers at our Farm Shop, and ends at the Salutation Inn in Topsham, where chef Tom Williams-Hawkes prepares a special beef dish.

These films are part of our campaign to promote the very best of local food and drink; we want our customers to understand the benefits of buying local, particularly traceability, high quality and low food-mileage. The films are intended as a sort of ‘window’ into the Greendale supply chain, showing customers exactly where their fresh fish and meat have come from.

 
 

PART 1 - THE CATTLE

In this first film we catch up with Sam, our Farm Manager, as he checks the Greendale herd. An early riser, Sam is up and about while most of us are still tucked up in bed, and on his way out to the coast above Ladram Bay to check our beef cattle are healthy and happy. Bathed in glorious autumn sunshine, it’s hard not to envy Sam his job just a little - especially with the stunning coastal views he enjoys on a daily basis (he assures us that the view makes up for the less-than-sunny moments!). A mixture of Aberdeen Angus and Charolais, Greendale’s beef herd is fed a grass-based diet, enjoying the fresh air of our coastal pastureland. Sam has several years’ experience of managing cattle, with a practised eye for any sign of trouble. He’s also serious about animal welfare, and works hard to implement the rigorous guidelines laid out by the Red Tractor Farm Assurance Scheme. When the time comes to select cattle for slaughter, Sam sends them to a local abattoir just eight miles away, helping to keep the animals’ stress levels to a minimum. Sam knows that when the beef is delivered to Greendale Farm Shop, his careful management is much appreciated – customers love the flavour and quality of Greendale beef, which is the direct result of the animals’ diet and lifestyle, and Sam’s hard work!

 

PART 2: THE BUTCHERS

For the second of our films, we head over to Greendale Farm Shop to meet Richard, one of our Master Butchers. As we arrive, Richard is taking delivery of some Greendale beef from the local abattoir. The butchers meet up regularly with Sam, Greendale’s Farm Manager (and star of our first film!) to choose cattle for the Farm Shop. The abattoir is close to the pastures where the herd grazes – and less than eight miles from the Farm Shop – which means any stressful transportation while the animals are alive can be kept to a minimum. The Farm Shop has its own, purpose-built facility on site where the carcasses are hung, on the bone, for a minimum of 21 days. This allows the meat to mature, developing wonderful tenderness and flavour. Today’s delivery includes hindquarters, which Richard uses to show us where the ever-popular Sirloin joint comes from. Marbled with just the right amount of fat, and easy to cook, the Sirloin is Richard’s favourite – and if the butcher himself recommends it, you know it has to be good! Richard then moves on to show us the fore-quarter, explaining that he’ll be preparing a cut known as ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ (or flat rib) from it for chef Tom at The Salutation Inn. Tom has requested a cut from the middle, which is widely regarded as the best; nicely marbled, this delicious joint will roast slowly, and the bone is left in so that the meat develops deep, rich flavour as it cooks.

 

PART 3 - THE RESTAURANT

For the third and final film in our series, we travel the short distance from the butchers at Greendale Farm Shop to The Salutation Inn in nearby Topsham. Here, we meet Chef Tom Williams-Hawkes just after taking delivery of his Greendale beef order, and watch as he prepares two delicious dishes to serve in the Salutation’s award-winning restaurant. Tom is a big fan of buying local. Having paid a visit to Greendale Farm Shop’s specially designed facility, he knows our beef has been treated with respect; from Sam’s care of the cattle herd through to the proper hanging and preparation of each carcase by our skilled butchers, he can rely on Greendale to provide consistently high quality, great-tasting beef. As Tom says, Greendale beef is ‘on the doorstep’, which means he can be sure of its provenance and also keep food-miles to a minimum.

 
John Williams