Butcher’s Week 2020
The week ahead is National Butchers Week – the perfect opportunity to highlight the incredible local produce that we use here at Lympstone Manor.
One of Michael’s favourite ingredients is beef from the Devon native, Ruby Red variety, which is supplied by Darts Farm; merely 4 miles away. We are extremely proud to work with Darts Farm because the beef on their butchery counter comes from animals which they have reared themselves. Darts Farm also sources from father and son farmers, David and Tom Lockwood of Cullompton, who share both ours, and Dart Farms’ passion for rearing great beef.
Darts Farm hangs the beef in their dry-ageing chamber which is filled with Himalayan rock salt bricks to draw the moisture out of the meat as it ages. It is then traditionally butchered by our team and the labour of love results in exceptional eating.
Darts Farm list six reasons why it’s the best beef on offer:
1 – Exacting Standards. Because they keep their supply chains so small and local, they know everything there is to know about the beef that ends up in the butchery as they go to market to hand select young stock (8-12 months old) themselves. They buy from farmers they’ve built relationships with for over 30 years and favour those on Exmoor as they rear hardier breeds such as the Devons which make for great eating. Being able to champion native Ruby Red Devon Cattle in their butchery is truly amazing. This is an indigenous Devon breed which produces amazingly good beef with a perfect balance of fat to lean. Once selected, they bring the animals back to Darts and turn them out to graze on the banks of the River Cyst, a small tributary of the Exe Estuary, where they slowly reach their natural maturity.
2 – Exceptional Animal Welfare. The fact that the cattle spend most of their lives grazing outdoors and are not forced, but are allowed to grow slowly, shows in the eating. It’s all about keeping the stress levels of the animals low and that also comes as a result of buying them from local farms so they don’t have to travel far.
3 – Low Food Miles. Everything about the production of their beef is local: even the food that the animals are finished on is grown on their farm, including hay, corn, maize and silage. Sustainability, like for us, is incredibly important for Darts Farm.
4 – Supporting Devon Farmers. Darts Farm is passionate about putting back into the local community and that’s why they buy from local farms and use services in the local area. They work with farmers such as David and Tom Lockwood at Venn Farm in Cullompton, who prides themselves on the same high standards that we adhere to.
5 – Extraordinary Dedication. Darts Farm has a long history of being real butchers and they have a real passion for it. That starts at their farm and making sure the animals are looked after and fed well. That level of input makes them unusual; hardly anyone does what they do, but it results in the finest beef they can create.
6 – Matured for Taste. Darts pays a huge amount of attention to maturing their beef as it results in the best flavour and tenderness. They hang the beef in quarters – the biggest pieces possible – in the maturing fridge for four weeks. It’s a system they’ve developed so that they can control the humidity carefully and therefore mature the beef for longer. They also use Himalayan rock salt in the fridge as it purifies the air and removes moisture. Hanging the meat for a substantial time gives all the cuts extra flavour and tenderness.
This strict policy ensures that all the ingredients used across the Michael Caines Collection are of the highest quality and why we’re proud to call ourselves champions for local produce.
To read more about Darts Farm, click here.