At Country Creatures we carefully select all our suppliers to provide us with the very best of products: British companies with the highest regard for sustainability, animal welfare and attention to detail to produce the highest quality food, drink and everything else we use across our inns and pubs. We wanted to showcase some of these companies through our Country Creatures Supplier Series to share some of the highest level of producers engaging in non intensive and traditional techniques to create some of the best tasting and highest quality products around.
For part three of our series we are shining a spotlight on Taste Tradition; farmers and butchers based in Yorkshire specialising in rare breeds. Taste tradition use traditional methods of breeding, rearing and finishing livestock and the breeds chosen are well suited to outdoor rearing and quite simply, taste incredible. They connect the farmer and the master butcher in a unique partnership to supply from field to plate across the full range of the highest quality meat products. We are delighted that Taste Tradition will be supplying a range of meats to the Double Red Duke including some of their fantastic Longhorn steaks.
We caught up with Charles Ashbridge, funder and managing director of Taste Tradition to ask him a few questions.
The Ashbridge family have been farming within the North Yorkshire Moors for the last 3 generations. In 2004 myself and my mother Joyce had an idea to sell our traditionally raised, high welfare meat to the hospitality sector. Rare breeds were our main focus as they produced the best tasting meat.
Traditional methods and high welfare are paramount at Taste Tradition. We still have farming systems in place now that were evident in my Grandfathers day. Often these farming methods are passed from generation to generation without knowing.
Over the past 5 years Taste Tradition has actively looked to improving our sustainability, we have put our farm into an Environmental Stewardship scheme, we have rewilded some of our land and we are reducing the amount of soya fed in any of our diets. Our long term plan is to have soya free diets.
The breed, feed, and management are all critical to ensuring we produce good quality meat, the dry aging and butchery is equally important to ensure we provide the desired eating experience.
This is a difficult question for me, I love slow cooked meats like a brisket or a shoulder of lamb, I can think of nothing better than a fat pork belly with great crackling on a winter’s day but currently I would put a beef rump cap at the top of my list. It must have a good covering of fat and be dry aged. I take the meat out of the fridge and let it stand until its room temp then generously season it. I seal the meat in a pan on the hot ring and then place the rump cap in the slow oven of our AGA, that allows me to forget it without it over cooking. There is no fine art to how I cook it but generally the rich beefy smell reminds me to take it out of the oven when I go back in the house. The hardest part it letting it rest before eating.