Celebrate National Beef Week
A new initiative - The Great British Beef Week - has been launched with the help of Countryfile presenter and farmer, Adam Henson. We talk to local Somerset butchers for their top tips
The Great British Beef Week
A new initiative - The Great British Beef Week - has been launched with the help of Countryfile presenter and farmer, Adam Henson. The week is due to run from 23 to 29 April. The purpose of the week is to encourage consumer purchasing of British beef, focus on the attributes of British beef including the Quality and taste of the product and to highlight why British beef is sustainable i.e. the care taken on welfare, care of the countryside and protection of the environment.
The initiative organised by Wiltshire County Chairman, Minette Batters, along with other 'Ladies in Beef' throughout the country, aims to promote British Red Tractor beef as part of a healthy diet.
As well as independent butchers’ shops promoting the week, the NFU is encouraging major retailers to do the same, with opportunities for in-store promotion. Each retailer would then be able to use the Ladies in Beef brand on-pack and in store. The NFU believe that this would give major retailers an opportunity to convey their commitment to British beef while also allowing them a great opportunity to sell more British beef.
In honour of the Great British Beef Week, we spoke to local butchers about their favourite cut and recipe ideas:
Jon Thorner’s is an established butchery business and has been operating for over 30 years. Butchers Andrew and Sam, based at the Bridge Farm Shop in Pylle, offer us some advice on West Country beef, to help you choose the best cut to celebrate British Beef Week.
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“If you are looking for a superb tasting roasting joint, choose the 21-day aged Fore Rib of Beef. This is a carvery joint, meaning it has the bone in, which is why it has such great flavour. Our advice would be to serve it rare to maximise the taste; a fantastic choice for your Easter Sunday lunch with all the family.
A prime 21-day aged Sirloin makes a great steak and an alternative roast as a rolled joint. The rump steak is a particular favourite, because even though it is a cheaper cut, the quality is excellent and offers so much flavour.
Although not an obvious choice for casserole, we believe shin of beef will give you the best flavour for slow cooked dishes. It’s an inexpensive way to feed the guests over the Easter holidays too.”
Wedmore butcher James Hector recommends a tasty recipe for spiced rib of beef with red wine gravy.
The dish is made using boneless rib of beef, sirloin or traditional rump roast, cooked with allspice, ground nutmeg and port. A good red wine is needed for the gravy.
“Garnish the beef with fresh rosemary and serve with seasonal vegetables,” suggests James, of Hector’s Farm Shop.
Hector’s Farm Shop Spiced Rib of Beef with Red Wine Gravy
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook Time Rare: 20 mins per 400g/1lb plus 20mins
Medium: 25 mins per 400g/1lb plus 25mins
Well done: 30 mins per 400g/1lb plus 30mins
2.7kg/6lb lean boneless rib of beef, sirloin or traditional rump roast
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
10ml/ 2tsp ground allspice
10ml/ 2tsp mace
5ml/ 1tsp ground nutmeg
40g/ 1�oz light soft brown sugar
45ml/ 3tbsp Port
For the red wine gravy
15ml/ 1tbsp plain flour
300ml/ � pint good hot beef stock
300ml/ � pint good red wine
Preheat the oven to Gas mark 4-5, 180-190�C, 350-375 �F. In a small bowl; mix the spices and the sugar together. Place the joint on a chopping board; make several slashes over the surface of the joint, taking care not to cut the butcher’s string and season. Coat on both sides with the spice mixture. Place the joint on a rack in a roasting tin and open roast for the preferred, calculated cooking time. Cover with foil if browning too quickly. Ten minuets before the end of the cooking time remove the joint from the oven and brush with the port. Return to the oven for the remainder of the time. Remove the beef from the oven, cover and leave to rest for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, to make the gravy; spoon off any excess fat from the roasting tin and discard. Place the tin over a medium heat and sprinkle with flour. Stir well with a small whisk or spoon, add a little stock and stir again, scraping the base of the pan to release any rich, beefy sediment. Add the remaining stock, wine and any meat juices from the platter. Adjust the seasoning, if required and simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally or until reduced to a well-flavoured gravy. Strain before serving. Garnish the beef with fresh rosemary leaves and serve with seasonal vegetables and the gravy.