Beef and Mutton from the Carmarthenshire hills
Our aim is to bring you the best beef and mutton you will ever taste. The secret is (1) older animals, (2) grass-feeding and (3) super-ageing after slaughter. Wernlwyd (Eng: Grey Alders) is not certified organic but we employ organic principles. Our pasture has not been reseeded for years, most of it for generations. Over that time it has become naturalised with wild grasses and flowers. That brings higher welfare and improves quality.
We look for retired heritage suckler cows around five years of age before slaughter. Supermarket beef is slaughtered at 30 months. But those additional years bring more flavour. Not only that, but we hang each side of beef in the chiller for no less than fifty-six days. At that point something extraordinary begins to happen. The increase in tenderness is dramatic. The taste becomes deeper and more complex. The meat enzymes have done their work! We begin to approach, if you will forgive the expression, ‘meatopia’.
Contrary to what you might hear, the environmental impact of raising sheep and cattle is low. Our animals hang out in fields during the summer and eat silage, harvested grass, in winter. They are NEVER ‘finished’ on grain in ‘feed-lots’.
After all, sheep and cattle are grazing animals. Their digestive system with its four stomachs is far more complex than ours. Ruminants are inefficient at digesting grain but perfectly-designed to extract every last ounce of nutrition out of grass and meadow flowers. 26% of the earth’s surface is pasture. Ruminants are prey animals whose purpose on this earth is to convert what we cannot eat (that’s grass) slowly but surely into what we can – high-quality, high-protein muscle meat.
Talking of the environment, these days produce can be flown half-way round the world to satisfy modern food fads. When you choose our super-aged beef or mutton, you know the animals have been well cared-for and you are buying local, from farm to fork, keeping those food miles to the bare minimum.
Our meat costs little than what supermarkets charge for their highest quality. But the similarity ends there. Our older stock means more flavour and our extreme hanging brings taste the ‘big boys’, with their need for throughput, can only dream of. By buying direct from the farm, you know what you are eating has been well cared for. And we know our customers appreciate the very best.