Buying Top quality meat ? why so hard ?

Clive

Staff Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lichfield
Why is this SO hard ?

One of the positives of this awful lockdown year for me so far is that I have had time to do something I have wanted for a long time ............. learn to cook

I spent some money saved from a canceled ski holiday on a fancy smoker BBQ (Big Green Egg) back in March and have cooked almost daily on it ever since, surprising myself with what I am actually capable of cooking and as a bonus, no one has died yet !

So as you get into these things, join Facebook groups, forums, watch youtube etc you start to get more ambitious and want to try more unusual things, it becomes more than just food, its a new hobby at this point and as a result what you become prepared to spend raises accordingly.

I'm not alone, there is a big scene of other middle-aged twits like me all into this, mostly with money to spend - I can't help but feel the UK livestock industry is missing out here

YET (and here is the point of this thread) Top quality meat, particularly the unusual (expensive) cuts are very hard to get? why is this? I read constantly on here that British grass fed beef is "better" but where is it when I come to try to buy it ?

The first stop was the village butcher in a village a few miles away (my village has no shops anymore sadly) It's all very traditional looking and surely worth a premium over the supermarkets ? ............. but no, I've come to learn the meat is nothing special, no real provenance and pre-cut from wholesalers just being retailed. Ther first time I asked for a Picanha for example they hadn't got a clue what I was on about, I had to google it for them and what I got, in the end, wasn't really done properly.

I tried another local butcher (a bit further away but of BIG local reputation, I ordered Brisket and it turned up rolled ! I asked for "packer cut" they had no idea what I was on about despite the internet and a million youtube video's about cooking such cuts

Jacobs ladder, beef short rib, 4 rib, Tomahawks etc all command premium prices but are really hard to get until you discover the gems that do butcher their own carcasses like Tori nad Bens Fram shop etc Grass-fed Longhorn with quality and provenance worth paying for proving that these places do exist and do know how to provide what customers like me want and reap the premium price rewards to match, why are they so "hidden" though? why not the normal rather than the exception ?


One place I have found you can get the unusual and better cuts is Costco ..................... but it's more often than not USDA and imported! I don't want to buy that but have done as it's so much easier


My question is why is this rare? what are not more livestock farms not butchering retailing direct? surely the internet has made it easier than ever before to cut out the middlemen who from what I see are doing a very poor job of butchering and retailing your products?
 
Last edited:

Tim G

Member
You are asking for trendy, modern cuts that many others will shy away from because it is an unknown. We've had a few different bits done before but they sit there because people are afraid of it. Add in the fact that a big lump of good beef is not going to be cheap, which will also put of people. Not many people know how to cook either, an expensive piece of meat needs cooking properly, and not everyone can do that.
 

Clive

Staff Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lichfield
You are asking for trendy, modern cuts that many others will shy away from because it is an unknown. We've had a few different bits done before but they sit there because people are afraid of it. Add in the fact that a big lump of good beef is not going to be cheap, which will also put of people. Not many people know how to cook either, an expensive piece of meat needs cooking properly, and not everyone can do that.


I agree this probably isn't the mass market but it's certainly a very big and growing niche. If meat future is for it to become a more occasionally and luxury purchase then the quality (and price) has to match?

I realize I am fortunate to be able to afford it but so are many others, the cheap end of the market will be catered for by imports etc it seems, why would any UL producer want to try and compete with that?

I think meats big problem right now is that most of its is rubbish ( usually because of how it's cut, cooked, and processed ) and therefore not something people value highly enough ort truly look forward to as they should ?


Get it right and people will change - I've cooked Brisket and tomahawks that would turn a vegan ! :ROFLMAO: but frankly, I've eaten some steaks and sausages that are enough to turn me Vegan !
 

Exfarmer

Member
Location
Bury St Edmunds
We are very fortunate butcher we use 4 miles away, is young ( to me anyway :) ) and is very obliging. It is very unusual to catch him out and he can usually identify each farm where his beef comes from at least.
My son who is a big foodie is used to some very exotic cuts from his very expensive London butcher ( where you have to have facial hair to go in ) has never been able to catch our local guy out. I can honestly say I have never had any complaints about any of his meat
Meanwhile the butcher in our village is very good, very traditional, but would scratch his head at some of the cuts above.
 

farmerdan7618

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Somerset
Like so many farmers, I would be in the group that has an animal for the freezer, so butchered as I want it for beef, and buy everything else.

Our butcher is brilliant, and will tell you which farm all of his meat comes from and will get anything as a request. And it's all top quality, so a bonus.

Since lockdown it's all been Facebook orders for collection. Wife orders, and I collect a couple of mornings later. All bagged up, and the same great quality.

G Mitchard & Sons for anyone near Radstock - might be a bit far for you @Clive
 

delilah

Member
I agree this probably isn't the mass market but it's certainly a very big and growing niche. If meat future is for it to become a more occasionally and luxury purchase then the quality (and price) has to match?

I realize I am fortunate to be able to afford it but so are many others, the cheap end of the market will be catered for by imports etc it seems, why would any UL producer want to try and compete with that?

I think meats big problem right now is that most of its is rubbish ( usually because of how it's cut, cooked, and processed ) and therefore not something people value highly enough ort truly look forward to as they should ?


Get it right and people will change - I've cooked Brisket and tomahawks that would turn a vegan ! :ROFLMAO: but frankly, I've eaten some steaks and sausages that are enough to turn me Vegan !

Leaving the fancy cuts thing out of it - that's just confusing the issue - it's not rocket science, find yourself a decent farm shop or independent butcher that hangs it properly.
Take a ride to the darklands of Staffs:

https://www.denstonehall.co.uk/farm-shop/butchery/
 

Sid

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
South Molton
Tell that to McDonalds who sell what must be the most expensive pieces of beef in the land using nothing more than old cull cows!!!
But it needs sauces and guff to give it taste.
I had a piece of rare fillet from our own beast Friday night, was absolutely melt in the mouth just done on the hotplate over gas.
No fancy cooking instruments no sauces.
 

Wolds Beef

Member
I have 3 suggestions @Clive
Amy Jobe. Who sells Lincoln Red beef under her own brand of Lincoln Russet.
The Mansion Farm. The Sutcliffe's run a Longhorn Herd and Jim won Young butcher of the year a few years ago and would probably know the cuts you specify.
And Grimblethorpe Hall. Who are Pasture for Life and Organic with Lincoln Red Cattle and Lincoln Longwool Sheep.
All the above have websites and I am sure would send meet by courier or other means.
Try them and enjoy!!
WB
 

Clive

Staff Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lichfield
You can't beat cooking on gas in my opinion. First thing we did here was have the old electric hob replaced with an LPG bottle fed hob.

Would echo the comments above too, have a chest freezer or similar in the garage and buy half a lamb etc at a time. Freeze it.


Gas :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: oh how I know feel sorry for you, meat needs a smoke, its an ingredient

I would rather not buy frozen meat, that's not the end of the market i'm interested in and I'm not alone
 

Sid

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
South Molton
Why is this SO hard ?

One of the positives of this awful lockdown year for me so far is that I have had time to do something I have wanted for a long time ............. learn to cook

I spent some money saved from a canceled ski holiday on a fancy smoker BBQ (Big Green Egg) back in March and have cooked almost daily on it ever since, surprising myself with what I am actually capable of cooking and as a bonus, no one has died yet !

So as you get into these things, join Facebook groups, forums, watch youtube etc you start to get more ambitious and want to try more unusual things, it becomes more than just food, its a new hobby at this point and as a result what you become prepared to spend raises accordingly.

I'm not alone, there is a big scene of other middle-aged twits like me all into this, mostly with money to spend - I can't help but feel the UK livestock industry is missing out here

YET (and here is the point of this thread) Top quality meat, particularly the unusual (expensive) cuts are very hard to get? why is this? I read constantly on here that British grass fed beef is "better" but where is it when I come to try to buy it ?

The first stop was the village butcher in a village a few miles away (my village has no shops anymore sadly) It's all very traditional looking and surely worth a premium over the supermarkets ? ............. but no, I've come to learn the meat is nothing special, no real provenance and pre-cut from wholesalers just being retailed. Ther first time I asked for a Picanha for example they hadn't got a clue what I was on about, I had to google it for them and what I got, in the end, wasn't really done properly.

I tried another local butcher (a bit further away but of BIG local reputation, I ordered Brisket and it turned up rolled ! I asked for "packer cut" they had no idea what I was on about despite the internet and a million youtube video's about cooking such cuts

Jacobs ladder, beef short rib, 4 rib, Tomahawks etc all command premium prices but are really hard to get until you discover the gems that do butcher their own carcasses like Tori nad Bens Fram shop etc Grass-fed Longhorn with quality and provenance worth paying for proving that these places do exist and do know how to provide what customers like me want and reap the premium price rewards to match, why are they so "hidden" though? why not the normal rather than the exception ?


One place I have found you can get the unusual and better cuts is Costco ..................... but it's more often than not USDA and imported! I don't want to buy that but have done as it's so much easier


My question is why is this rare? what are not more livestock farms not butchering retailing direct? surely the internet has made it easier than ever before to cut out the middlemen who from what I see are doing a very poor job of butchering and retailing your products?
I think some of the trouble is you are asking for cuts in foreign tongues,
Try asking for a schooner of beer or eggs over easy you will frowned upon for that too.
 

Clive

Staff Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lichfield
Leaving the fancy cuts thing out of it - that's just confusing the issue - it's not rocket science, find yourself a decent farm shop or independent butcher that hangs it properly.
Take a ride to the darklands of Staffs:

https://www.denstonehall.co.uk/farm-shop/butchery/


will give them a try, as in my op I have found a good farm shop butchery near my kids school but the one you mentions sounds worth a try


What I'm posting is Why is this quality so much the exception vs the normal though? Bad meat will surely only push people away from meat?
 

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