Meet the Producer – Jilly Greed

Ahead of Great British Beef week, which runs from 23rd – 30th April, I caught up with Ladies in Beef co-founder Jilly Greed to find out more about her own beef enterprise and what this year’s #GBBW22 focus is.

Jilly:

I’m a 4th generation suckler beef and arable farmer farming in partnership with son George and husband Edwin in Devon near Exeter.

I always wanted to farm but my father was a staunch traditionalist and did not believe women could be natural successors.  So it was a challenge from the onset!  Only after he became very ill in 1996 and my mother encouraged our involvement, did we get the chance to take over the family farm business in 2OOO.

So we inherited a lovely continental suckler beef herd of pedigree British Blondes on a grain based finishing system. Today we have 25O head of breeding cows, calves and yearlings, of predominately native breed genetics including the South Devon, Angus and Red Polls.   We are entirely grass based now in a regenerative organic system, mob grazing lush river meadows and herbal leys.

We supply both ABP and Dunbia in Dorset and Devon.   Some of our prime beef goes to M & S.   This summer we hope to set up a box scheme to develop a local organic market selling direct to the consumer, as well as pop up restaurant events here at the farm in a beautiful authentic cob barn overlooking the suckler herd and river pastures.

Co-founder Minette Batters, NFU President and I set up Ladies in Beef and at the same time launched Great British Beef Week.  This was largely due to a shared frustration that positive nutritional messages about Red Tractor Assured British beef were not getting through to the consumers.   We felt female beef producers were a trusted source of information with the public.

This year’s campaign for GBBW 22 is all about environmental sustainability, a theme we championed last year, which resonated so well with consumers and the media.  The campaign is focused on climate friendly, grass based beef production, which has less than half the average global emissions.  UK farmers maximise the natural resources of plentiful sunshine and rain to grow lush grass pastures which is turned into nutritious protein by grazing animals as well as iron and vitamins including vitamin B12 naturally found in red meat and a boost to the immune system.

My favourite recipe is a rich warming casserole made with beef skirt, olives, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, carrots, celery and herbs not forgetting the Worcester Sauce!  Sometimes I add a couple of tumblers of red wine with the beef stock cubes or Sunday roast left over gravy.    It’s my own recipe and a winner every time, slow cooked in a 7O year old Aga!   Skirt is such an easy cut to work with and inexpensive – it just melts in the mouth.  

Here’s where you can find the method:

https://cookpad.com/uk/recipes/12702534-slow-cooker-beef-vegetable-casserole

There are lots of supermarkets, butchers and farm shops as well as pubs and restaurants taking part in GBBW 22.   You can find more information on the Ladies in Beef website: http://www.ladiesinbeef.org.uk/

Or follow on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

Hoisin Pork Wraps

This was yesterday’s quick tea – hoisin pork wraps

Here’s how I made it…

You’ll need:

  • Left-over pork from Sunday roast
  • Sweetcorn (minicorn chopped up)
  • 1 sweet pepper (sliced)
  • Pack of tortilla wraps
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Grated Cheese

Chop up the pork into small strips. Fry in a sauce pan with the sweetcorn and sweet pepper for 5 mins.

Throw in some hoisin sauce and serve with grated cheese filled wraps

Simples…

Recipe idea – Cow pat pudding

Whilst recording a podcast recently I interviewed Josie Brown of Browns British Cut Flowers. She shared with me the most delightfully yummy recipe for Cow Pat Pudding, inherited from her University house mate!

Here’s what you need:

Mix 3oz Self raising flour, 4oz softened butter, 4oz caster sugar, half teaspoon of milk, 2tbsp cocoa and 2 eggs in a bowl. Place in large Pyrex bowl.

Gently warm 4oz soft brown sugar, 2tbsp cocoa and half pint of water in pan until sugar dissolved. Pour this over the top of the sponge mixture. (This can be made in advance and put to one side until you are ready to cook)

Cook at 190oC for 40 mins.

Turn out onto a plate – hey presto – Cow Pat Pudding. Serve with cream and seasonal fruit.

As a Mum of 4 young children and running her own cut flower business, Josie raves about this recipe and it certainly sounds like a super-quick no-fuss recipe to feed a hungry tribe! I’ll be giving it a whirl and I hope you do too!

You’ll be able to hear more from Josie on the May episode of my podcast ‘The Countryside Kitchen Meets’.

In the meantime you can tune into previous episodes here: https://feeds.captivate.fm/the-countryside-kitchen/

Meet the Producer – Richard Calver of Westcombe Dairy

I recently caught up with Richard Calver who runs a fantastic UK Dairy business that has diversified to offer several different products to the market, whilst having it’s roots firmly placed in milk production.

Milton-Westcombe Farms comprises of two dairy herds in Somerset. Cheese has been made on the farm for over one hundred years. In around 1900 Edith Cannon who lived at Milton Farm won the prize for the best cheddar in the British Empire. She went on to found a cheese school at Palace Farm in Wells with the Bath and West Society.

The business started making cheese again at Westcombe in 1999 using elements of Ediths make, with raw milk from the farm’s cows. Westcombe also make a Caerphilly cheese in their dairy.

Diversification came about because the business wanted to have more control of the marketing of our milk and the family were passionate about producing really good products which reflect the care they have for their animals and the land.

Richard farms in a very sustainable way using minimum fertilizers and chemicals, with the cows grazing outside for much of the year.

Westcombe use special strains of starter cultures and the cheddar is stored underground in a recently constructed cave. The way Westcombe dairy farm and produce their cheese is reflected in its flavour.

Their website Westcombe dairy gives more information and there is also a useful video on it called Craft the Art of Making Cheddar on https://westcombedairy.com.

Westcombe cheese is available in many specialists cheese shop and also in some branches of Waitrose and Marks and Spencer.

Richard’s son Tom was trained as a chef and uses the following recipe for events. They both think it’s a fitting recipe for busy parents and it’s certainly got my taste buds tingling.

I think it’s a clever take on cheese on toast, whilst baking in your 5-a-day!

Eight slices of sourdough bread

One nob of butter

One half red onion finely chopped

One half leek finely chopped

150 grams grated Westcombe Cheddar

Favourite pickled vegetables to serve

Mix onions and leeks and cheese together add salt and pepper. Butter one side of the slices of bread and put a generous amounts of mixture on the side of the bread which is not buttered. place another slice of bread on top with the buttered side upwards. Place onto a hot frying pan put tin foil on top and weigh down with a heavy pan. Cook for two minutes or until slightly brown then turn over to cook again with the tin foil on top until the cheese oozes out or the sides. Transfer onto a board, cut in half and serve with pickled vegetables.

Find out more about Westcombe Dairy by following on Instagram or Facebook

Richard Calver of Westcombe Dairy, Somerset. Photo: Kathy Horniblow

The inspiring women behind the Farm Kitchen

Ahead of International Women’s Day, I wanted to celebrate Women doing extra-ordinary things to help parents feed their children with nutritional food and highlight locally grown food too.

I recently came across Victoria Howe of the Farm Kitchen who shares similar values to me. With her dedicated team she produces over 5,000 meals each week to feed children across Lincolnshire, Rutland and Cambridgeshire with tasty, nutritious food.

Here is a little more about the organisation from Victoria, what it aims to achieve and why it matters:

  • How did the Farm Kitchen come about?

I had always dreamt of starting my own business and had a strong passion for good food and the importance of nutrition.  I had been working at Waitrose in the Head Office for a number of years and moved back to my home county of Lincolnshire in 2006 – at the time Jamie Oliver was campaigning for school meals and focusing on Lincolnshire, as most schools no longer had kitchens….. the idea of transporting lunches into schools was born.

  • What are the Farm Kitchen’s aims and objectives?

Our aim is to make a difference…..we use the strapline #goodfoodchangeseverything….which it genuinely does….sorry to preach to the converted! 

From the obvious nutrition benefits, to the joy and mental health benefits, to long term health benefits, to the benefits to the farmers and local economy taken from our website: “We believe that good food really can change everything for a child. 

From the fundamentals of good nutrition and fuel, to the enhanced health and social benefits.  The importance of eating local food is also fundamental to local economies and supporting our natural environment and resources. 

Through our delivery of fresh meals and food education we can set our children on the right path to make the best food choices for sustainable, healthier futures – Here at the Farm Kitchen, we’re on a mission to make sure that every child in Lincolnshire has a healthy, nutritious meal every day to help them learn and develop at school.

From bolognaise to the classic roast, we freshly prepare and cook our meals every day in our kitchens. Each dish is packed full of delicious, locally sourced produce to make sure it really is the healthiest, tastiest version of itself.  From our family-run farm in the heart of Lincolnshire, we want to inspire children to make healthy, sustainable food choices that can make a real difference to them and the world around them now and in the future.”

  • How has the organisation grown?

We have grown very organically by word of mouth – from starting producing 80 meals a day in our first week, we reached 400 by the end of Term 1….we have grown over the years and as of next week are averaging over 5000 meals every day.

  • What plans are there for the future?

We love what we do and want to continue to grow and aim to constantly improve and enhance what we do

  • How can people find out more information and follow on social media?

Can you suggest an easy no fuss recipe that a busy parent with young children could easily follow / enjoy?

Did you enjoy reading this blog? Did you learn something new or feel inspired to find out more? Drop me a line at : hello@millyfyfe.com

Meet the producer – Jo and Alex Burrows, Coldeaton Jersey Ice cream   

Meet the producer – Jo and Alex Burrows, Coldeaton Jersey Ice cream   

Jo and husband Alex live in Ashbourne, Derbyshire with their two children Finn and Ella, milking a herd of pedigree Jersey cows. Jo’s family have been farming for several generations and 6 years ago after the birth of their son Finn, Jo gave up work and started helping her father with milking twice daily.

The family have always been passionate about breeding top-quality pedigree show cows. But in order to make the milk pay, they needed to look at diversification outlets to add value to the super creamy gold jersey milk in order to sustain their family.

That’s how the Coldeaton Jersey Icecream came about. Having received some European grant funding to help give them the boost they needed to get set up, Jo and Alex started making ice cream, selling to wholesale, pubs, restaurants and local outlets.

They have a bank of original flavours including your traditional flavours, raspberry ripple, chocolate and strawberry as well as a few seasonal limited additions. As this side of the business has grown, and with the support of many other local producers, the duo decided to open a small on-farm shop selling bread, eggs, as well as their signature ice cream.

In the last 12 months amid the pandemic, the on-farm shop has been widely supported as people look to supporting local businesses and reduce their food miles too. As a result, the Jersey milk has been pasteurised and bottled on-site and is now available to buy direct. There are also plans for flavoured milkshakes coming in the Spring of 2022 as well as butter and cream.

What’s really exciting is that tomorrow – Thursday 6th January 2022 at 3.45pm on BBC1 Jo, Alex, Finn and Ella Burrows will feature with Jo’s Dad, John Stubbs, on the new series of the Farmers Country Showdown. Filmed last year on the farm and at the Ashbourne Show, the TV programme features a behind-the-scenes look at the family preparing the Jersey Cows and Jo’s family members showing their Shire Horses too – another family tradition.

When I asked Jo why she got involved with the TV programme she said ‘I wanted to show the general public a window into our daily lives, life on the farm and how we care passionately for our animals’. ‘We have unique, special bonds with each and every one of our cows and I hope that becomes apparent on the show’. ‘We thoroughly enjoy what we do and we are grateful for all the support we have received on our farming journey so far.’

You can find out more about where you can buy the ice cream here: https://www.coldeatonjerseyicecream.co.uk/buy-it

You can follow Coldeaton Jersey Ice cream on social media here: https://www.facebook.com/coldeatonjerseyicecream/

https://www.instagram.com/coldeaton_jersey_icecream

#BBCCountryShowdown #BiteintoBritish #BuyBritish #ShowCows #DairyCows #TeamDairy #Derbyshire #Ashbourne #BuyBritish #BackBritishFarming #LoveBritishFood #FarmersOfTheUK #NoFussMealsForBusyParents #MeetTheProducer #TheCountrysideKitchenMeets #Influencer #Regenuary #SustainableFood #LowFoodMiles #JerseyCows #PedigreeCows #AshbourneShow

Festive baking, let’s go🎄

*Recipe idea – Mince Pies using Jus-Rol pastry*

This is such an easy bake and great to getting the kids involved too. I don’t pretend to be a neat and tidy baker, especially when the kids are ‘lending’ a hand…!

Give these a go and share your pictures with me 📸

You’ll need:

A pack of ready roll pastry (sweet, shortcrust or puff)

A jar of mincemeat (I used the Aldi salted caramel variety)

1 egg

A sprinkle of sugar

Method

  • Roll the pastry out and cut 12 circles as bases. Place in the muffin tray.
  • Spoon in 1 teaspoon of the mince meat into each base
  • Cut out 12 stars with the remaining pastry and seal on top of the mincemeat
  • Brush with egg
  • Sprinkle with some sugar
  • Place in the oven at 200c for 20-25 minutes until golden brown

Happy baking!

A bit burnt but who cares… they taste amazing!!

*RECIPE IDEA – MIGHTY CHEESE AND ONION PIE*

Ingredients

250G plain flour

50g rye flour

150g butter

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Pinch of salt

25g of parmesan cheese

1 potato

2 onions

Handful of chopped chorizo or bacon

Pinch of thyme

150ml double cream

1 egg

50g Red Leicester cheese

Method

Mix the flour, salt, cayenne pepper parmesan and butter together to form bread crumbs. Then add 1 egg and 5 tablespoons of water to bring pastry together.

Form a dough and place in the fridge for 30 mins.

Meanwhile chop the potato and onions thinly. Sweat the onions in some butter until soft then add the potato, cream and chorizo or bacon with a pinch of thyme. Cover for 10 mins until everything is soft.

Roll out 2/3 of the pastry on a floured surface then line a pie dish.

Take the mixture of the heat and allow to cool before adding the Red Leicester cheese. The left over pastry forms your pie lid. Roll out and place on top of your pie.Crimp and brush with egg.

Place in the oven at 200c for 45 mins until brown

Enjoy your MIGHTY CHEESE AND ONION PIE

🎵BenSound

*MEET THE PRODUCER – MUSKS SAUSAGES*

It’s been a while since I’ve posted and so here’s a MEET THE PRODUCER feature piece on Musks Sausages, who I caught up with earlier this week 😋

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So tell me, what’s the backstory/ heritage behind Musks? Where did it all begin?

Musks Ltd has been making sausages in Newmarket, Suffolk since 1884. We’ve been granted four consecutive Royal Warrants since 1907.

Our Newmarket Sausage is still made to the original recipe and when the UK was part of the EU, the Newmarket Sausage held PGI status, meaning it could only carry that name if made within the geographical area of Newmarket.

We produce on a daily basis at our modern factory and deliver to a local transport hub for wider distribution each afternoon. We have recently re-equipped with faster, more automated production and packaging equipment.

Musks Ltd is a family owned and operated business with around 16 full and part time employees.

What are the companies values?

High animal welfare, provenance and quality are core values at Musks. We only use UK sourced prime pork shoulder. Our products are known for their taste, texture and succulence.

We are very proud of our heritage. Our history, pedigree and Royal connections set us apart from other sausage producers.

We are SALSA Certified. Our products are supplied fresh and have a 10 day shelf life from the day of production.

Talk me through the range available…

Our flagship Newmarket Sausage, is also produced in jumbo, pinwheel, chipolata, cocktail and sausage meat formats. Our gluten free version was one of the first on the market – launched in 2001. We are somewhat unique in using cooked long grain rice as an ingredient. Our GF sausage became so popular that Waitrose took it nationwide, before launching their own version.

We have collaborated with Unilever brands on the recent launches of the official Musk’s Pork Sausage with Marmite and the official Musk’s Pork Sausage with Colman’s English Mustard. These new products have gained incredibly positive response from reviewers and customers alike.

We are currently in discussion with national retailers about possible listings but they are available to purchase via our online Food Hall.

We have just announced that our very popular Christmas Recipe Chipolatas and Sausage Meat will be available again from 16/11 until Christmas. Made with cranberries, chestnut puree and festive spices, customers are already placing pre-orders online to secure these seasonal products.

In January we will re-introduce our Slim & Slender reduced fat sausage, as people look to cut back on calorie intake. Succulence and texture are maintained through the use of specially selected shoulder cuts. Alternative reduced and low fat sausages on the market use leg and head meat for these products, that results in a dense and drier sausage.

Where can people purchase them from and how can they find out more?

We make and ship to the depots of four national supermarkets on a daily basis. Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons list some of our products in selected East Anglian stores. Our van delivery service supplies independent retailers, pubs, hotels, restaurants and even Michelin Star Chefs across the region.

Our online Food Hall at Musks.com, launched during Covid restrictions, is open 24/7, taking orders for Musk’s and products from other quality regional producers.

These products include a range of hand cured, air dried bacons, black and white pudding, haggis, speciality hams and charcuterie, all produced within the six counties of East Anglia.

Selling direct to our customers provides them with increased choice. Each week we ship a growing number of Selection Boxes of East Anglian produce to new and returning customers across the UK.

Can you suggest a recipe that incorporates Musks that a busy parent would be able to replicate with ease:

We have two chefs in Cumbria and South Wales who regularly create and post recipes using our products. In due course we intend to create a broader recipe section on our website to accommodate these original dishes.

See https://www.jonfellchef.net/blog for product reviews and some new recipes.

And for more information visit: www.musks.com or follow on social media:

Twitter: @MusksSausages

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/musks