Age of beast
Age is probably the most important. In the UK animals (beef) are encouraged to be slaughtered by 30 months. However, after 30 months is where beef gets interesting, particularly for native breeds that are free range, grass fed and allowed the time to mature. If an animal is over thirty months (OTM) the spinal column must be removed at slaughter, meaning that more surface area is in contact with the elements and so will age faster.
We are big proponents of OTM beef as the flavour is unparalleled but we have to be mindful of ageing it correctly. Taking points like this into consideration mean that we constantly tailor our ageing process, providing a better product for you and delivering a truly artisanal product.
Size and Fat Covering
The size of the animal and how much fat it is carrying will have a direct impact on the ability of the carcass to age effectively and at the desired rate. The friendly bacteria in the outside air will penetrate fat layers at a far slower rate than muscle tissue and therefore having a good fat cover is desirable when looking to take the ageing process further. Larger beasts will also take longer than their smaller peers and so we are mindful of this to ensure the desired effect is achieved.
Understanding now that saturated fats are actually a jolly good thing for us to eat (look here), we are big proponents of grass fed fats as a stable, effective and bloody tasty fuel source! It also helps us age our meat perfectly :).
Our cold store will always work to keep the right ambient temperature, between 0 and 3 degrees. However, in the summer months when extremely hot weather is seen, even the act of walking in and out of the cold store can marginally shift the room temperature up by a degree or two for a period of time. With this in mind we are always keeping an eye out over the summer months when it is above 25 degrees outside.
We try to cover all of our bases when bringing the best products to market, leaving nothing to chance. Understanding how these conditions outside of our control effect the end product is of paramount importance to our goal of being home to some of the best beef in the UK.
We age beef as long as is necessary. Our gold standard is around the 28-35 day mark but on some parts of the carcass this may mean 14 days, on other areas we could go any length of time up to about 10 weeks. Our cold store is home to countless Himalayan salt blocks that purify the air with antibacterial properties while enhancing the flavour of the meat. We routinely take out over a litre of moisture a day from the atmosphere, providing a better environment for the products and ultimately a superior product that you can taste the difference.
This is what ageing is all about - understanding the difference between carcasses, customising accordingly and making the most out of each cut by being adaptable. We take every effort to ensure that every mouthful of our meat is delicious, understanding that our most important assets are our senses; appearance, smell and the texture of the outside edge is how we achieve the desired effect. We would never send you anything that we would not eat ourselves and like with all of our products, you will always find all of the information relating to the beast on our website and in the shop.