We have received many compliments about the quality of our Red Ruby Devon beef since we opened our shop in Butchers Row, Barnstaple just a few weeks ago. “Beautiful”, “your beef is particularly exceptional”, “excellent service and outstanding meat”, “we would never buy meat from any other butcher” are just a few customer comments in the past week alone!
So, what exactly is different about our meat generally and our Devon beef in particular?
Well, it comes down to three basics : the way in which our animals are treated and fed, the quality of the breeding and the skill of our butchers.
All our cattle and sheep are fed on grass, silage, hay and kale on our and our partner farmers’ fields, situated as they are in Devon, with Dartmoor to the south and Exmoor to the east. We have a suckler herd which means that the calves stay with their mothers for the first six months, enjoying nutritious milk as well as grass. We feed our cattle mainly on grass so that they enjoy a natural life, grazing the fields as they roam, and maturing much more slowly than cattle that have been fattened inside on imported soya and grains.
The other important factor is the breeding of our cattle. Our Red Ruby Devon cattle are a pedigree herd and we have a fine bull, “Champson Top Gun”. Our Devon cattle produce fine, flavoursome “marbled” meat. This means that the meat is flecked with fat and this improves both the ease of cooking and the flavour. All of our cows have been carefully selected from local Devon cattle breeders to ensure that we have top quality mothers but it is the bull that really makes a difference. After all he sires all the calves, and so it is really important for us to have the best, as you can see in the picture! Little wonder that he struts about the herd in our fields so proudly. And, as the old Devon farmers used to say, “Your bull is half the herd.”