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Our April Update: Spring Arrivals & A Guide to Our Lamb

Blog • March 31st 2016

The lambs are finding their feet now, and April is here at last. March has been by all accounts a long month for our farmers, but the lambing is over, and Spring in the Dales is always special. In Ripon, our home on the Eastern edge of the Yorkshire Dales the verges are lit up with daffodils, and in the spirit of Spring when life is renewed, we've been sprucing up our food range.

If you appreciate a good steak, you're in for a treat. You can now order Sirloin Steak on the Bone - our Master Butcher's personal piece de resistance - a rustic special with all the tender flavour of the sirloin. We've also got new Lamb Tomahawk Steaks, a must if you're cooking to impress, and the slow cooking favourite, Lamb Henry.

There's more too, in the form of our famous pork pies. At our shop in Nidderdale, people come from all over to get them, and now we're making our full range available for order. Each pie is baked fresh specifically for your order, and can be warmed at home, making them perfect for adding them into your order as an extra treat.

They are as follows:-

Our Classic Pork Pie: Heritage breed pork, rich pastry, and a generations old recipe

Pork & Apple Pies: Sweet chunks of apple hit the spot with the mouth watering pork

Pork & Chilli Pies: A sharp tang of chilli plus pork creates a moreish finish

Pork & Black Pudding: Dales Black Pudding paired with our pork for a pie with meaty bite

A Quick Guide To Choosing Seasonal Lamb

Now is also the time to try our lamb. Our sheep are adapt converters of wild grasses, flower, and herbs found on the harsh moorlands in the Dales and Fells into rich and succulent meat. This month we'll be welcoming a number of breeds to the store, including Teeswater, Texel, Swaledale, Scottish Blackface, and the very rare indeed Manx Loaghtan.

However there is more to our flocks than their grazing. There are subtle changes in our seasonal offerings of our lamb, here's a quick guide to how to choose your lamb.

Spring Lamb

Spring Lamb is considered a delicacy, and is the most tender lamb we sell, with characteristic pink colour and firm texture. Typically it is three to five months old, with the meat being much more delicate than our older lamb, as it hasn't matured on the wild grazing to develop robust flavours. We label all our Spring Lamb as such, so you know what you are getting.

Our Classic Lamb

Our lamb is a tad older, from six months to a year old, but closer to six months old more often than not. The key difference with Spring Lamb is the well developed and deeper flavour owing to the wild grazing. This makes our lamb unique in that they mature on wild heathers, grasses, flowers, and herbs, and because each variety we sell is informed by the area these lambs were reared. That means you can taste test all our lamb and notice the differences in character. This is something we're proud of: It means our lamb isn't anonymous but boasts flavours tied to the landscapes in which we work.

Hoggot

Hoggot is older still, but this means the flavours are even more well developed. Typically it is of a deeper red colour, and comes from animals one to two years old. Typically it is used for slow cooking, as the meat lends itself to breaking down on low temperatures.

Mutton

The oldest - and the boldest - is mutton, which is typically taken from animals over two years old. Under appreciated for so long, now with the help of Prince Charles who chairs the Mutton Renaissance Campaign, this prized culinary specialty is returning to menus and kitchens across Britain. It is really is fantastic meat, richer and with more fat than lamb, and consequently boasting much deeper and well developed flavour. Our is sourced from the Yorkshire Dales, where our farmer's flocks mature on a diet of wild grazing found on the valley tops, and in the lush meadows of the river valleys.