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May is just around the corner, though up in the Dales the wind is still biting cold at times. The buds are on the leaves though with the young leaves coming through, and before long the valleys will be a deep green as we roll into Summer.
A lot has happened for us this month. We picked up the best website award at the Harrogate Advertiser which left us chuffed to bits. A lot of work went into our new site, and it's a bit of welcome recognition for our computer whiz kids, who've worked with our chefs and butchers closely to design a website that brings out the providence of our food.
We're also delighted to say that for the past month we've been stocking the kitchens of Tommy Banks of the Black Swan. Tommy - of farming stock himself - is one of the youngest ever British chefs ever to win a Michelin Star, and his restaurant lies just across the Vale of York from us in the village of Oldstead, at the foot of the North York Moors.
You can read more about Tommy and which he's been picking up plaudits here.
All the while, we're been keeping busy too. You might have noticed but our range of butchery grew again last month. The wonderful thing about doing the things the way we do, is that we cut to order, and can stock these cuts rather than having a standardised plan for what we're going to do with every hanging piece of meat, like supermarkets do.
This lets us stock cuts like the Beef Chicken Steak, or the Sirloin Steak on the Bone - steaks you'll be pushed to find elsewhere. It also helps that our butchers are extremely enthusiastic about trying new cuts - often coming from America - or scouring old books looking for inspiration from past tradition.
Our new cuts this month are:
Literally meaning 'bone with a hole' in Italian, these cross cut British lamb shanks are a superb alternative to veal in the classic Milanese dish of the same name.
Of simply exquisite tenderness, this cut through its beautiful eating quality encapsulates the sum total of our efforts to source only the best meat, from heritage breed herds reared the old fashioned way.
Cut from the flank, these Bullet Steaks are perfect for quick frying and serving in deep sandwiches to pair robust flavours, such as a creamy horseradish or a tangy chutney.
Smaller in stature than our class sirloin joints, these joints that can't be beaten for deep flavour, dark flesh, and generous marbling that caramelises and tenderises the beef upon cooking.
Cut from between the neck and saddle, this small steak is left on the bone for rustic quality and is ideal as a small joint suited to slow cooking, grilling, or popping on the barbecue.
If you're looking to try something new, why not have a look at Jeff Baker's guide to using herbs with meat. Jeff's held a Michelin star himself, and he has all the tricks of the trade to help bring out the natural flavour and aroma of our heritage breed meat. It's going to be especially handy when we launch our new BBQ range this month!
And finally, this month we are stocking a first for us, rare breed Gloucester beef. As the name suggests, you don't find many of this breed in our neck of the woods, but we're delighted to be able to supply it.