Can anyone recommend any places in London UK (preferably somewhere central, or close to N1/Islington area) to get some good quality grass-fed meat? Or any good websites that deliver to London areas?...Hopefully for good prices too, although I am aware that GF-meat is more expensive than the usual supermarket meats! Thanks.
Almost all beef produced in the UK is grass- or silage- (=fermented grass) fed. We don't have the space or climate for the big grain feedlots that you hear so much about in the US.
Also, bovine growth hormone was banned last time I checked, as are the dodgy feeding practices that were common before the BSE scare. Beef that you buy here - even from supermarkets - is a world away from the stuff that you get across the pond.
I get most of my meat from Abel and Cole (organic home delivery service that I highly recommend, amazing veggies and the best service ever). I wrote them to ask about the grassfedness of their beef and they replied with this:
We sell mostly organic but also offer some non organic beef. We use a number of various independent farms and each one of these farms operates slightly differently meaning the animal’s lifestyle and feed may differ. I will do my best it putting all this information into a lovely well worded email.
NON ORGANIC BEEF
Phillip Mann’s Beef
The cows graze on grass, white clover pastures and low production permanent pastures for 6 months of the year. They are finished on home grown cereals and beans such as barley, wheat and haylage. From April – October the 180 cows are kept outside on 600 acres which they share with the sheep. Stocking densities are: young cattle, 36 square feet and the older cattle, 45 square feet. Cattle are inside for 5-6 months due to stream flooding and field conditions worsening. They are housed in 2 60 x 60 well ventilated barns which are well provided with straw bedding. Barrier Feeders are used.
David Powell’s Beef
The extensive grass-fed pastures allow a slower production system which focuses on animal welfare and final meat quality. The cows graze white clover pastures and organic apple and pear orchards and are finished indoors using non-organic concentrates (cow nuts, bought in from countrywide stores) and haylage.
Half the herd are out-wintered (young stock), other half of herd (cows – to keep in good condition) spend 4-6 months inside over winter. There are no more than 20 cattle in each 40’ x 40’ barn which are well ventilated, well lit and well provided with straw bedding.
The Suckler Herd stays with the mother until at least 9 months to a year.
When outside (at least 6-7 months of the year), the cattle are 1:1.045 cattle to acre. There are 230 cattle on 220 acres.
Manor Farm (Org Beef)
100% of feed is grown and sourced from Manor Farm. Oat & Bean pellets produced from home grown crops. Grass, clover, chicory and herbs. Buttercups grow as voluntary weeds
Box Farm (Org Beef, Lamb)
Home-grown rolled barley & silage. Sometimes buy ground wheat flour to mix in with feed Grass, clover and chicory. Buttercups in limited supply
I have been able to find some grassfed meats in waitrose believe it or not. Also, this place has the BEST raw butter Ive ever tasted (and Ive tasted some good stuff). They will even deliver
Why not ask in the local butchers shops? Some will be bound to sell grass fed meat. Or go to Smithfield market (not SO far from Islington - very near Charterhouse / Barbican)) and ask there... again, there will certainly be stalls selling grass fed. And it will be your cheapest option.
Scotch Beef is largely grass fed. According to one of their representatives, they are fed "a grass based diet, grazing outside in summer and fed a conserved forage (such as silage) in the winter. Small amounts of grain or distillery by-products (fermented grain) are sometimes added to this ration to provide additional energy but the majority of the ration remains grass based. Any additional feeds the cattle get have to be approved by QMS in order for the beef to carry the Scotch Beef Label.”
You can get Scotch Beef at Sainsbury's and a lot of butcher shops. Sainsbury's often has deals on diced shin and other unfashionable cuts, which are perfect for slow cooking.
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