Our family farm in Dalby forest is a fantastically remote corner of 'God's own County', As well as being an idyllic hang out for our children & close family, it also serves as home for a growing herd of Dexter cattle and a small flock of Southdown Lamb.
Our herd of Dexters used to exclusively supply my former restaurant 'Entropy' in Leicester. We are now looking to supply this superb beef direct to the consumer from the farm gate, but what is it that makes this beef so good?
The Dexter breed of cattle originated in the South Western region of Ireland. Like the Kerry, they are descended from the predominately black cattle of the early Celts. Dexters as a breed have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in the past decade thanks to the work of conservation groups such as the Rare Breed Survival Trust and the advocacy of chefs across the country who have recognised the breed's superb flavour.
All meat producers know that in general the younger the animal when butchered, the less flavour there is in the meat. Cattle which are housed and fed concentrate to speed up the fattening process produce an admittedly tender, but decidedly bland product. Animals fed on grass alone take a lot longer to produce the correct degree of marbling and 'finish' but the flavour imparted by the combination of grass and maturity is incomparable.
Our small farm on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park is ideal for this sort of beef system. It is marginal land, with a mix of hardy native grasses and herbs rather than the chemically 'improved' pastures found on most lowland farms. Our chosen breed of Dexter cattle originate from this sort of pasture in Ireland and are known to seek out specific plants to meet particular dietary needs, our Crosscliff Dexters definitely develop a craving for nettles just before calving, which supposedly stimulates lactation
Most of our animals are finished at between 24 and 27 months old. They are slaughtered at a small local slaughterhouse just down the road and are then hung for 21-28 days before being jointed & packaged as range of choice cuts, joints & steaks which are vacuum packed. Ready for cooking or the freezer.
The small scale of our farm & its secluded position help ensure an exceptional standard of welfare for the cows. Buying our Dexter beef directly from us means we can supply this wonderful product to you at a competitive price. See our price list for more information.