Crosscliff Dexters

Grass fed Dexter beef supplied to you direct from our farm in Dalby Forest

Fresh Dexter beef! 15kg boxes, joints, steaks and even burgers. See our availability page for more information. Contact us today!


 

Onwards and upwards

Our first beast of the year sold well despite the  beef doldrums that are typical of the school holidays.  We have just two boxes in the freezer still available to collect. The next two beasts will be picked up from the abattoir on Monday and the rush to order this beef has been overwhelming. There's not even an oxtail left! Even more exciting is the news that two renowned London restaurants: FLAT IRON of Beak Street, Soho, and HEIRLOOM of Park Road, Crouch End will be featuring Crosscliff beef on their menus in September.

We already have orders for the festive season so if you fancy a whole sirloin or rib of Dexter beef instead of boring old turkey  this Christmas  contact us NOW before it's too late!

Dexter on the way.

Our first steer of the year went to the butchers today. Mixed boxes of approximately 14 kg will be available for collection from Providence Farm, Dunnington, York,  on Thursday August 14th at a special one-off price of £10 per kg. Place your order now. Only eight boxes. First come first served.  Just two  full  rib-roasts (the connoisseur's Sunday joint) will also be available at £12 per kg.

Upwards and onwards

All the boxes from our Christmas beast have been sold. Our next two steers go to the butchers next Wednesday and will be ready early in the New Year. Set aside  some money from your January sales budget and  be happy for the rest of the year.

One beast will be divided into the usual 15 kg boxes. But this time it will be cut into  our new 'chef's  cuts',  which  will let you emulate those Michelin starred restaurants at home,  Especially when you have chef Tom Cockerill's recipes to help you. Our other animal will be sold as bigger individual joints. Contact me and place your orders. We now have some prestigious chef recommendations to back up our claims to excellence.

First boxes available now.

We took delivery of our first Christmas beast from Glaves, our butchers in Brompton by Sawdon today. Tonight we felt duty bound to sample a small rare sirloin steak in the interests of quality control. The verdict?  Mmmmmmm. We may just be cancelling our Christmas turkey.

As if we needed any more evidence!

Just spotted this on t'internet....

Joel Salatin is co-owner of Polyface Farms and author of half a dozen books on sustainable farming. This is what he says:

The problem: Cattle evolved to eat grass, not grains. But farmers today feed their animals corn and soybeans, which fatten up the animals faster for slaughter. But more money for cattle farmers (and lower prices at the grocery store) means a lot less nutrition for us. A recent comprehensive study conducted by the USDA and researchers from Clemson University found that compared with corn-fed beef, grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), calcium, magnesium, and potassium; lower in inflammatory omega-6s; and lower in saturated fats that have been linked to heart disease. “We need to respect the fact that cows are herbivores, and that does not mean feeding them corn and chicken manure,” says Salatin.

The solution: Buy grass-fed beef, which can be found at specialty grocers, farmers’ markets, and nationally at Whole Foods. It’s usually labeled because it demands a premium, but if you don’t see it, ask your butcher.

That yellow fat...

People often ask  why Dexter fat is so yellow. The answer lies in what they eat. Grass contains carotenoids, mainly yellow and orange compounds, which are  antioxidants and precursors of Vitamin A . Carotenoids are  what make free-range egg yolks that lovely deep yellow colour (not the pale imitation produced by  the artificial pigments fed to battery hens ).  Unfortunately grains do not  contain carotenoids, which means that beef fed on cereals alone contains  minimal amounts. Is this important?  Yes, very!  Reputable scientific research showed that people consuming diets rich in carotenoids from natural foods  were healthier and had lower mortality from a number of chronic illnesses. *


* A. T. Diplock1, J.-L. Charleux, G. Crozier-Willi, F. J. Kok, C. Rice-Evans, M. Roberfroid, W. Stahl, J. Vina-Ribes. Functional food science and defence against reactive oxidative species, British Journal of Nutrition 1998, 80, Suppl. 1, S77–S112)

Slow Beef

 

And my blog begins.

It's probably best if I start by giving a brief history of how Crosscliff Dexters came into being.  The Crosscliff herd is the culmination of a lifetime passion for working with farm animals. It started over forty years ago when I graduated in animal production from the Agricultural faculty of Nottingham University. Since then, I have reared many calves the way I was taught,on  buckets and  artificial suckling machines, and have also fattened a variety of cattle on indoor  intensive and semi-intensive  systems.

However after years of keeping animals this way  I became more and more dissatisfied with the product  these systems churn out so efficiently.  Most consumers agree that  the younger the animal when butchered, the less flavour there is in their meat.  Cattle which are housed and fed  concentrate to speed up the fattening process  produce an admittedly tender, but decidedly bland product.

I knew that animals fed on grass alone take a lot longer to produce the perfect degree of marbling and 'finish' but I had discovered, whilst eating out over the years, that the flavour imparted by the combination of grazing and maturity is incomparable.

Fortunately, we own a farm near the North Yorkshire Moors  which I realised would be  ideal for this sort of beef production. It is marginal land, with  a mix of hardy native grasses and herbs  rather than the chemically 'improved' pastures  found on most lowland farms.  My 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. I started in a small way in 2008 with just three cows, aiming to produce beef for my son Tom's award-winning Entropy restaurant in Leicester. Since then. our herd has expanded to the point where we are  producing around ten finished Dexter steers a year and are ready to expand our market.

All our steers  spend their first year grazing with their mothers on the  unsprayed  wildflower pastures at the  edge  of Thompsons Rigg Moor. Just before  the next year's calf crop arrives they are weaned onto fresh pastures nearby where they slowly mature over the next fifteen months to produce the wonderful marbled,  old-fashioned beef that is so hard to find these days.

When our animals are between  24 and 27 months old they are transported a short distance to  a small local slaughterhouse, where they are given a humane end before their carcasses are hung for 21-28 days. They  are then jointed, vaccuum packed and divided into eight boxes of mixed cuts. Each box contains  a recipe leaflet from Tom giving ideas of how best to cook each cut to bring out the full flavour. 

I hope that many of you will try Crosscliff Dexter for yourselves this Christmas. If you do, you'll understand why  I truly believe that changing  from 'fast beef'  to 'slow beef' has been the best move I ever made. Happy eating! Pam Cockerill.