Showtime for Red Poll
PUBLISHED: 10:21 26 May 2015 | UPDATED: 10:21 26 May 2015
Stephen David, chef-director for Bespoke Events, and his butcher Jeremy Thickitt are delighted that their favourite local beef is getting the attention it deserves at this year's Suffolk Show
Watching a small group of young heifers on the first verdant flush of spring pasture at Marsh View Farm, Darsham, it’s easy to see why Suffolk’s green and pleasant land helps create such good beef.
At this year’s Suffolk Show the Red Poll Cattle Society is hosting the inaugural National Breed Contest, giving local beef the attention it deserves.
My butcher-farmer, Jeremy Thickitt, runs various groups of finishing store cattle, bought at around a year old, to be ready for the table at around 24 months, after a good life on the farm. Most of the year the beasts are out grazing and enjoying the open air. When the grass gets sparse in winter, they are fed grain, fodder and sugar beet rations to help condition them.
With his farm and the established Emmerdale farm shop, Jeremy is one of the county’s best known butchers, having owned Clarke’s of Bramfield with his brother, Michael, since the `60s. As Bramfield Meats, he supplies dozens of high street butchers across East Anglia. At the Suffolk Show Jeremy is a steward of the cattle classes, organising their smooth progress and assisting the judges in their decisions.
It is so good to have as my favoured meat supplier not only a grazier-farmer producing fabulous beef, but also a butcher respecting it from field to my kitchen door. Jeremy is passionate about the well-being and promotion of the breed.
Most of us know how we like our beef. The Sunday roast is usually a firm favourite, and steak is a perennial supper choice, adaptable to the weather and occasion. The smartest way to impress your loved ones is to cook the finest cut, the rib-eye, but to do so slowly on the bone. This does it great favours as it has tasty fat both on the edge of the meat and in the centre, which benefits from rendering down for basting and flavour. After cooking, just drain well on kitchen paper and cut off visible fat
For recipes and more information about Red Poll see the June issue of Suffolk Magazine