Eating out at a restaurant should be a wonderful treat. Eating out should also give you a dining experience you simply can’t get at home. However, for many, choosing a beef dish can feel a bit of a stab in the dark! So, how do you ensure that you’ll get to enjoy the very best beef there is? Beef that knocks all other beef out the field? Let’s start with 3 key points to help Devon’s diners…
1. Check what the beef cattle were fed on.
Cattle raised on a grass-fed system is much more preferable, resulting in beef that contains as much as three times more Omega-3 (the good fats found in oily fish) than grain fed beef. You’ll find this widely reported and associated with helping to prevent depression and cancer, whilst lowering blood pressure.
“The benefits of a grass-fed diet are much more talked about nowadays, but it’s forever been the way for Exmoor National Park Beef, where our cattle have always grazed upon the open pastures and moorland of Exmoor” Chris Lerwill, Owner & Farmer of Exmoor National Park Beef.
It’s understandable that in colder months cattle are moved into barns, but to preserve a superior quality of meat you’re looking for the reassurance that they’ve not then flipped to bought-in cake or soya. Exmoor National Park Beef are committed to the highest of standards, supplementing winter feeds only with their own home-grown cereals. That’s traditional and sustainable, but sadly rarer than it should be, giving Chris a hard-earned but much deserved competitive advantage.
2. Good breeding matters!
Know the basics but above all, know the farmer. After all, take a Chef who absolutely prides himself on creating outstanding signature beef dishes such as our Chef, Matt, at The Old Bank, Lynton. As amazing as he is, he can only achieve those gold stars if the quality of the steak presented to him is the very best it could be too. That’s why the relationship between The Old Bank and Chris Lerwill is so very precious – we trust his expertise and dedication to raising the best beef, in the best way.
Part of this comes down to knowing how to switch up the breeding; topical at the moment as Chris has just completed the early summer calving season.
“At Exmoor National Park Beef, we’ve bred our Aberdeen Angus with a Devon to create a uniquely succulent meat. The Aberdeen Angus offers outstanding intra-muscular fat, whilst promising a beautiful marble and texture. The fat cover of the Devon contributes a superior cooking quality, which combines to create an exceptional beef and the best possible canvas for a Chef” explains Chris.
At The Old Bank, Liam Drew, owner, takes great pride in serving Exmoor National Park Beef, to the point of prominently displaying a dry-ager within the restaurant dining area.
“The beef from Chris deserves that level of respect; it’s important for our customers to know exactly where their meat came from and the level of care, expertise and heritage that comes with it. I couldn’t enjoy beef in a restaurant that chose not to showcase that level of transparency and dedication” feels Liam Drew, owner of The Old Bank, Lynton.
3. Keep it close to home!
Choose beef from cattle that has faced the minimal distance from farm to abattoir. Not only does this feel morally right, but it’s proven that minimising the stress that the animal faces will increase eating quality in the resulting meat.
What’s a minimal distance? Well, choose Exmoor National Park Beef and you can take comfort from knowing that the cattle have only travelled two miles – yes, just 2! – from farm to abattoir. The highly regarded butchery team at Dennis Family Butchers, close by in Barnstaple, then skilfully prepare the meat for Matt. That totals to a tiny fraction of the miles involved in most intensive livestock farming!
You simply can’t get more local and considerate than our farm-to-fork chain, and you will taste the difference for sure.
“Customers consistently comment that Exmoor National Park Beef is exceptional in its taste and texture. Being able to explain that they have supported the local community and economy at the same time, whilst massively reducing carbon footprint, lifts appreciation even further and gives us a unique offering at The Old Bank, Lynton” says Liam.
So, there you have it:
If you want enjoy the very best beef whilst visiting a restaurant in Devon,
think ‘feed, breed, miles’.
Better still, make the most of the fact that at The Old Bank, Lynton, we’ve already perfected the process for you, thanks to the experience and unique advantages of Exmoor National Park Beef.
With Matt then working his magic to create delicious dishes, all that’s left is for you to tuck on in!
See you soon!
Liam and the team The Old Bank, Lynton
Photo credits: The Old Bank & Chris Lerwill, Exmoor National Park Beef.
Our thanks as always,
The Old Bank, Lynton.
T: 01598 751487