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From Field to Fork is an informative booklet designed to further people’s

knowledge of a very important and current topic. Where our meat comes from is at the forefront of many TV programs and articles such as ‘Food Unwrapped’. As a culture we need to take care and put more thought into what we consume, here is a guide to help you through the sometimes mind boggling world of the produce we buy.

This booklet features Britain’s most popular meats but also some more unusal produce that maybe you have been too scared to try before now, hopefully now you have the knowledge and a few tasty recipes to try something new and exciting.

Many Thanks to everyone who helped in the making of this booklet. Norman Howl, Robert Knight, Robert Harrison, everyone at The Seven wells Butchers, Oliver Pratt & the team at the Watershed, along with George Dyer for cooking all the delicious recipes showcasing here.

Emma Harrison


On the Farm

NORMAN had a little lamb There are around 20 million breeding sheep in the UK and a further 20 million lambs under a year old. Nearly all of the sheep meat that is consumed is lamb which is both succulent and tasty and has been prized for generations. Words & Photographs by Emma Harrison


On the Farm


On the Farm


On the Farm

T his is Norman Howl, he has farmed all of his life and in fact has lived in the very same house since he was 7. The house is situated in the grounds of the farm, in a bucolic, rather perfect way the fields lead on from the daffodil filled garden where the lambs and sheep frolicked. The lambs go to this field from the lambing shed when they are a week old and have full stomachs so that they can with stand the unpredictable weather. Luckily, Norman informed me that this year has been a particularly bountiful year for Lambing, partly down to the mild weather.


On the Farm

N orman keeps a flock of 80-100 sheep, all of which are pedigree meaning the majority of the ram lambs are sold for breeding, as he needs to keep a fresh flock Norman will keep 20 ewe lambs each year. The rest of the lambs go to slaughter at 8 months, which is considerably longer than commercially reared lambs which is at 12 weeks.


On the Farm


On the Farm

N orman’s sheep and lambs were kept in immaculate conditions and stunning surroundings, however, he cannot sell them as organic as the slaughter house is too far away; instead he sells them at auction and will undoubtedly be slaughtered the same day.

A ll the while at the farm, his loyal sheep dog was on alert, ready to do his job whenever necessary. It was also touching to see how much the sheep adored Norman and were comforted by his presence, all these things make a difference in the quality of life the animal has, putting ones mind at rest about their welfare during their short lives.


On the Farm


Many thanks to Normal Howl

On the Farm

all about the beef Cattle have been farmed in the UK since the first farmers settled and started clearing the wildwood over 6000 years ago. Initially the cattle were small dual purpose animals, supplying both meat and milk. Words & Photographs by Emma Harrison


On the Farm


On the Farm

T oday around 2,200,000 cattle are slaughtered for beef each year. These animals consist of steers (castrated bulls), heifers (young females) and young bulls. These animals are born roughly equally to beef and dairy herds.


On the Farm

R obert has been farming for 35 years and as many young people did, he left school at the age of 16 as he didn’t feel it was for him. Robert was clearly very passionate about farming and even said he would never stop farming. Robert also owns a butcher shop in the Local Market Town, he says mainly as it simply makes sense! The rest of the meat is sold in supermarkets such as Asda and Marks & Spencer.


On the Farm


On the Farm

Many thanks to Robert Knight


On the Farm

The butchers This Butchers is owned by farmer, Robert Knight. Seven Wells Farm Foods produce quality beef cattle for that ‘full of flavour’ eating quality. All animals are born and bred on the family farm, locally slaughtered, traditionally hung and prepared by a first class team of butchers at Seven Wells. Words & Photographs by Emma Harrison


On the Farm


On the Farm

W ith Seven Wells Farm and Seven Wells Butchers you can be sure that your meat is: Traditionally raised to the highest industry welfare standards Fully traceable back to the day the animal was born Hung sufficiently so that it ‘melts in the mouth’ Skilfully butchered to your exact requirements Seven Wells comes from the Seven Wells farm at Stoke Doyle just outside Oundle where many of the cattle are raised.


On the Farm

T hey purchased K Johnson & Son butchers shop, which had been trading in Oundle since 1905, provided the perfect chill facilities. This means that Seven Wells meat can be hung and skillfully butchered by experinced staff continuing the delicate work of Seven Wells Farm in realising the quality and flavour of the meat. The meat on the left at the top of the page are Robert’s cows, the meat on the right is infact Lamb and is from a Farm in Fotheringhay, which is 15 minutes from the Seven Wells Butchers.


On the Farm

game, set, Eat. 750 Million Birds are eaten each year. Words & Photographs by Emma Harrison


On the Farm


On the Farm

T he total number of gamebirds and wildfowl shot for sport in 2013 was just under 19 million; almost four-fifths of these were pheasants and 99% was destined for the food chain. This is a small but important contribution to the nation’s food supply. By way of comparison the UK poultry industry provides around 750 million birds for the table each year. Deer are a common pest on the Estate, destroying crops and feeders. Their numbers are kept down and the meat is either kept by the person who shot it, or given to the Game Dealer to sell.

W hile 44% of the birds were sold to game dealers the remainder were consumed by the shoot providers, who are often game dealers in their own right, or were taken for eating by the shooters and their families. With the demand stimulated by the backing of celebrity chefs and an increasing number of supermarkets the harvest obtained by shooting is becoming increasingly significant.

B etween 35% and 45% of the birds that are reared and released are shot. The ones that survive stay in the wild and either live, die of illness, killed by predators or are shot the next year.


On the Farm


On the Farm


On the Farm

R obert Harrison has been Keepering since June 1980 and has been at his current shoot at Drayton Estate since 13th of February 1984. At the age of 25 he was made Head Keeper on the Estate. Robert rears 12,000 pheasant and 9,000 partridges from one day old. Pheasants are released into prepared pens in woods and in fields at 6 weeks old. Partridges are released at 12 weeks old as the crops need to be harvested as partridges are released into fields and not woods.

C harles Stopford Sackville took over the Estate from his Father Lional. Charles is an excellent host which in turn has led to more days being sold. The guests are treated to Lunch and drinks during the drives.

Many thanks to Robert Harrison


The Watershed

tHE WATERSHED The Watershed in Bristol offers an exciting array of local produce served in new ways. Words by Emma Harrison and Oliver Pratt photographs by Emma Harrison


The Watershed

Imeatn order to find out more about Local Produce and where the produced is consumed, I visited the Watershed Cafe in Bristol. Here is their statement “ Watershed has an ethical, sustainable approach to food. Oliver Pratt, our Executive Chef, has worked with Phil Haughton, founder of the Better Food Company, to develop our Plot to Plate policy. What does this mean? It means that we can produce and offer a healthy, balanced menu while supporting the local economy, reducing our carbon footprint and paying the highest respect to the welfare of producers, animals and the quality of the land.

“Our food is full of flavour and goodness and sourced from people we know and trust in the South West.”


The Watershed


The Watershed

T o get a better understanding of the origins and purpose of the Watershed cafe, I spoke to their Manager and brains behind the Locally Sourced ethos. I met with Oliver Pratt, manager of the Watershed Café to delve deeper into their locally sourced mantra. We immediately had common ground as I discovered that Oliver used to be a photographer and also grew up in a very rural environment like myself. Below is the interview with Oliver.

When did you begin using locally sourced produce? Well, myself and the Watershed teamed up in 2008 to improve the profit in the Café, which went hand in hand with using locally sourced produce, we did this before it became fashionable to do so.

Do you think you get better quality results using this produce? 100% yes, everything about the food is better, colour, nutritional value and flavour. We design our menu around the seasons to ensure that the produce is at its best and isn’t imported meaning it travels less, making it more ethical. This means the café is coherent with the rest of the business, for example the art trust.

What was it that made you use locally sourced produce? The food is far tastier than using imported produce, which means more people buy the food. Being environmentally conscious it also puts our minds at rest knowing the food has travelled as little as possible reducing the air miles. This also supports local farmers meaning we both profit from this adding to the local environment.


The Watershed

Do you find there are any benefits from using produce that is local? Yes many, less harm to the environment, higher quality creating better food overall, the nutrition is better, all of the above making for a better business which keeps everyone happy.

Are there any negatives? Very few but yes there are some, from January to March there is very little fresh fruit and veg grown in the UK, so occasionally we have to import some but this is very rare. If we do import it is from Europe and not Africa etc.

Do you get a lot of customer feedback regarding the fact the food is locally sourced? Yes, and it is overwhelmingly positive, especially from customers who visited us prior to the change to local produce saying how much better quality the food is etc. This has helped us to boost the CafÊ’s reputation and standards, this leads to sales increase leading to more profit.

Why did you choose the suppliers you have? Because we now have a trusting relationship with them, they provide a good reliable service for a reasonable price. Our previous suppliers led to problems so it is a learning curve for us to choose well, for example we recently changed our meat supplier as he is closer, better and supplies all the different varieties of meat we use.

Many thanks to Oliver Pratt and everyone at the Watershed.


The Watershed

Many thanks to Oliver Pratt



FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD A collection of recipes using the produce discussed in the ‘On the farm’ section. Words & Photographs by Emma Harrison



Guinness lamb shanks with sweet potato mash • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

3 red onions, peeled olive oil sea salt ground pepper 2 handfuls raisins 3 heaped tablespoons thick-cut marmalade 1 heaped tablespoon tomato ketchup 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, plus extra for serving 200 ml Guinness or smooth dark ale 6 quality lamb shanks, roughly 350g each 8 sprigs fresh rosemary 1 litre organic chicken stock 1 small bunch fresh mint leaves a few tablespoons rapeseed or olive oil 2 spring onions, trimmed cider vinegar

Finely chop the onions and put them into a really large casserole-type pan, with a lug of olive oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cook over a medium to high heat, stirring as you go, until the onions start to caramelize. Add the raisins and marmalade, then add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and alcohol. Give it all a good stir, then leave to gently simmer. Put the Lamb shanks into a large frying pan on a medium to high heat with a drizzle of olive oil – you can cook them in batches if needed. Turn them every few minutes; once they have some good colour, pick in the rosemary leaves and move them around in the pan to get crispy, but don’t let them burn. Use tongs to move the shanks into the pan of onions, then pour in all their juices and the crispy rosemary. Add the stock, put the lid on, turn down the heat and leave to blip away slowly for around three hours or until the meat falls of the bone easily. Try to turn them halfway through so they cook evenly. When the lamb shanks are ready, carefully move them to a platter, making sure the meat stays intact. Whiz or liquidize the gravy with a stick blender until smooth, then allow to reduce down and thicken. Quickly bash most of the mint leaves in a pestle and mortar with a good pinch of salt and the olive or rapeseed oil, then take to the table. Finely slice up the spring onions and toss on a plate with the remaining fresh mint leaves, a drizzle of cider vinegar and a pinch of salt. Add a little splash of a cider vinegar and a few more splashed of Worcestershire sauce to the sauce, then ladle it all over the lamb shanks and pour the rest into a jug for people to help themselves. Scatter the vinegary spring onions and a few mint leaves all over the top, drizzle the mint oil all around the shanks and serve with sweet potato mash. Plate up and enjoy.

Serves 4 33




A tantilising recipe to showcase the best of British produce.



posh steak & chips • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

2 cups of chicken stock 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves 1 garlic clove ½ cup of instant polenta ¼ cup finely grated parmesan Olive oil Fillet steak, enough for two 1 large shallot 150g small cherry tomatoes 3 tbsp tomato ketchup 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce ½ lemon, juice only 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 1 tbsp olive oil Small handful tarragon leaves, finely chopped

For polenta chips, grease a 6cm deep, 19cm base square cake pan. Line the base and sides with baking paper. Place the stock, rosemary and garlic in a medium saucepan over a high heat, bring to the boil and reduce heat to low. Add polenta in a slow steady stream, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the parmesan. Spread polenta into the prepared pan, cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or until set. Preheat oven to 220C/200C fan forced. Remove polenta from pan. Cut in half. Cut each half into 2 cm wide chips. Place on a greased wire rack over a baking paper-lined baking tray. Spray with oil. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden and crisp. For the sauce, simply mix all everything together (shallot, tomatoes, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, lemon, balsamic, tarragon, oil). This can be done in advance but remove from the fridge at least 30 mins before serving. For the steak, preheat a frying pan and add a knob of butter. Add the steak to the pan and cook on both sides until cooked to your liking. Remove from pan and rest for a few minutes covered in foil.

Serves 2



A sophisticated take on a British Classic. I like to serve this rare in thin slices.



roast pheasant & all the trimmings • • • • • • • • • • • •

250ml Red wine 50ml Port 500ml Veal stock 1 Pheasant ( ask your butcher to remove the legs and wings but keep the breast frame) 100ml Olive oil 6 sprigs thyme 4 garlic cloves 2 heads of chicory 6 peeled shallots 4 slices of pancetta ½ head of savoy cabbage Salt and pepper

For the sauce: In a heavy based saucepan, reduce the wine and port over a low heat until you are left with 100ml of liquid. Add 450ml of veal stock and gently reduce until you have a rich sauce, set aside until serving. For the pheasant: Season the Pheasant with salt and pepper. In hot frying pan, hear 2-3 tablespoons olive oil and fry the pheasant legs and breasts for about 5 minutes until golden all over. Transfer to a baking tray, add thyme and 3 garlic cloves, and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven but keep it on. For the chicory and pancetta: In a hot ovenproof frying pan, heat 1tbsp of olive oil, place the lengthways cut chicory faced down and gently fry for 3 minutes. Add the remaining garlic clove and add all the shallots. Sauté for a further2 minutes before adding the remaining stock and transferring to the oven for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside. For the cabbage: Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, Blanch the cabbage for 2 minutes and drain. In a separate pan, gently heat, about 2 tbsp of olive oil and toss the cabbage through a little salt and pepper. To serve: Place the cabbage on a wooden board and add the pheasant, chicory, shallots and pancetta. Pour the sauce into a small jug and serve.

Serves 4



This is a great alternative to a roast chicken, perfect for a winters evening.




One whole partridge 2 tsps Truffle and wild mushroom sauce (jarred) 50 g Blue cheese 4 Cloves of Garlic, crushed under knife Half a Conference Pear 2 Sprig of Rosemary Lambs lettuce Pea shoots to decorate Salt and pepper to season 50g Pickled Beetroot 4 spears of Asparagus 2 slices of Prosciutto Ham

Get your butcher to cut the legs off the partridge and remove the breasts. Trim any access fat off as well. Pre- heat the oven to 180c Cut the Beetroot into centimetre cubes and cut the pear into thin strips or wedges. Slice the asparagus in half and place on a small baking tray with some oil and salt and pepper. In a small pan suitable to go into the oven, (metal handle) melt 25g of butter with a little salt on a medium high heat. Place the legs in to the pan skin side down and cook for 5 minutes turning every so often so the legs brown all over. Add the rosemary, garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper and place in the oven for 15 minutes along with the asparagus. Whilst the legs are cooking prepare the Ballantine. Half fill a saucepan with water and heat it so that it is hot but not boiling. Take one of the breasts and bash it out nice and thinly. Lay a sheet of cling film out on the work surface and place the strips of prosciutto down on it making sure they overlap slightly. Next place the bashed breast on top of the prosciutto, again making sure that the breast remains completely inside the prosciutto rectangle. Next take the mushroom and truffle paste and place a thin line of it on top of the breast. Roll this over so that it makes a sausage shape. Make sure the ends of the cling film are wrapped up tightly. under foil for a few minutes. Scatter the leaves around the serving plate. Next, distribute the beetroot, pear and asparagus around the plate. Then take small chunks of the blue cheese and small spoonful’s of the mushroom and truffle sauce and also place them around the plate. Once the assembly job is complete uncover the meat and place the Ballantine standing up like a chimney in the centre of the plate, then place the legs around it. Slice the other breast in half and place around the centre as well. Crack some black pepper over the entire plate and drizzle with some high quality olive oil to serve.

Serves 2 40


Salads don’t have to be dull as demonstrated here with his indulgent yet light and delicious salad.




2 tsp Fresh Thyme Leg of venison ½ cup olive oil 4 cups apple cider ½ cup apple cider vinegar 6 star anise pods 2 cinnamon sticks 4 whole cloves ½ tsp of allspice ¼ cup unsalted butter

• • • • • • • • • • •

4 Braeburn apples 200g plain flour 3 eggs 300ml milk 3tbsp vegetable oil Corn flour to dust potatoes 6 potatoes for roasting Sprig of Rosemary ½ head of savoy cabbage 3 shallots 4 slices of pancetta

For the Venison: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees c. In a large skillet, heat 4tbsps of oil and brown the Venison on all sides. Place on a rack in a roasting pan and roast in the oven for about 50 minutes for medium-rare. Remove from oven when done and cover loosely with foil to keep warm and rest. For the roast potatoes, par boil the chopped and peeled potatoes for 10 minutes, drain and sprinkle a tsp of corn flour, salt and pepper over the potatoes and shake until all potatoes are covered. Place the potatoes in the tray around the Venison leg so they can take on all the Venison juices and flavour, remove when crispy and golden. For the Yorkshire puddings, put the flour ad seasoning into a large bowl, stir in the eggs one at a time, and then slowly whisk in the milk until you have a smooth batter. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Pour oil into your pudding tray and heat in the oven for 5 mins. Carefully ladle the batter mixture into the tin and bake for 30 mins until well browned and risen. For the cabbage, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, Blanch the cabbage for 2 minutes and drain. In a separate pan, gently heat, about 2 tbsp of olive oil and toss the cabbage through a little salt and pepper. For the apples, in a medium saucepan, cook the cider, vinegar, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and butter for 5 minutes. Place the apples, cut side down in a baking pan. Pour the cider mixture over the apples and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until semi-soft. To serve: Make a bed of the cabbage mixture on a serving platter of your choice, place the venison leg on top. Carefully remove the apples from the pan and place around the venison spooning some of the sauce on as well. Transfer the Yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes to a serving dish and enjoy.

Serves 4



Venison is a gamey, rich meat which is also very lean, which goes perfectly with the sweetness of the apples. 43

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