Hampton Estate Naturally Reared Newsletter February 2020

Filmmakers always say never work with children or animals and sometimes in the farming world the animals certainly get the upper hand. This was definitely the case last Tuesday as the beef cattle flatly refused to come into the corralle for their grass nuts (normally the day’s culinary highlight) and serenely pottered down to the end of the field despite all our protestations. We had planned to lure them into the safe space of the corralle to split out our next two beef animals for slaughter. The upshot of this show of independence was that the cattle haulier left with an empty lorry, the abattoir had two less beasts to kill, and we have to push our next beef collection day to FRIDAY MARCH 6th. This week we had to be more cunning in our approach because we are adamant that our beef should hang for at least three weeks, hence the later beef day.

The good news is that it gives everyone a little more time to check cookery books and recipes, consult on line beef gurus and decide what the order for our pasture fed mouth-wateringly tasty beef will be. January saw a sell out of just about everything. Our special steak pies flew off the shelves, so too did the flavoursome stewing steak, braising steak and shin as so many customers are cooking up extra delicious casseroles and stews. Every joint found a new home and sirloin, rump and fillet steaks disappeared rapidly into Hampton hessian bags. We are delighted that Hampton naturally reared beef is so popular and for March 6th we should have excellent supplies of all the aforementioned cuts. Please book whatever you need, be it anything from a single pack of mince weighing 500 grams to a sirloin joint weighing 4 kilos. By ordering in advance, you are guaranteed we will have your meat ready and packed for March 6th.

Obviously, everyone is guaranteed fresh coffee and cake, the opportunity to meet other food connoisseurs, and the chance for a bit of foodie chat and updates from the farm.

Hampton Herbies and Beef Bangers will be available as is Hampton wild venison. As I write two deer carcasses hang in the cold store, both animals culled from our young woodlands where they were happily browsing our newly planted trees. At the moment we are in the hind (female) culling season, and their destructive capability in young woodlands is both impressive and frustrating for our forestry staff as we have to replant.

Infact tree planting is in full swing on the Estate with two areas (Britty Wood and Coach Bottom) being replanted after clear fell and one other area (Culverswell) needing replacement trees because of the scenario mentioned above. The new trees will be mainly Scots Pine and Douglas Fir and this is the start of their 75 year growing season.

Please do send your order over to Helen helenjackson@hamptonestate.co.uk or ring your order in on 01483 810465. The date again is FRIDAY 6th MARCH and we will be open from 10.30am and looking forward to seeing everyone throughout the day.

With best wishes

Bill and Bridget

Posted in News & Events, Newsletter

Hampton Estate Naturally Reared Produce Newsletter January 2020

Happy New Year to everyone and our first Beef Collection Day of 2020 is on the last Friday of the month, FRIDAY 31st JANUARY. Do come and see us, enjoy the special January cake, taste the fresh coffee and catch up on the Hampton food stories. Now is the time for rich casseroles, tasty stews, brothy style soups and slow, well-cooked joints all accompanied by a glass or two of red and a quick nap. For those on the alcohol-free January drive, just forgo the red and the nap.

We have good stocks of steak (sirloin and rump) and lots of ribs and joints for sale. Braising and stewing steak is in good supply and for all those fantastic lasagnes, bolognaises and cottage pies we have lots and lots of prime mince all ready to go. Hampton Herby Sausages and Hampton Beef Bangers will be available and so too is our own wild venison. A haunch is a winner, a fillet a bit smaller but the taste is absolutely sensational, and diced venison and minced venison are also in stock. Hampton Special Beef Pies are being cooked for the day and the majority will be made of minced beef although we will have a small number of steak pies for the aficionados (and the quick orderers).  They come in family sizes for four people, or individual sizes, and with some good English mustard and a dollop of fresh seasonal veg (parsnip and potato mash with cabbage and carrots) you can’t go wrong.

All the cows had their toes clipped this week, an annual occurrence involving a small angle grinder rather than a large pair of nail scissors and you will be pleased to learn that herd foot health is good. We also blood test all the cows this week to ensure that we remain a High Health Status herd. The blood test is for routine viruses and as a pedigree herd when we sell young heifers (females) as breeding stock to other farms it’s important to have the best possible proven health status. The other livestock task this week is to wean all the 2019 calves off their mothers, so that the cows have a break before calving in the spring. The calves look wonderfully well, especially in the rare moments of sunshine this month, and our natural calving procedure separates the calves and cows via a strong well-maintained fence. They can see each other and have the occasional lick, but the cow’s milk is replaced by a high protein grass-based cake.

Elsewhere on the Estate we are letting two high quality offices at Shoelands Farm Offices complete with fibre broadband into the front door of each, and have a refurbished three-bedroom cottage in Puttenham available for rent.

We look forward to seeing everyone for beef, sausages, venison and those Oh so popular special beef pies on Friday 31st January. Please order as soon as possible to let us know what you want.

With very best wishes from us all.

Bill and Bridget

Posted in News & Events, Newsletter

Hampton Estate Naturally Reared Produce Newsletter November 2019

Please put Friday November 29th and Saturday 30th November into your diary now as we are holding two Beef Days this month to ensure everyone can pick up their beef and produce when it’s most convenient for them. Friday 29th November is a normal style Beef Day, with a festive twist. We will be welcoming back to the Hampton courtyard Fine Feather Press (brilliant children’s bird and nature books), Nibbs Gin (local delicious elderflower gin), The Cold Pressed Oil Company (fine local cooking oils), Twin Larder (zero waste, eco-friendly, cruelty free and ethically sourced stocking fillers), Flamingo Paperie (UK designed and made cards and wrap) and author Alexine Crawford with her latest Farnham set historical novel.  The braziers will be flaming, the sausage samples at full swing, fresh cake and coffee for all and we are hoping for lots of chat and culinary stories. On Saturday 30th November we decamp to Myrtle’s Courtyard where we will be selling beef and our Hampton produce at the Myrtle’s Courtyard Christmas Fair. This is an annual fair selling inspirational, local and helpful gifts to start the present buying season off, and if you would rather pick up on Saturday morning and join in the fair as well that’s fine by us. The Christmas Fair is a fundraiser for the United Parish of Seale, Sands, Puttenham and Wanborough.  It would be really helpful if you can let us know which day you prefer.

But before that you need to order and PLEASE email or phone Helen with your requirements helenjackson@hamptonestate.co.uk. And what will they be this month? We have excellent supplies of all cuts, joints, mince and steaks as the meat is currently hanging and maturing in our butcher’s cold store and the carvery ribs look spectacular. Christmas brisket I know is popular for some, whilst many of our customers stock up on mince for that family lasagne or cottage pie. Braising steak, stewing steak and shin will be snapped up by casserole enthusiasts and sirloin and rump steak is much sought after at this time of year. Topside, silverside and top rump joints just ooze flavour and are great hot or cold.  But don’t forget our Hampton Special Beef Pies (single or family size), our Hampton Herby sausages and Hampton Beef Bangers, we also have stocks of Hampton wild venison (how about a venison haunch for impressing everyone on Boxing Day) and finally for the more adventurous there will be plenty of offal in the form of kidney, tongue, liver, heart and oxtail. Wow, what a list. We can make up our 10kg family bags, 4Kg convenience bags or even our barbeque bags as required but more likely you will make up your own list and then send it over.

Thinking of Christmas presents we will also have our much admired Hampton mugs, our Hampton aprons, and even our new Hampton beanies for sale. They really keep your ears warm.

Saturday 30th November will see us at Myrtle’s Courtyard, surrounded by a wide variety of Christmas stalls and foods. The Fair starts at 10am and finishes with a flourish at 2.30pm. Your bag will be ready for you in exactly the same way and will have your usual bunch of fresh herbs popped inside. Helpfully we will be situated just inside the main gate in the first calving box on the left-hand side, the nearest spot to your car we can think of.

Looking back on the year we have seen many new customers become old friends as they enjoy the Hampton retail experience, we have welcomed masses of visitors to the farm and garden (Open Farm Sunday and school visits), the cows have contentedly chewed the species rich grassland around the Estate and having pregnancy tested them all yesterday I can report that Sir Patrick our magnificent bull is fit and well.

Please come and see us at the end of the month for your Hampton naturally reared produce, please order in advance if humanly possible, and Helen, Will Bridget and I really look forward to seeing you for a chat, a catch up and at least a cup of fresh coffee.

NB These are our last collection dates for 2019. We will not be holding any beef collection days in December because our butcher will be tied up with a few turkeys!

Very best wishes

Bill and Bridget

Posted in News & Events, Newsletter

Hampton Estate Naturally Reared Newsletter October 2019

The next Hampton Beef Day is on Friday 25th October and already orders are coming in for our Pasture for Life prime quality beef, our Hampton wild venison, our special steak pies, our Hampton Herby Sausages and Beef Bangers and even 100% Hampton beef burgers. We will be open from 10.30am and fresh coffee, tea, cake and biscuits will be ready for you and I am sure that there will be lots of autumnal chat, which is always such a pleasure.

It was a delight to meet so many new customers at our September Beef Day and we look forward to welcoming you back and bringing your friends. Very many thanks to everyone for getting in the Hairy Handlebar mood and so kindly contributing financially to the two lads (one being a Godson) who have just cycled from Bishop’s Stortford to Tokyo raising money for Movember and the Ian Williams Foundation. We transferred the fantastic sum of £500 to their charitable account and they have sent their sincere thanks to all at Hampton for such generosity. £10 for a beef bap and a beer proved a winner!

There are only three certified Pasture for Life farms in Surrey and we represent the western half of the county. The other two are in Redhill and Woldingham respectively. This is the accreditation for the finest beef possible, and please send over your order to ensure we have your beef ready for you. Steaks, cuts and joints are all available, and it’s probably time to stock up with braising steak, stewing steak and some prime mince for those yummy autumnal recipes of beef daube, steak and kidney pies and the casserole that includes at least half a bottle of red. There is no need to buy in bulk if that’s not your thing, and an order for half a kilo of mince or a small roasting joint is as important as a 5kg sirloin joint.  Our special steak pies are ready to order (family or individual sizes), there will be Hampton Herby sausages and Hampton Beef Bangers galore (packs of six sausages) and Hampton 100% beef burgers are always available for those still thinking summer barbeque thoughts. Don’t forget that we also have Hampton wild venison which is becoming more popular every month. A steak or two cooked hot and quick is a rare delicacy whilst a haunch will always impress and is mouth-wateringly delicious.

It was good to hear at the end of last month that the latest national study into red meat found that eating red meat is not harmful after all, and is to be encouraged, which luckily is something we have always supported. We also adhere to the notion of eating less red meat, but we would qualify this by encouraging everyone to eat less but eat the best quality possible.

The cows are grazing around the park for the last time before they head to their winter fields. Their calves look wonderfully well and continue to suckle their mothers in the most natural way possible and their winter coats are just beginning to show.

We really look forward to seeing everyone on Friday 25th October for a good beef catch up and please, please put your order in now to Helen to avoid any disappointment helenjackson@hamptonestate.co.uk. If you would like help or advice on any recipes or quantities we are more than happy to help so do ring or email.

Posted in News & Events, Newsletter

Hampton Estate Naturally Reared Newsletter September 2019

It was great to see so many new faces at our August Beef Day and welcome so many old friends. It was all a bit hectic at times, coinciding with a morning harvest of hop bines for sale on the day and some strategic holidays, but we were blessed with blue skies and sunshine all day and I know many customers enjoyed a potter around the garden.

Our next Hampton Beef Day is on Friday September 27th and if this amazing Indian summer continues, I am sure that we will be inundated for steaks to sizzle, bangers and beef burgers to barbeque and short ribs to slowly savour. We will have our usual array of barbeque bags, 4kg handy bags and 10 kg family size bags all packed full of beef, but don’t forget that we also cater for any order of any size. Half a kilo of prime minced beef is absolutely fine, as is an order for one pack of Hampton Herby sausages. At the other end of the scale an order for a complete sirloin or a three-rib carvery joint is not a problem at all. Don’t forget to add a Hampton Special Beef Pie onto the order, they go like hot cakes, and there will be supplies of the most delicious Hampton wild venison. The shopping experience is the same for everyone, fresh coffee, fresh cake and a chance to chat and shoot the breeze catching up on culinary tips. Do send over your order to Helen to make sure your beef and other tasties are ready for collection helenjackson@hamptonestate.co.uk.

In early August we had an inspection of all our cattle, all our records, all our pasture and all our management methods and consequently we are delighted to announce that Hampton Estate Farms are certified Pasture for Life members. We can fly the flag with pride, brandish the logo with aplomb and we are proud to be part of a movement which champions the best pasture fed grazing regimes in the UK. We were well placed to achieve this gold standard as our animals are already pasture fed for their entire lives and we don’t rely on grain or other feeds to boost their performance. It’s a slow system but it suits our more extensive pastures really well and is a perfect fit for Hampton high quality farming. Wow, we are immodest, however we know how much our customers value delicious pasture fed beef, grown, slaughtered, hung and butchered all within four miles of Hampton.

We are demob happy after two full weeks of hop harvesting. Our Fuggles hops are now all picked, dried and pressed and will be heading off to regional breweries and hop merchants throughout the UK in the coming weeks. We are even exporting some to the USA this year. We had a fine team led by daughter Molly, working on the picking machine or the hop garden for the harvest period, and every tractor on the farm is used to transport the hops from garden to oast. The weather was perfect and the crop is really pleasing with above average yield and good-looking quality.

Please come and see us on Friday 27th September and do send over your order as soon as possible to avoid any disappointment. We will be open from 10.30am and very much look forward to a catch up.

Best wishes

Bill and Bridget

 

Posted in News & Events, Newsletter

Hampton Estate Naturally Reared Produce Newsletter August 2019

It’s not long to our next Beef Collection Day on FRIDAY 23rd AUGUST when the coffee will be freshly brewed, the cakes freshly baked and the beef packed and ready. The perfect retail experience in the wilds of Surrey.  Add to your beef order packs of Hampton Herby sausages or Hampton Beef Bangers, some of our 100% beef burgers, one or two Hampton Special Beef Pies and finally a wild venison fillet.  They are all available and just waiting for your order. Simply email helenjackson@hamptonestate.co.uk who is ready to help with any naturally reared produce query.

We are in the process of certifying our pedigree Sussex herd for the Pasture for Life standard and will be inspected in the next couple of weeks.  This is really important as we are committed to the best for our cows, our countryside and our customers, and reinforces our own ethos and standards at a national level.  In advance of this I thought a helpful video would be interesting so do have a look at the link below.  As always, a picture paints a thousand words and a moving picture gives even more of a description.

Certified 100% grass-fed beef, lamb and dairy products

We will be barbequing hard this month here at Hampton, having delighted in an amazing brisket joint cooked on the Big Green Egg, and we are also making more bresaola from topside and top rump joints.  We have joints, ribs, steaks, mince and every other cut imaginable for you to order, for you to try on the barbeque, or to pop into the oven.

Yesterday was spent with our specialist hop agronomist in the hop gardens.  Our Fuggles hops are growing well and the actual hop fruit or ‘cones’ are forming fast.  They don’t yet have their award winning aroma, this will come over the next fortnight, and we then start harvesting.  The difference in outlook during the year across the gardens is remarkable.  It looks like a green forest of hop bine today full of promise and is impossible to see from one end of the garden to the other.  In three months’ time the gardens will be bare and only the hop poles and wirework noticeable in the view up to the Hog’s Back.  Decorative hop bines will be available to purchase from the Hampton Hop Oast during harvest.  But if you would like to collect a bine at Beef Day on Friday 23rd August please let Helen know and we will cut bines that morning.

Friday 23rd August is the eve of the Bank Holiday weekend and we will be open from 10.30am and looking forward to seeing you and to catching up with summery news. Please send your order over as soon as possible to avoid any disappointment and do ring if you have any culinary queries whatsoever which we can help with.

Best wishes

Bill and Bridget

Posted in News & Events, Newsletter

Hampton Naturally Reared Produce Newsletter July 2019

It was such a pleasure for the home team to meet so many new Hampton customers at our recent June Beef Day and thank you to everyone for your kind comments on beef, Hampton elderflower cordial, delicious cake, fresh coffee and the lavender in the courtyard which continues to flourish.

Please come again, and this time it’s going to be FRIDAY 26th JULY.  Our beef is slowly maturing in our butcher’s cold room whilst we take in your orders.  Research has shown that pasture fed beef has significantly higher vitamin and mineral levels than meat from grain fed systems. It is particularly rich in vitamins A and E and rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium. Most importantly it tastes outstandingly good.

With the weather looking fantastic we will be majoring on steaks to sizzle, (a single rib joint is a must), Hampton 100% beef burgers, Hampton Barbeque bags (incorporating steaks, beef burgers and bangers) but there is also lots of mince,  braising and diced beef for those wonderful summer recipes and every joint and cut is available.  Any order whether large or small is absolutely fine. Hampton Herby pork sausages are extremely popular both hot and cold, as are our very special Beef Bangers which received rave reviews from our Australian cattle farming friends staying last week. Special beef pies are on the menu and please order either a family or an individual and they will be packed with flavour.

As an alternative why not try some Hampton Wild Venison. It’s mouth wateringly good and works brilliantly on any barbeque because its so simple to cook. Do give it a go. Cook it hot with a good sprinkle of pepper and salt and let it rest before serving.

In the media Hampton cattle were featured along with Bill on Channel Four News on Wednesday evening, Planet Pod recorded their latest slow food podcast at Hampton in discussion with Bridget and Bill and BBC Radio Surrey featured Hampton beef discussions on Sunday evening on Nicky Patrick’s Sunday Supper Show. It’s all go.

Hay making has been a delight in this fantastic weather and lots of hay bales are now ready to be moved into the barns for winter feed. Pasture at its best.

For the past two years we have not increased our prices but this month we are proposing a modest price rise across the board. Wages, diesel, tractor parts, even wellies all seem to be going up!

We all look forward to seeing everyone on FRIDAY 26th JULY. Coffee, cake and elderflower will be ready for you from 10.30am. The garden is open for a visit and do put your order in as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. There are only so many sirloin steaks in an animal! Email helenjackson@hamptonestate.co.uk now to place your order.

Very best wishes to all

Bill and Bridget

Posted in News & Events, Newsletter

Hampton Estate Naturally Reared Produce Newsletter June 2019

We are looking forward to welcoming everyone to our next beef day, here at Hampton, on FRIDAY 28th JUNE. A special welcome for everyone who visits for the first time, especially all those whom we met at Open Farm Sunday when the sun shone (for most of the time) and we welcomed nearly 1000 visitors to Myrtle’s Courtyard to look at farming, forestry and the environment. It was a great day for us all as we met so many charming and interested visitors, and the feedback was fantastically supportive and positive. Next year Open Farm Sunday is on 7th June, a date for your diary.

As our visitors and superb crew left on Sunday the last cow to calve, number 498 finally produced a thriving heifer calf. The 2019 calving season is officially over.

Open Farm Sunday was mainly sunny and warm which was perfect for tractor and trailer rides, woodland walks, cow demos, roast beef rolls and ice creams. And then the heavens opened on Monday afternoon and every Hampton field has sighed with relief, especially the hop gardens, which were becoming parched, and the grass meadows which were turning a straw brown and crying out for moisture. Apologies to anyone who got wet, but over here we love every moment of the downpours.

On FRIDAY 28th JUNE we are selling prime beef, Hampton wild venison, Hampton Herby Sausages and Hampton Special Steak Pies which we will soon be cooking.

Our pedigree beef herd is pasture fed and the cows are currently grazing in a very relaxed fashion in the water meadows by the River Wey. Idyllic. However, with such a natural slow growing system there are times when the cattle are simply not ready, and June 2019 is one of those times. Therefore, at our beef day on 28th June we will be selling frozen beef (frozen in May) rather than from the cold store. We have the most delicious frozen joints of silverside, topside, top rump, brisket and rib, plus good supplies of prime mince, shin, skirt and braising steak. There is also lots of offal available in the form of oxtails, kidney, liver, tongue and even heart. We have some excellent recipes for offal, all scrumptious. Just decide what you want, be it half a kilo of mince or a silverside joint, a double rib joint and two packs of Hampton Herby Sausages by way of examples and email your order over to us.

We also have excellent supplies of Hampton Wild Venison, all from the Estate woods and fields. This is fantastic meat, rich in flavour, low in fat and totally natural. A venison barbeque is a must for 2019 using a fillet, some steaks or for the adventurous a whole haunch. It all needs a hot oven or barbeque, the nerve to leave it to rest after cooking and be ready for the most appreciative compliments from all those you are cooking for. Depending on the season our venison stocks can be high or low, but take advantage of the former and order some now. We may not have any at all in a month’s time. We have lots of good venison recipes and can always help on the phone or email.

We will have stacks of Hampton Herbies which are delicious locally sourced pork sausages complimented with herbs from the Hampton walled garden, and of course fresh coffee and homemade cake will be ready for everyone from 10.30am.

Please send us your order for Hampton Naturally Reared Produce to helenjackson@hamptonestate.co.uk or pick up the phone and ring 01483 810465. Fresh coffee and Bridget’s homemade cake will be ready from 10.30am and we all look forward to seeing you.

With best wishes

Bill and Bridget

Posted in News & Events, Newsletter

Hampton Estate Naturally Reared Produce Newsletter May 2019

FRIDAY 31st MAY is our next Hampton Beef Day and by then we will be in full summer mode, fingers crossed.  It will be barbeque evenings, light salads, delicious venison, flame grilled fillet, tasty sirloin and rump steaks and a smattering of truffle oil with a fragrant vinegar for dressing.

Come and visit us to see the lavender bank growing and the garden blooming, and of course to pick up your beef order.  Our Beef Bags (family at 10kgs and convenient at 4kgs) hold everything you need. Steaks, joints, braising, stewing and minced beef plus a sprig of herbs fresh from the walled garden.  Alternatively make up your own order of say half a dozen 100% beefburgers, two packs of special Hampton Beef Bangers or Hampton Herby Sausages, a silverside joint and some rump steaksShin and braising steak are always so popular and there are lots of good summer recipes using these delicious cuts.

Our venison larder is extremely well stocked at the moment with fillets, haunches, diced and minced venison all ready for your order.

And great news, the chefs will be producing the best Hampton Special Beef Pies in both family and individual sizes for 31st May.  Hampton pies fly off the shelf and are extremely popular so do put your order in as soon as possible. Infact this applies to all produce.  Please order to avoid any disappointment because we have a finite amount of best quality, pasture fed delicious beef available each month and when it’s gone…. It’s gone.

Our hops are growing in the hop gardens at Puttenham, the young shoots have been individually trained up the strings and we hope to watch them growing away.  With warmth and a little rain, you can almost see a hop plant grow.

The cows are now in their summer pastures and enjoying fresh herb rich grass all over the farm. Eight heifers (young females) are in the field below the church at Seale, aptly called Church Meadow, and we will leave them there for as much of the summer as we can.  We know how popular they are and I think they are the most watched cows in Surrey, which is great.  The older cows and their young calves are enjoying the parkland grass and are about to be joined by our new bull.  He has recently arrived from the Isle of Sheppey, is a pure pedigree Sussex bull weighing in at about three quarters of a tonne and is two and a half years old.  His breeding is from the Stargazer family of bulls thus he was christened Sir Patrick, for obvious reasons. We hope that he will be a true gentleman, like his namesake.

Elsewhere on the calendar;

The Woodland Woggle a 10k fun run starts from Myrtle’s Courtyard on Sunday morning, 12th May.  It is stewarded by Tongham Scouts and is their major fund raiser for the year. The route goes through the bluebell woods around the Estate and is always extremely popular.  There are still spaces available.

On 16th May we host a school visit to the Estate from a junior school located at the end of the Heathrow runways.  We will be taking them on a woodland walk with forestry demo, then to see cows and calves and finally to look at and dig soil pits to check out the worms.  We will also be making a big playground out of bales for an energy release zone.

On a similar theme and with advance warning we will be taking part in LEAF’s Open Farm Sunday on Sunday 9th June.  This is a national open day for farms across the country which we want to support.  We will be based at Myrtle’s Courtyard from 10.30am and there will be tractor and trailer rides, forestry and machinery demonstrations, cows and calves to see, a Hampton special sausage barbeque, local ice creams, and a bale playground.  The event will be ticketed and please check our website for all details as everyone is extremely welcome.

Finally, there is a Surrey Agricultural Service taking place at The Cathedral in Guildford on Rogation Sunday, 26th May at 11.30am.  Everyone is welcome and it precedes the Surrey County Show in Guildford the next day, Bank Holiday Monday where we are sponsoring a bull class!

Please check your recipes, put in your beef order and we all look forward to seeing you on the last day in May, Friday 31st for fresh coffee and cake, a good catch up and a sausage taster or two.

Very best wishes

Bill and Bridget

 

Posted in Newsletter

Hampton Estate Naturally Reared Newsletter March 2019

The first Hampton calf of 2019 was born two days ago, a healthy heifer (female) with beady eyes and a shiny coat and mum and daughter are doing well. So starts our calving season, pretty much on time, and by the look of some of our heavily pregnant mums we will soon have quite a number of calves skipping around. Congratulations are due to our excellent bull Regent, who sadly leaves us for pastures new, as we welcome his successor, Sir Patrick who is wonderfully named as he comes from the Stargazer blood line. I’m expecting a monocle and a waistcoat when he arrives from his current home on the Isle of Sheppey. Note, we have one magnificent bull for sale if anyone needs him!

Turning to the other end of the breeding spectrum our next beef day will be on Friday 5th April and we are already taking orders. This will be our Easter Beef Day (Easter Day is Sunday 21st April) and do think about family descending (mince and stewing needed for casseroles and spag bol) or special visitors needing a rolled sirloin joint, or perhaps an opportunity to fire up the barbeque and sizzle some steaks, Hampton 100% beef burgers and Hampton Herby sausages. All of the above, plus more is ready for your order. We have 10kg Family Bags and 4kg Convenience Bags (steaks, joints, stewing, braising and mince) available, lots of Hampton Herbies and Hampton Beef Bangers, and of course will make up any bespoke order you need. A kilo of mince by itself is completely fine, or how about a silverside joint and some shin? The options are endless but we are well aware that Hampton customers are resourceful, knowledgeable and creative and will be using our beef for the most wonderful home-made meals. I’m still a big fan of short ribs and brisket, eminently slow cookable (with a tad of smoke)  on the Big Green Egg or in the oven and invariably delicious with very little input from me.

Don’t forget that Hampton Prime Minced Beef Pies are also on the menu for Friday 5th April and will be baked as an individual pie or family size. Please order as soon as possible as these homecooked mouth-watering delicacies always sell out and we hate to see any look of disappointment at the beef day.

Hampton wild venison is also available to order. As the days get longer the chances of culling the roe deer who seem so elusive increases dramatically. Haunches, fillet, diced and minced venison are being put in the freezer as I write and always cook so well with minimum intervention from the chef.

We are always heartened to hear that Hampton beef tastes excellent, indeed many say the best, and we attribute this to the cows’ lifestyle. No rushing, pasture fed, high animal welfare and good nutrition are important principles for the beef herd and these in turn give meat which is full of flavour. As the grass starts to grow, we are assessing all the fields to see how we can improve the grasses by adding different varieties which will compliment and enhance the current swards. This will all help our accreditation as Pasture Fed Livestock Association members which we are preparing for this year and which exactly mirrors our herd management and beef breeding ethos. The strap line is Pasture for Life, with which we completely agree although the Hampton take is Pasture to Plate.

Please put Friday 5th April into your diary, please send Helen your order for all Hampton Naturally Reared Produce helenjackson@hamptonestate.co.uk and we will be open from 10.30am for freshly brewed coffee, birthday cake, Anzac biscuits and good beef chat.

Very best wishes

Bill and Bridget

Posted in Newsletter