Our 2nd Beef Day of the year is rapidly approaching on FRIDAY 23rd MARCH which is a week before Easter and you may well need supplies of prime Hampton produce. Who is coming to stay? Is it time to dust down the barbeque? Will a roast rib be just the thing for Sunday lunch? Lots of imponderables, but we have lots of answers in the shape of beef, venison, sausages and even meat pies.
Our 4 kg convenience bags have steak, a joint, prime mince and stewing steak and as we say, its all jolly convenient. A 10 kg bag is a family affair and has the same ingredients, just a bit more. At the other end of the scale come over for half a kilo of stewing steak or a small roasting joint, we are infinitely flexible, or if it’s a party of 10 how about a mouth-watering sirloin joint? We always have Hampton Herby sausages and we always seem to run out of them!
Hampton Herbies are made from free range pork whilst Hampton Beef Bangers are made from pure Hampton beef with a hint of horseradish, and go down equally well. We always run out of them too. Why not try a pack of each to compare and contrast and we will make sure we have lots in stock. Order now.
Our stalkers have been busy and we have excellent supplies of delicious Hampton wild roe venison. A haunch feeds about 6, looks spectacular and even better, its simple to cook. It requires a hot oven, a good sprinkling of salt and pepper and a bit of faith as it’s very easy to overcook. After approximately an hour and a quarter zip it out, wrap in foil and leave to rest in a warm spot for half an hour and it will continue to cook. The result will be deliciousness in the extreme, but don’t take my word for it, have a go!
We also have venison mince and diced, and there is a great recipe for shoulder of venison cassoulet which is a real winter dish and a great favourite.
We should have offal galore and, liver, kidney, oxtail are always popular amongst the cognoscenti and are so easy to cook with excellent results. It is sold frozen as it is returned to us immediately after slaughter as offal is not something that is hung.
Rabbit may be on the cards but currently numbers are thin on the ground. This year we have shot and ferreted 480 rabbits which sounds a lot, but looking back in the Hampton game book for 1932, 3652 rabbits were shot, ferreted and trapped and the following year the number rose to over 7000. I won’t mention what other species were considered vermin at that time but the game book is a fascinating social record for the estate.
In 1932 the Hampton herd of pedigree Guernsey cows was being established by Bridget’s grandmother which continued until 2004 when we changed the system to our naturally reared pedigree Sussex beef cows. Last month, on possibly the wettest day of the winter to date, we blood tested all animals. This involved bringing the entire herd into the coralle in order for our vet to take a blood sample which is then analysed for health status. Everyone was well and truly drenched by the end of the day but I am pleased to report that every animal tested negative and our high health status remains. Meanwhile we are all awaiting the first calving of the year as the mum’s due dates draw near and the cows are becoming more barrel like by the day.
Hop stringing in the hop gardens has begun and we also had a few days of good dry weather to spread farmyard manure on the hop gardens. This increases the fertility of the soil and adds to its structure in the most natural way possible. We will soon be seeing the first hop shoots coming through the ground and this kicks off the start of the 2018 hop growing season.
On Friday 23rd March we will have fresh coffee and cake ready from 10.30am, sausage tasters will follow, there will be a bottle of red or two at lunchtime and your ordered beef will be ready for you to pick up. Do zip your order in to Helen by email and we are more than happy to answer any butchering and beef related questions anyone may have.
Very best wishes and Bridget and I are looking forward to good old pre-Easter catch up.
Bill and Bridget