Farm To Plate
- Posted: 8th March 2017
Provenance is a key part of our steak offering at the Chop House. Where we source our beef and how it has been treated is essential when providing quality steak to our customers. You read a lot of terms that try & indicate quality within animal agriculture such as ‘grass fed’, ‘free range’ & ‘organic’ etc however it’s not always the case and the only real way to find out is to go directly to the farm. So that’s exactly what we did!
A few weeks ago on a sunny Monday morning in February we visited St. Boswells Market in the Scottish borders for their weekly cattle sale with our suppliers Shaws Butchers. We wanted to see what they look for when buying cattle that they supply the to Chop House. From the shape & length of it’s back to the width of it’s rear, Shaws are meticulous in their criteria for selecting only the best animal. The market attracts farmers from all over Scotland however Shaws were only interested in a very small select group of farms that are renowned for quality and who they have built up a great relationship with.
One of those farms is Upper Nisbet. After the sale and a nice cup of tea at St. Boswells we set off to meet farmer Robert Neill and see his cattle. Upper Nisbet is a short drive from the market and is home to hundreds of cattle spread over 400 hectares of open fields & sheltered barns. The farm set up is incredible and all designed to ensure the best treatment of the animals. Some farms will buy in cattle that will be used for breeding however this is not the case here. All the cows have been born and bred on the farm so Robert and his small team are in full control of their treatment from birth. The cattle feed is also grown on the farm across over 200 hectares dedicated to crops. They are fed a mix of grass, a special type of bean for protein and their water intake is monitored electronically through a system that Robert designed himself. His hard work & dedication to his farm & animals saw him awarded the Future Farming Award 2013 & he was the first ever Scotch Beef Farm Of The Year Winner in 2012. High tech, award winning, yet natural farming! It was impressive to say the least and we all came away delighted and safe in the knowledge all our beef is treated with such high standards.
Having this confidence in knowing where our beef comes from and how it has been treated from farm to plate is essential for us and our customers. So the next time you visit the Chop House and are enjoying a tasty steak, single or sharing cut, know that it really is the ‘Best of British’ Scotch beef.