Four Brilliant Devon Meat Suppliers
The Devon Foodie team is passionate about the provenance of our food and we’re keen to shout about the great job local businesses do by supplying our region with high quality, free range meats. Across the county, farmers and butchers alike are committed to ensuring that the highest standards in food quality and animal welfare are maintained and we applaud their efforts in producing some of the best meat in the country. With so many Devon meat suppliers to choose from we’re spoilt for choice, but here are four of our favourites:
Our first choice ticks all the right boxes by prioritising animal welfare and the local community as well as taste. Founded in 1989, Pipers Farm produces sustainable and healthy meat that is grown in harmony with nature. They don’t use preservatives or artificial ingredients at any stage of production and they breed their animals with the kind of respect for the countryside that is often lacking in mass-produced supermarket foods. The result? Meat of the highest quality, in which you can truly taste the difference.
Other than its commendable philosophy, one of the things we love the most about Pipers Farm is their wide selection of meat boxes. There’s everything from the ‘Big Breakfast Box’ – which contains all the essentials for a proper Full English breakfast – to a ‘Wellness Box’ that contains specially chosen lean, nutrient rich cuts for making healthy, wholesome meals. There’s even a ‘Doggy Bag’ that comes complete with meaty treats for our canine companions, which we think is a sweet touch that goes a long way to ensure minimum wastage. Meat boxes start from just £12.75, meaning that they are also reasonably priced as well as being a superb quality.
As well as the boxes and individual cuts of meat, the farm offers a range of other goods, including top-notch homemade pies (that come wrapped in buttery, melt-in-the-mouth pastry) and some more unusual ‘outside the box’ products that utilise every aspect of the carcass. There’s Red Ruby Beef Dripping that can be spread on toast or used to roast vegetables; there’s Saddleback Pig Skin for crunchy cracking; and Saddleback Lardo that can be used to make your very own DIY charcuterie.
Check out their website for 3 for 2 offers on a range of their products and if you’re looking for inspiration for your own kitchen make sure you take a look at their blog for some tempting recipes.
Pipers Farm, Cullompton, EX15 1SD; pipersfarm.com
Darts Farm Butchers
There’s an old saying ‘you eat with your eyes’. Well, you’ll certainly be in a banqueting mood when you visit the Darts Farm butchers counter. Without a doubt, this on-site butchers have the ‘wow factor’ when it comes to putting on a display. We’re always tempted by the beautifully presented produce and the broad range of meats on offer makes it a whole lot easier to plan family meals. Indeed, the counter is brimming with award-winning produce, containing everything from pre-prepped joints ready to grace your Sunday table, to a variety of handmade sausages.
Darts Butchers are committed to ensuring that their meat is traceable and wherever possible sourced from within a few miles of the farm itself. They’re passionate about producing the highest quality beef and keep their own herd of Ruby Red cattle – a native Devon breed – which they source, rear, mature and butcher themselves on site.
With so much on offer at the Dart’s Farm meat counter it’s likely you’ll feel a little overwhelmed, but novices fear not. The friendly team of master butchers – led by Alistair and Phillip David – are on hand to share their expertise with advice on how to prepare and cook everything on offer. We love the Mexican chilli beef pin wheels and the minced beef steak truffles are just delicious. However, if you’re hosting a real soiree then you can’t go far wrong with the lamb crown roast or a beef Wellington. Both of these cuts (and many more) come ready to just pop into the oven and do their thing, saving you time and energy in the kitchen.
Tim and Jo started Higher Hacknell with the aim of farming with nature rather than against it. What started out as simply feeding their family developed into a fully fledged business and now High Hacknell delivers its produce to homes nationwide. Their organic farming process offers common-sense answers to the problems facing agriculture and they are committed to putting animal welfare and food safety first. The farm produces its own vegetables from the garden and cider from its orchards, while its meat comes from animals that enjoy ample freedom to roam the fields and live comfortable, natural lives.
Higher Hacknell’s organic meats have won them a string of awards, including several ‘Taste of the West’ accolades and Gold in the Soil Association’s ‘Organic Food Awards’. As well as a wide selection of meats, their online store gives you the opportunity to buy your meat in bulk depending on the occasion. You can purchase bulk chicken, beef, lamb or pork boxes or you can opt for a mixed ‘Slow Cook Meat Box’ (£70) or their mammoth sized ‘Barbecue Meat Box’ for just £75.
Once you’ve bought your cuts of meat and you’re ready to get cooking, make sure you take advantage of their many mouth watering recipes, including Beef Provencal and Lamb Tagine. Alternatively, if you don’t have the time to prepare dishes for yourself you might be interested to learn that Higher Hacknell offers some very tempting ready meals, such as Lamb and Squash Curry, Cottage Pie and Chicken, Leek & Bacon pasta bake (available in large and small portions).
Higher Hacknell Farm, Burrington, Umberleigh, EX37 9LX; www.higherhacknell.co.uk
The Well Hung Meat Company
The Well Hung Meat Company is a little different to our other top picks. It’s largely an online affair and is made up of a team of skilled butchers who have learnt their trade through years of experience and know how to break down and prepare any carcass from nose to tail. They offer a large variety of great value meat boxes that are filled with a diverse range of cuts and deliver them fresh to your door throughout the year. Buying in bulk from The Well Hung Meat Company often works out a lot cheaper than buying items individually and you can select the ‘regular order’ option at the checkout to ensure that you’re never without the cuts you love.
The Well Hung Meat Company started out from Carswell Farm on the south coast of Devon, where its founder Geoff Sayers sold his organically reared lamb to friends and family. In 2001, Geoff’s lamb won the blind tasting competition in the Soil Association Organic Food Awards and after a repeat of this success in 2002 demand for his organic meats soared. Today, the company has expanded to incorporate a small network of organic Devon farmers who share Geoff’s values and passion for quality meats.
We love the fact the company is committed to doing things the old fashioned way. They specially select breeds from local organic farmers and ensure that they pay a fair price for all of their meats. The animals are then humanely despatched at a family abattoir close to the site in order to reduce stress and travelling distance – an act which is not only kinder but also accounts for why the meat is so tender and flavourful. The meat is then dry-aged on the bone for at least 21 days (for beef) in order to enhance its flavour and improve the texture.
Where is your favourite place to buy meat in Devon? Let us know in the comments below and we may just feature them next time!