When we were asked if we would like to attend the press launch for The Store, Foveran’s Open Day and reintroduction of their Foodie Fridays, we jumped at the chance. We are both fan’s of The Store, the quality of produce sold in their shop is exceptional we highly recommend you try out the tasty food available in the coffee shop whilst you are there. It was with much enthusiasm that we headed to The Store yesterday morning where we were met in the shop by the lovely Ellen and started the day with tea, bacon rolls and a chat with Farmer Booth, before heading out for a tour of the farm and butchery.
We headed up to the farm itself, where we were introduced to some of the Aberdeen Angus cattle The Store is famous for. This family run farm has been in the family for 4 generations and they go to lengths to promote the Aberdeen Angus herd and the quality of British cattle breeds. The family went back to traditional feeding methods, seeking to enhance the flavour of the meat they produce. Cattle are fed how they used to be fed, grazing grass in the summer and eating grass (silage) in the winter. The focus is firmly on the quality of the meat and not quantity produced. Cattle are bought direct from the breeder, rather than from the mart and the cattle are then raised on the farm. Farmer Booth buys the whole herd regardless of size, this way he can ensure that not all the meat is ready for slaughter at the same time, ensuring fresh produce in The Store at all times. This method allows the herd to mature when its ready, ensuring they get the best of the meat when it’s ready. Promoting British breeds is a real focus of the farm and Farmer Booth mentioned a recent meat tasting he had with a Hereford/Jersey cross, delicious apparently and perhaps something we might come to see on The Store’s shelves in the future? Of course this sizeable farm is not just a livestock farm, there is considerable arable farming on the land. The farm also produce wheat, barley, oil seed rape and oats. The Farm itself uses a biomass system and recycle their waste which they in turn buy back as compost to use again on the fields, working to cut down their carbon footprint.
We then headed back to the Butchery where the Farm mature all their own meat. Carcasses are hung for a minimum of 21 days and meat is left to mature on the bone, ensuring you get the best flavour from the meat. Traceability is critical to the entire process, with each cut of meat sold in the shop capable of being traced back to a single animal. Butcher Grant gave us a butchery demonstration, french trimming a roast rib joint before boning it out into a rolled rib roast. Grant attempted to show us how to tie butchers knots, but with very little real success. It was then onto the sausage making where we all tried our hand at making a string of sausages. The less said about my attempt the better, given the amount of holes I poked in the casing these are destined for the frying pan rather than the barbecue, where I fear they would fall apart! To be fair Michelle’s attempt was significantly better, her sausages did resemble a string and were more or less whole! Don’t think either of us will be offered a job anytime soon!
Lunch was a very generous smoked meat platter prepared for us by Head Chef Tim. The platter is the same one that will be served as a main at the forthcoming Foodie Friday on 29th May and showcases the farm’s produce. The selection of smoked meats were paired with some fresh vegetable sides of slaw and pickles and two very different sauce accompaniments. If our lunch today was anything to go by then we highly recommend you give it a try, booking of course essential.
After lunch we had a chance for a look round the shop, where we both stocked up. I’d like to make it clear that we both buy regularly at The Store for the consistent quality of its produce. Our last challenge after some questionable sausage making was that Farmer Booth handed each of us a cut of meat, free of charge, that we hadn’t cooked before. Michelle has the back vein, I got the skirt but our sympathy lies squarely with our fellow foodie blogger Claire, aka Foodie Quine, who landed the tongue – good luck Claire. Our own results will be posted in due course!
The Open Day is being held at the farm on Sunday 7th June from 11am-3pm. This free event is a fun day out for all the family and one in both our diaries. For further details please see The Store’s website.
Finally we would like to say a big thank you to the team at The Store for both the invite and a thoroughly enjoyable morning.0