We are proud that the beef on our butchery counter comes from animals we've reared ourselves. We also source from father and son farmers, David and Tom Lockwood of Cullompton, who share our passion for rearing great beef.
We hang the beef in our dry-aging chamber which is filled with Himalayan rock salt bricks to draw the moisture out of the meat as it ages. It's then traditionally butchered by our team. This labour of love results in exceptional eating.
Many people don’t know the difference between what's on offer at the supermarket and what they’d get from traditional artisan butchers like Philip and Alastair who are involved in every stage of production.
We know everything there is to know about the beef that ends up in the butchery, as we go to market to hand select young stock (8-12 months old) ourselves. We buy from farmers we’ve built relationships with for over 30 years and favour those on Exmoor as they rear hardier breeds such as the Devons which make for great eating.
Being able to champion native Ruby Red Devon Cattle in our butchery is truly amazing. This is an indigenous Devon breed which produces amazingly good beef with a perfect balance of fat to lean. We bring the animals back to Darts and turn them out to graze on the banks of the River Clyst, where they slowly reach their natural maturity.
The fact that the cattle spend most of their lives grazing outdoors and are not forced but are allowed to grow slowly shows in the eating. It’s all about keeping the stress levels of the animals low and that also comes as a result of buying them from local farms so they don’t have to travel far.
Everything about the production of our beef is local: even the food that the animals are finished on is grown on the farm, including hay, corn, maize and silage. Sustainability is incredibly important to us.
We’re passionate about putting back into the local community and that’s why we buy from local farms and use services in the local area. We work with farmers such as David and Tom Lockwood at Venn Farm in Cullompton, who pride themselves on the same high standards that we adhere to.
We have been in butchering since we were kids and we’ve got a real passion for it. That starts at the farm and making sure the animals are looked after and fed well. That level of input makes us unusual; hardly anyone else does what we do but it results in the finest beef we can create.
We pay a huge amount of attention to maturing the beef as it results in the best flavour and tenderness. We hang the beef in quarters – the biggest pieces possible – in the maturing fridge for four weeks. It’s a system we’ve developed so that we can control the humidity carefully and therefore mature the beef for longer.
We also use Himalayan rock salt in there as it purifies the air and removes moisture. Hanging the meat for a substantial time gives all the cuts extra flavour and tenderness.
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Continuing to build new relationships with likeminded people who share our commitment to the cause of great food and drink.
The ultimate breakfast treat! This deliciously indulgent curd recipe uses Shute Fruit Elderflower Cordial, handmade by our friend Lori in Teingmouth using handpicked elderflower.
Over the past few decades, belly pork has become a rather fashionable cut; it's crisp and crunching skin complements the beautiful, tender meat that sit below it. Extremely versatile it's delicious roasted, braised or fried.
Peter and James of Creedy Carver at Merrifield Farm in Crediton have supplied us with free-range chicken and duck for over 15 years. They share our passion and commitment to rearing birds to the highest standards of quality and animal welfare. To create a spatchcock chicken, our Master Butchers remove the backbone and cut so it will lay flat, making it perfect to cook on a BBQ.