British Food

What's on your plate?


Farm to Fork is about knowing where your food comes from, how it’s grown and raised and reducing the chain from farm to table.

Blog readers will know we are passionate about local produce and we are working with The Angel Inn at Stoke by Nayland to supply beef and pork for their kitchens.

Farm to Fork came about when Head Chef Mark Allen asked if we would supply  beef to The Angel.  Mark had heard about our Nayland Beef from a chef friend in a London hotel in Mayfair.  Mark was keen to take his sourcing a step further and support local, small-scale and artisan producers by buying direct to bring the best local ingredients onto the menu.  So we got to talking and I suggested embracing all stages by getting involved and rearing pigs at Lower Dairy Farm exclusively for the Angel kitchens.  And here they are!  Our three large black piglets surveying the mammoth task ahead; a jungle to explore, snuffle and munch their way through complete with hazelnuts, acorns and burdock roots to excavate - piggy bliss!

We want people to follow the story from pig to plate and engage in how their food is grown and raised.  So step away from the supermarket shelves and get down to your local farm shop and whilst you're at it, pop into your local for a drink and a Lower Dairy Farm steak!  Mark is a genius in the kitchen and we can't wait to see what he will produce from our tasty Horkesley Porkers.

Farmyard emergency!

We just heard an almighty shout from Dad.  Don't panic Mr Mainwaring!  He hadn't driven into anything...he'd dropped his mince pie.  A little quiet on the blog recently, but this little tale should reassure you all is well at the farm.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all at Lower Dairy Farm!

We hope you enjoy your Christmas dinner as much as this...Messy Cow Lower Dairy FarmManners!


Back British Farming Charter

British food supplies would run out on 14th August if all the food produced in Britain in a year was stored and eaten from 1st January onwards.

But our farmers are determined to reverse this trend and produce enough food for the needs of generations to come - but we need politicians, supermarkets, retailers, food processors, restaurants and cafes to play their part to let them do their job.

The National Farmers' Union have created a charter calling for a commitment to put British farming at the heart of the challenge of feeding us all in the future.

Sign the Back British Farming Charter and show your support!

Essex, Orange and Proud

Yes, it's nearly Halloween, and El Diablo dog is disguising himself as a pumpkin to avoid the ghosts of past unholy collie-terrier unions. Wise werewolf.

   Here in Essex, those of us who cannot afford a spray tan, take this seasonal opportunity to surround ourselves with as many pumpkins as possible for a reflected TOWIE orange glow. Nothing is more effective at scaring the undead.  And so, to celebrate this joyous pumpkin-filled Hallowe'en, we've delved into Hannah's recipe "book" (a scary task in itself, see right), and as requested, the recipe for a family favourite:

 Pumpkin Bread

1lb pumpkin (peeled and diced) , 2 oz butter/marg, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. ginger, large pinch nutmeg, 1lb flour (1/2 white, 1/2 wholemeal is best), 1 tsp. salt (optional), 2 tsps. sugar, 2 tbsps. warm water, 1 egg (beaten)

Peel and dice the pumpkin.  Cover with water and cook for 20 minutes until tender then drain and mash with the butter, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.  Make sure it is smooth.  Leave to cool.

Meanwhile, mix together the sugar, warm water, egg and yeast.

Once the pumpkin mixture is lukewarm, combine all the ingredients and knead.  The mixture can be quite wet at first.  The best advice I've had is to start mixing and kneading with a spatula and give the flour time to absorb some of the liquid.  If needed, gradually add extra flour a little at a time on your hands or in the bowl and knead in until you have a smooth dough. 

Cover and leave for 10 minutes to prove in a warm place. 

Punch down and divide the dough in two.  Knead each half and place into two greased 1lb loaf tins.  Cover the tins with a tea towel and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size.

Cook at 200oC for about 30 minutes, or until bread sounds hollow when knocked on the base. (My favourite part of the bread process!)

Enjoy toasted with lashings of butter, Marmite or jam and try not to eat the two loaves before you get a chance to take a photo...ahem.

This year, mini pumpkins (munchkins) are available at Wiston Church, including the adorably named 'Wee Be Little'.  It's worth a walk over to Wiston to enjoy the autumn colours and return home with pockets of pumpkins. They also act as excellent improvised "go fetch" balls if you are uncoordinated enough to drop them near annoyingly fast werewolves with vegetarian tendencies - a socially acceptable werewolf if ever I've met one.

Happy baking and Happy Halloween!

Westminster in a sash

A baby tractor and a big Hero bear hit Westminster for the launch of Great British Beef Week.

Followed by the lovely Ladies in Beef with Jim Paice MP.  As a child I struggled to master the sash as a Brownie and Girl Guide.  Apparently, I have not grown out of it (or learnt to look at the camera!).

Back home on the farm, the tractors may not be as shiny (or have cabs), but we're about to celebrate the start of GBBW with a lovely roast silverside joint.