The Story Beef

Why do people say our beef is so good? We believe it’s because it’s all from our own herd so we can specify the breed, the feed, the husbandry, the age and condition at slaughter, the hanging and the butchery.

Luke farms his organic beef at his home – Herons Green Farm in the Chew Valley – where traditional native breeds of North and South Devon cattle are grass fed on lush pasture. The South Devon is the largest of the native British cattle breeds, well known for its maternal and beef qualities.

As the farm is in the Countryside Stewardship scheme the cattle are housed from 31 October until the spring, with calves being weaned at nine to ten months old. In Winter we house them on straw and feed them a home grown silage, hay and barley straw mix. We’re happy to finish them at 28-30+ months old and since moving to a 100% pasture based diet it is certainly proving longer finishing periods. In the fattening period over the last eight or nine months we feed them a mix of red clover / peas, barley and vetch, a forage mixed species silage harvested before the grain stage.

We think these variables affect the flavour and the key to our product is the consistency of the whole process. The beef that is produced is marbled and tender and sought after by butchers and restaurants who recognise the premium quality of the meat.

cow in field

Grass Fed Benefits

Red meat from animals reared on grass is known to contain much higher levels of beneficial fatty acids and other compounds, such as conjugated linoleic acid which have been shown to have anti-cancer properties. Richard Young, Soil Association advisor – Guardian – 28 Feb 2011

Why shouldn’t you be able to enjoy a juicy steak while simultaneously supporting a food revolution?

  • Antibiotics and hormone free: better for them and better for us.
  • Grass-fed meat is leaner and has the optimum level of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids helping combat higher blood pressure and increases brain function. It has a 60% + increase in Omega 3 compared to grain fed.
  • Eating grass fed free-range meat is an excellent source of Vitamin A (10x more than grain-fed) higher in Vitamin E (3x more than grain-fed beef).
  • Grass-fed meat contains higher levels of CLA “conjugated linoleic acid”, a good type of fat that has been shown to defend against cancer, obesity and immune disorders.


Dry Ageing

At the Story we ensure the term “aged beef” is carried out to strict guidelines, in a controlled, refrigerated environment. We use 30 days as our minimum standard for dry aging our beef. During this time, enzymes present in the muscles start to break down the connective tissues that can make meat tough. This breakdown results in more tender meat.

To control bacteria and to promote growth of certain fungal species on the external surface of the meat you need a constant flow of air all around the meat, which means it needs to be hanging in a well ventilated space.

Because of the high price and the space required to age meat, very few retailers carry out any form of aging. Ageing takes about 11 days before you see much improvement in the flavour of the meat. After that the flavour continues to intensify, but so does the loss of weight and the risk of the meat spoiling. On average the meat loses approximately 15% of it original weight.

Beef is aged for 30 days+ , our Rare Breed Pork is dry aged on the bone for a minimum of 10 days and our Lamb is dry aged for 7-14 days.

We know our steaks and even our mince taste massively different from the norm you can buy elsewhere. Like good cheese or wine each and every breed and length of ageing can give a very different and distinct taste, try our 100 day aged rib eye, it is mouthwatering!


How We Farm Our Beef

Straight from the cows mouth. Farmer and co-owner Luke Hasell talks us through his herd of beef cattle over looking Chew Lake.



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