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Celebrating British food with Hemsley & Hemsley

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The Hemsley sisters have teamed up with Samsung’s GALAXY S4 Smartphone for a summer road trip to track down the best homegrown British ingredients. Jasmine and Melissa are passionate about creating beautiful, healthy and nutritional recipes and they’re on a mission to find like-minded producers who support Thoughtful Eating. They believe it’s essential to appreciate the heritage of food and to truly understand what you’re feeding yourself and your loved ones. They’ll visit four family businesses where they’ll use fresh, ethically-sourced ingredients to create a series of summer suppers free from grain, high starch or refined sugar.

Wild Beef at Hillhead Farm, Chagford, Devon. Owned by Richard and Lizzie Vines

The girls’ first stop on their foodie tour of Britain is Wild Beef at Hillhead Farm. The farm is set on Dartmoor in the heart of Devon – a beautiful part of the country, which the girls were able to capture using their GALAXY S4 full HD cameras.

Run by Richard and Lizzie Vines, Wild Beef produces natural, grass-reared beef from over 70 native cows.

Richard took Melissa and Jasmine on a tour explaining how and why their cows deliver such mouth-watering meat. The cattle are never fed on unnatural high-protein finishing rations, concentrates or hormones to promote growth. Instead you get beef as nature intended - full of Omega 3, 6 and 9, minerals and trace elements. The cows live blissful stress-free lives meandering across acres and acres of picture-perfect green pastures. Not only are they super-healthy, but the freedom they’re allowed means the cows never get bored (yes, even cows get restless sometimes). They inform Richard when they’re tired of a certain pasture by sitting down and mooing at which point he takes them on a ‘cow drive’ to a different area.

Sadly, idyllic farms such as Hillhead are not the norm. People can now rely on Organic as a stamp of quality and reassurance, but in the case of industrialised agriculture or intensively farmed meat it’s important to know where and how the animals have been reared. By doing a little research and asking the right questions, you can feed yourself and your family tastier and more environmentally-friendly meat.

Richard explained to the sisters that for supermarkets to keep prices low the quality of meat often suffers. Surprisingly, previous generations actually spent more on their weekly food shop than we are currently spending. People need to use their buying power to ask more questions about the provenance of their meat to keep standards high, but still affordable. The best butchers will know where their meat originates from and how the animals were reared.

However, this doesn’t mean that ethically-raised meat is expensive. Produce from farmers like Richard, who bring the meat straight to market cutting out the middleman, is remarkably affordable, especially if you stick to cheaper cuts. A cheaper cut does not mean cheaper quality - on the contrary, meat near the bone of a healthy animal is wonderfully nutritious as well as delicious. By spending what you normally would on a cheaper cut from a quality animal you’ll know that you’re eating meat that someone has reared with the animal’s welfare, along with taste and nutrition, as the priority - not just profit. Don’t forget to ask your butcher to include the bones when purchasing your meat. Slow-cooking fatty cuts on the bone ensures the meat stays succulent and you can simmer them afterwards to create a rich stock.

Championing cheap cuts from high quality meat, Lizzie Vines cooked up one of her favourite dishes for Jasmine and Melissa using beef shin. It has plenty of bone marrow to satisfy and nourish and the fat is crucial to flavour. You can find the sisters’ slightly adapted recipe below.

While cooking, Melissa and Jasmine used Air Gesture, a feature on the Samsung GALAXY S4 that allows you to scroll through content without touching the smartphone - so they didn’t even have to take their oven gloves off!

Plus this great feature allows you to answer the phone without picking up, very handy when in the midst of a culinary masterpiece.

Lizzie Vines’ Wild Beef Stew recipe

A hearty country dish that will transport you to the pastures of Dartmoor. This stew is easy to prepare and is a dream to freeze so you can stagger servings throughout the week. Embrace ethical and healthy farming by hunting out organic ingredients where possible. Trust us, you’ll taste the difference.

Ingredients

Serves 8-10

2kg beef shin cut into rounds with marrow bones included.

2-3 large onions roughly chopped

6 medium carrots, chopped into large batons (you don't want them to disintegrate during the cooking)

2 x 180g pots of oak smoked tomatoes, drained

2 tablespoons of tomato puree

Sea salt and pepper to taste

1 round tablespoon ghee or butter

Approximately 1 litre hot water

Instructions

- Preheat oven to 140C.

- Remove the tough outer skin from the beef shins, but leave the fat on.

- Season the meat with sea salt and black pepper.

- Heat a little ghee or butter in a casserole pan and gently fry the onions and carrots for 5 minutes before adding the beef shins, tomato puree and drained smoked tomatoes.

- Add enough hot water to just cover everything and bring to a low boil.

- Pop the lid on and put in the oven for 3-4 hours, checking and stirring occasionally. If you are cooking on the hob, simmer away gently for 3-4 hours.

- You can start cooking this up to 8 hours in advance and keep it on the lowest simmer - we often use our slow cooker and keep it bubbling all day.

- Serve with cauliflower mash and raw red cabbage salad or green cabbage wilted in butter.

Wild Beef stockists

You can buy Wild Beef from selected food markets in Somerset and London including Borough Market every Friday & Saturday, Broadway Market every Saturday and Wells Market on the first Wednesday of every month. Wild Beef is also available as mail order via wildbeef.co.uk

Please see below to win a chance to win yourself an Air gesture featured, Samsung GALAXY S4.

Related

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A snapshot of Cornwall

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On the Road to Thoughtful Eating

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On the road to thoughtful eating with Hemsley & Hemsley

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