Sunday, 5 February 2012

Put Mutton On The Menu This Easter With Langley Chase Organic Farm

* Langley Chase Mutton - Winner Best Organic Meat at the National Organic Food Awards 2011.

* Mark Hix, Rick Stein and Hardeep Singh Kohli recommend Langley Chase's rare breed Manx Loaghtan meat.

* Buy online at: All orders delivered with recipe ideas.

Enjoy a sumptuous and different feast this Easter with Langley Chase Organic Farm's multi-award-winning Manx Loaghtan mutton, a luxurious dark and gamey rare breed meat judged by top chefs as the Best Organic Meat at the Soil Association's prestigious National Organic Food Awards in 2011.

Mutton - praised in Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management (1861) as "the meat most generally used in families" - was once part of the UK's staple diet, but suffered a dramatic decline after the Second World War as food fashions moved towards lamb.

Today, despite still being a rarity on most menus, chefs and food lovers are rediscovering the delights of this versatile, tasty meat. The Langley Chase award winning organic produce enables people to sample the very best mutton in the UK. To help those new to mutton, the farm has created a wide range of recipes delivered with every order.

Langley Chase Organic Farm, in Chippenham, Wiltshire, run by Mrs Jane Kallaway, exclusively rears Manx Loaghtan sheep, a striking four-horned primitive rare breed. Jane's produce has won 14 National Organic Food Awards - including winning the top accolade, Best Organic Meat, for both her lamb and mutton three times - and as we say, her meat has been praised for its taste and tenderness by some of Britain's best-loved chefs, including Mark Hix, Rick Stein and Hardeep Singh Kohli.

All produce is raised on the family farm's species rich wildflower and hay meadows - giving the meat its distinctive taste and succulent flavour and providing traceability from the farm to the customer's door.

Easter Meat Boxes
Easter Meat boxes start from £75 and can be ordered from the farm's online shop: Each meat box is full of different cuts and joints all prepared by a Soil Association accredited Master Butcher. [Box contents listed below]. The contents are clearly labelled and provided with recipe ideas.

Popular orders include Mutton and Lamb Meat Boxes while the Mixed Taster Box enables customers to sample a wide range of the farm's other delights including its unique Lamb Chorizo Picante Salami with smoked paprika, spices and chilli. Meat boxes can be delivered direct to any UK address or picked up from the farm.

Praise for Langley Chase Organic Farm's lamb and mutton:

2011 National Organic Food Award judges: "Langley Chase mutton is tender, flavourful, succulent, really satisfying with great presentation - a lesson in why people should eat good mutton." [See names of judges below]. Hardeep Singh Kohli (National Organic Food Award judge): "You can taste the love in great food and you can certainly taste it in Langley Chase mutton." Mark Hix: "Langley Chase lamb is delicious and tender with a little hint of game." Rick Stein: "Langley Chase is one of my favourite sources for lamb."

Mrs Jane Kallaway said: "Mutton can be a really wonderful and versatile meat if it's grown and produced well. We run our muttons as a separate flock, ensuring they get the best grazing and time to fully mature. They stay on the farm for around five years, grazing a diverse range of species rich organic pastures.They are traditionally hung for over 14 days and the result is a tender meat full of flavour that is a joy to cook.

"We know that many people are new to the delights of mutton so we're introducing recipes for all orders. From mutton tagine to roast mutton shoulder - let Langley Chase help you make a perfect Easter."

Langley Chase Organic Farm's meat boxes are available fresh once a month or frozen within three days, in large or small sizes. Produce can be picked up from the farm or delivered to the door. Orders are sent in insulated meat boxes ensuring produce reaches the customer in optimum condition fresh or frozen. Orders can be left with friends or neighbours and even sent as gifts.

Small meat box contains:
One whole shoulder on the bone One whole leg on the bone One breast boned and rolled Ten chops minimum Neck fillet One Kidney Prices £79 - collected from farm. £92.50 - delivered direct.

Large meat box contains:
Two whole legs on the bone Two whole shoulders on the bone Ten chops (approx) Two French trimmed racks Two breast boned and rolled Neck fillet Two kidneys Prices £148 - collected from farm. £161.50 - delivered direct

Mixed taster box contains:
One lamb shoulder One 375g stick of Langley Chase chorizo picante salami* Two 500g packs of diced Mutton 12 Rosemary and Garlic lamb sausages in two packs of six. Prices £75 - collected from farm. £88.50 - delivered direct

Langley Chase Chorizo Picante Salami is made with Langley Chase organic lamb and organic ingredients, but is not yet a registered organic product.

Jane's story: "I started the flock, with the help of my family, after the BSE crisis and my concern over what my family was eating, where it came from and how it was reared. I also wanted to help save a rare breed, produce food organically and share my passion with my customers and the school children and adult groups who visit the farm.

"Now, 14 years since I started, my produce has been recognised as the best in the UK and I have customers across the country. Being Organic - and registered by the Soil Association - is hugely important to me. Organic production is the direct connection between our health and the food we eat, it is about supporting native species, localised production and having the highest possible standards of welfare for animals and the environment."

The National Organic Food Awards, run by the Soil Association, is recognised as the premier competition of its kind in the UK with major retailers to small specialist producers taking part. For the Meat Category judges had the difficult task of selecting the winner from all different types of meat produce including fish, chicken, venison, beef, lamb, mutton, pork, sausages and charcuterie.

Soil Association Director, Helen Browning, presented the 2011 awards. The Prince of Wales, Patron of the Soil Association and well know for his interest in organic farming, was in attendance and spoke to the award winners, including Jane Kallaway at length. His Royal Highness has a particular interest in mutton having founded the Mutton Renaissance campaign in 2005 to encourage people to eat more mutton.

2011 National Organic Food Award judges included writer, broadcaster and comedian, Hardeep Singh Kohli, top chefs Sophie Grigson and Sara Berg; organic entrepreneur Jo Wood and food critic and journalist William Sitwell to name a few.

Manx Loaghtan: Low in Fat and Cholesterol
The Manx Loaghtan is significantly healthier than commercially reared lamb. The Scottish Agricultural College found the Manx Loaghtan to be 23 per cent lower in fat and almost 10 per cent lower in cholesterol than commercial breeds. Full details on the farm's website.

The Manx Loaghtan is one of the oldest and most striking breeds of sheep in the UK. Termed 'a primitive rare breed' it is classed at as 'at risk' by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. The Manx Loaghtan (pronounced Manx Lockton) has been around unchanged since the Iron Age. The Manx Loaghtan used to exist in high numbers on the Isle of Man and across the UK. However by the 1950s there were only a handful left. Today, as with many rare breeds, it is found in a few small flocks around the UK. Find out more here

The Importance of Rare Breeds
One breed of farm animal becomes extinct every month around the world, according to the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. In the UK, industrialised farming has discarded those breeds that don't fit with commercial production. Between 1900 and 1973 the UK lost 26 native breeds of livestock, according to the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.

The result is a farming system centred around a handful of animal breeds, crops and vegetables - with some traditional breeds, like the Manx Loaghtan, at risk. Shoppers purchasing rare breed meat help keep rare breeds alive by assisting in the economic viability of farms rearing rare breed animals, thus helping these farms to keep going and the increasing the number of rare breeds animals and helping others taste these fantastic breeds and plants and become interested in our farming heritage

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