Posts Tagged ‘beef’

Mislabeled meat in Tesco, Jamie’s brisket. Where to buy real meat?

Pressure to cut costs

Pressure to cut costs


Tesco sells dutch pork labelled as British-reared. Horse meat still in the supply chain. Jamie Oliver shows consumers how to save money by buying brisket, then directs them to the supermarket on this website. COME ON, we must switch to shorter, local, supply chains and the local butcher or farmer for meat!

A previous blog on horse meat predicted another food scare due to the long food supply chain and cost cutting. Mislabelled pork will not kill anyone, so not really a scare, but an great example, and I am sure that we have not seen the last of this. Apparently large caterers are still finding traces of horse meat in what they buy and my worry is that the authorities are not that worried about foods, like dutch pork or horse meat that do not harm us.

BigBarn local food map

BigBarn local food map


Or perhaps they are very worried, as they realise very little can be done and the next food scare is going to be bacterial infected meat that pops up everywhere?

So for so many reasons we need to buy locally wherever possible, and help build local, honest, and transparent, food supply chains. Where you can see, or ask, where your food comes from and trust the supplier knowing he sees you as a valuable customer and advocate. And that any lie will soon be found out and reputation ruined. The more we buy the more local production and greater diversity of foods available.

Your friendly local butcher

Your friendly local butcher

As for Jamie, we have already sent lots of emails to his team asking for links to the BigBarn local food map to help more people find the best brisket, the story behind the meat and tips on preparation.

And PLEASE don’t be frightened of your local butcher, they will would be mad to tease you in front of other customers if you don’t know the difference between ribeye and rump, or brisket and topside. You local butcher needs your custom and will look after your needs to try and make you a regular customer.

Getting people enthused about food and cooking

We have great food in this green and pleasant land, more varieties of cheese than the french, and hundreds of hours of cookery programmes on the TV.

sacle grab
So why can’t we Brits get more enthused about food, and cooking? Perhaps this video will help?

Not terribly British but inspiring all the same. Buying and cooking food should not be a ‘drudge’. Don’t believe the TV adverts, and the shelf space devoted to ready meals. Yes, we are all busy and work lots of hours, but let’s finish the day with a great meal, around the table with the whole family swapping stories about the day, congratulating the cook, and perhaps, even discussing the ingredients!

So what will make us change? The Horse meat scandal has made many more people think, and talk about, where their food comes from. More people have given up ready meals to cook from basic ingredients, and are pleasantly surprised to find they are saving money.

BBC Crop grab
A butcher told me last week that a few young people had come in the shop and could not believe how cheap, lean mince, was, and were enthusiastically discussing what they were going to cook with it. Is this the Jamie Oliver generation?

If we can get cooking, and growing, food in schools perhaps a new food era is not far away. See our school food growing video here.

To help, BigBarn is here to help people find the freshest, best, ingredients, celebrate the seasons, (still waiting for asparagus), videos and recipes, and the story behind the food for the dinner table conversation!

If anyone has a story on how your family, or friends, get enthusiastic about food and cooking, your feedback is very welcome below.

Supermarkets about to rip us off, again.

Fair, pricing?

Fair, pricing?

Supermarkets are all talking about sourcing British meat after the Horse Meat scandal. Will they add a fair mark-up on what they buy it for? Or will they do what they did with organic foods and add a higher profit margin because people perceived it to be better than non-organic.

Commercial profit making businesses will fix their prices on what they think the consumer will pay. Not on a fair mark-up on what they paid for the product. For organic produce this meant that all the Soil Association’s hard work promoting the benefits of ‘organic’ simply allowed the supermarkets to increase their margin and make more profit.

Your friendly local butcher

Your friendly local butcher

Many people predict this will now happen with British beef, pork, lamb and poultry. Foreign imports will not get the same high mark-up and consumers will notice the difference.

The supermarkets will then say ‘We made a special effort to source British meat but the consumer sent a clear message that they could not afford it’!

Your thoughts on this are very welcome below, especially any supermarket pricing manager!

The better way is to shop locally for your meat either from your local butcher or farmer. And ask lots of questions about the right cut, provenance, and price. You should get a better product and by cutting out the middlemen, save money.

Real Beef, how to save money.

What a great and versatile meat. And a prime example of the difference between buying a quality local product and a mediocre supermarket commodity.

The trouble is, Beef is complicated, breed, time and type of hanging/maturing, age, different cuts, butchery method, type of feed, cooking/resting, are all factors influencing taste and tenderness. And why so many people opt for what little they know and often pay far too much.

A great example is my cousin who bought the finest ‘fillet’ of beef from a supermarket only to throw most of it away because it was so tough. A piece of well-hung ‘topside’ would probably have been half the price and twice as good. Likewise the ‘chopped shin’ of a well-hung rare breed animal could be better and cheaper for stewing, than the more expensive ‘best stewing steak’ from the supermarket.

The great news is you don’t have to go to college or even buy a book, simply ask. Use our local food map and go and see your local butcher or better still, local beef farmer and ask what they recommend as well as how to cook it (resting after cooking is crucial, at least 10 minutes, especially steak!). It is in their interest to look after you, as they want to see you buying again.

So all you have to do is use our map to find your local beef, or for a delivery check our MarketPlace for beef and don’t be afraid to phone first and get a recommendation. And for inspiration try our recipes.

Christmas present ideas

A very happy festive season from as all at BigBarn.  We now have 410 producers in the BigBarn MarketPlace with over 10,400 products, many with some great Christmas presents.  To see producers for each product simply click on the links or photos and buy, to collect, or get a delivery.  Or browse producers offering a discount using code BB1.
Free Range Turkey for the whole family.
Regional Hampers

Chocolates from artisan chocolatiers using real carefully selected ingredients for incredible flavour. Or for the real chocoholic try a chocolate making course.

Specialist coffees whole whole beans to grind fresh or special grinds for different uses.   Or for tea lovers, find some real tea not factory floor sweepings.

Chilli sauce some like it hot, a great present for real men.

Rape Seed Oil; buy it in 5l cans for cooking, salad dressing or bottle it with herbs or chilli to make chilli oil for pizza.

Cheese; Direct from the producer or expert, with a the story of why the product is so good.

Christmas cakes and puds made using special recipes and carefully selected ingredients.

Gluten Free bread and cakes

Real home cured bacon and ham (not the stuff injected with salty water)
Quality sausages Matured beef

Health and natural beauty; including soaps, creams, lotions, honey balms and remedies

Beers, ciders and English wine

Mutton; not from a 8 year old barren ewe but from a lamb that has been allowed to mature to give better texture and flavour

Haggis and black pudding direct from artisan butchers.

Marmalade, jams and chutneys; from people who carefully select their ingredients for real flavour.

Courses; from cookery, to chocolate, sausage, bread or cheese making, to foraging.

Or browse all those producers offering a discount with the BB1 discount code. Simply click the discount code page and click on any producer of interest, fill to your shopping basket to the require value then type in BB1 to get the discount.

Great British Food Revival – Turkey

Great to see the Great British Food Revival raising awareness to real tasty free range Turkeys. And, this time, not making the mistake of telling viewers to visit their supermarket.

It was especially interesting for me, to see that bronze turkeys have faded from popularity because supermarkets do not like the dark feather stubs left on the bird. As usual nothing to do with flavour or quality! A typical consequence of the modern food industry disconnecting producers from consumers.

So if you are looking for a great Turkey this Christmas use our special Turkey map to find your local free range turkey direct from the producer.

In most parts of the country you can order now for Christmas delivery. Or you could pay now and collect your turkey and meet the farmer, so you can get the full story of how your turkey has been reared.

Once you have organised your Christmas meal centrepiece you can use BigBarn to get all the best trimmings and some brilliant presents.

Simply click to view our special discount code page and browse 50+ artisan producers offering 10% or more discount. Once you have found what you want use code BB1.