Veal soon followed on from the Goats! What we proposed was different, Free Range Rose, and what that means is higher welfare!
Bull calves are an inevitable by-product of dairy farming, and if they’re not reared for veal, they face being shot at birth, shipped out to the Continent at 6 weeks or intensively farmed to produce low-quality beef.
The carbon footprint of these animals can be enormous, reflected in the price of veal in Ireland. What we proposed was simple, taking these calves, rearing them locally in high welfare situations to provide a superb and affordable product.
All our veal calves are all born, reared Free Range, slaughtered and butchered in Northern Ireland.
The bull calves are from local dairy herds, we collect them and rear them in small groups of no more than four.
They are kept in pens outside whilst they’re on milk (until they’re about 6 weeks), this allows us to keep an eye on them when they’re at their most vulnerable.
After which they head out to a pasture with all the younger bull calves. Here they have a wee hutch, just in case the weather turns sour on them, otherwise they get to frolic and play to their hearts content in the paddock whilst they nibble on fresh grass, haylage and calf creep feed.
When they’re 3 months they join the older bull calves in a seperate pasture of luscious grass. Here they are completely Free Range. Spending the majority of their lives outside, they live very happy lives and weather permitting, get a bit of sunshine!!
Because of the way our animals are reared, with plentiful access to grass, the the meat produced is a rich pink tint, in comparison to traditional veal, leading to the term Rose.
All our cuts are hung for about 14 days, to improve both the texture and flavour of the meat. This result in a rediculously tender product with a mild delicate flavour.
This really is a family favourite, and something, that we have learnt, that does not need to be a guilty pleasure anymore!