Wednesday 21 March 2012

Rare Breed Pork

Chestnut Meats don't just specialise in tasty goat meat, we also produce rare breed Gloucester Old Spot Pork, this is avaiiable in 20kg, 10kg, & 5kg boxes, or if you have a big enough freezer you can even buy a whole pig pork box! Now that will keep you fed for a while! Have a look at the website for more details and to place orders!

Wednesday 14 March 2012

Kidding Time

Our first kid goats of the year have been born this week, 2 singles and a set of twins, all are doing well. The kidding pens were ready only the day before, so we are now ready for the rest of them!

Plenty of pork going out this week, so Pat is busy in the butchery, Tom is emptying the midden and spreading manure, to help make the grass grow.

Curry goat is simmering in the background as I do the books

Friday 5 February 2010

Student Placement

Well, now you have read the essays I am pleased to report that Lucy has agreed to come and join us this August. Congratulations and welcome to the team, Lucy

Thursday 4 February 2010

Lucy's Essay

My name is Lucy Peacock and I am currently at Harper Adams University College studying Hnd Agriculture. As part of our course we have a work placement year, so during our first year we are required to apply to a number of jobs. I applied to Chestnut Meats and was luck enough to be called back for a second interview. Below is a description of my day and how I found the experience overall.

I arrived at Chestnut Meats this morning keen to be out of lectures, and excited at the prospect of having a days work on the farm. As I arrived I was met by Ben Seels who was my competition for the day. We walked to the farm house where we kindly met by Sarah (the current placement student) and the owners Tim and Marnie Dobson who explained the jobs for the day.

We started by feeding the goats on the farm and watered each pen. We then ventured to the farm up the road, funnily enough Ben opted to be taken by the fork lift, whereas Sarah and I rode down on bikes. We then fed the goats barley, by this point they were extremely hungry and bawling as I suppose you'd expect from a pregnant goats.

After being half trampled we filled up the hay feeders using the forklift and put bales of hay on the floor ready to feed and litter the pens.

We then walked round the field next to the the barn to check on the electric fencing after readjusting a few stakes we were then heading back, luckily this time however I got to ride in the forklift.

On arriving back at the home farm we were kitted out and ready to make sausages, this seemed a slightly daunting but extremely exciting task to us. We changed into white coats, clean boats and hair nets which I found particularly attractive.

Marnie then took us into the butchery where she explained the need for absolute cleanliness around the meat and the surfaces that were being worked on as the risk of contamination was high. We were told that we each were going to make our own batch of sausages from Gloucester old spot pig meat, and were asked to start chopping and dicing the meat to make it an adequate size to put through the mincer. Once we had finished chopping, the mincer was switched on and we both had a chance to push the meat through and watch it go from a joint to pork mince. We then had the task of adding water and breadcrumbs to the mince and squashing it into a pasty mixture with the intention of making the pork easier to be pushed through the sausage making machine.

The next step was to then use the sausage making machine to create the end product. I was once again first as Ben's new favourite term was 'Ladies first' interesting tactic. Anyway I entered the mince and was instructed in how to put the artificial sausage skin onto the probe and told to push the lever with my knee so the meat came out into the skin. I got of to a shakey start but managed it, Ben then repeated this. By this point it looked as though there was a gigantic sausage sitting in front of me, but then came the dividing up.

Marnie showed us how to divide the one large sausage up into smaller ones, unfortunately however she made it look extremely simplistic so by the time it was my turn I found it ever so slightly difficult to comprehend. A few practice goes and I was well away, linking up my sausages I must admit a few of them were of irregular size however. Ben and I then packed the finished sausages and labeled each of them.

Then the big test came of trying the product, we each sat eagerly awaiting for our sausages, to be cooked what do you know mine tasted miles better. Unfortunately for Ben allowing ladies to go first had not worked in his favour.

Marnie asked us to think of a product that could be new for Chestnut Meats, I believe that doing a goat casserole or stew at shows will encourage more traditional people to try the meat. As it is a combination of a traditional recipe with a modern meat. As Marnie told us today selling goat meat to women is much harder then selling to men, therefore I think by incorporating it into a traditional recipe could be beneficial.

All joking aside the process of seeing meat being turned into sausages and then eating the product, which was made by my own hands really did leave me amazed. If I do not receive the job from Chestnut Meats I will be extremely disappointed but also will be very thankful for the experience I have had today, as it is one I will not forget.

Wednesday 3 February 2010

Ben's essay

My day at Chestnut Meats......

Me (Ben Seels) and Lucy Peacock got the offer of coming down to Chestnut Meats and helping out with a mornings work. I great fully accepted the offer and made the trip down for a 9 am start..

Alongside Tim, Marnie, and Sarah, ( the usual crew), we started off by feeding the goats on the main farm, which was an experience as the goats don't tend to queue up for their food, no they would much rather mug it off you. But with strong determination we got on with the job without saying a word.

After we had fed the goats and made sure they had plenty of clean water, we hopped on our bikes and went up the road to feed the larger shed of goats. This shed is inhabited by around 170 goats, compared to the pen of around 20 we just fed this task was way more daunting. Tim though been the sympathetic man he is was going to wait till all the goats were out of the shed before we fed them, but then me being the outspoken individual put my foot in it by saying, 'oh I'm sure we would be fine', to which Tim responded, 'OK then, lets see!'. Straight away I tried to apologise to Lucy for the misfortune I had placed us both in. We hopped over the gate buckets in hand immediately met with 170 hungry goats, but we pushed through as if wading through a small pond shuffling along until we had filled the troughs. Half way through doing so I was met with the experience of a goat putting its head through my legs then half way through decided it wanted to go back, this goat had two nice horns on its head so this turned out to be a good learning curve for me!

Then we went on to bedding the goats up with some hay, this was seemingly trouble free as the goats were all busy chomping away at the whole grain barley we had just given to them. Typically Sarah and Lucy paired up scattering one bale while I was left with the other. They did come and help me in the end though so I suppose I will let them off. I soon repaid the favour though by letting Lucy throw all the hay out into the feeders.

Then after all this excitement it was time to take up the art of Butchery. Mincing the pork shoulder, then going on to prepare the mince into sausage meat by adding the additive. This definitely took me back to the days of baking with my mum as a youngster, getting stuck in with your hands. Then we put all this mixture into the sausage making machine, this proved to be an art that needs to be well practised but both me and Lucy faired quit well I think. Then came the part in enjoyed the most of making this seemingly mile long sausage into loads of baby sausages. I would like to say I soon mastered this art after a shaky start. Then me and Luce the goose (giving her a nickname, as we are now best buds!) worked as a team packaging all our sausages up into a tip top professional appearance.

Afterwards we took the last bag of sausages and gave them to Marnie as she was going to cook them for our lunch. The sausages went splendidly with Marnie's home made loaf of bread, and we all had a good natter and a pleasant lunch.

Marnie and Tim asked me to think up of a new product for them, after a lot of though I think it would be a good idea to sell pork and goat sausages together, I know not really a new product but I think this would be a good way to encourage people to try goat meat. Also they would find it easy to compare it with pork if they were packaged together. I did this when Tim gave me some sausages after the first interview and I think it worked very well to be able to compare the tastes from a bite of each. You could also apply this with other products like burgers for example.

I would like to thank Tim, Marnie and Sarah got the time they have given me, and an enjoyable day.

Tuesday 2 February 2010

Student Placement

Every year we employ a Harper Adams student on placement with us for a year. Sarah started in September and is a real asset to the business. In January we look at interviewing next years student to start in 2010. This year we interviewed 5 students, all of which were excellent. Two were asked to come back for second interview. They had a morning, well I'll let them tell you, first Ben's essay and then Lucy's essay and then who is coming to join us. Enjoy.

Tuesday 10 November 2009

The First November blog.

The latest addition to the Chestnut Meat's team is me, Sarah.
I am currently a student at Harper Adams University College studying for a degree in Agriculture and Animals science.As part of my degree I have to complete a 52 weeks of work experience within the agricultural industry. Those 52 weeks will be completed at Chestnut meats. My tutor said to try to find a placement that is different to previous work experience and coming from a dairy farm at home, goats are definitely different from cows. Within the first few weeks I found out cows stay in the area given to graze, and goats on the other hand get out! Weekends have been full of food festivals and farmers' markets which have been very busy, quite impressive. After quite a few goes at making sausages I think I have got it! The Billies last week went into the nannies, which I think the billies were quite happy about as it is later than last year, it has been hard work keeping the boys away from the ladies! Christmas is only round the corner do make sure you have your Christmas turkey ordered!