A dream come true
ALLYN RIVER GALLOWAY BEEF
Ladies and Gentlemen, we're very excited to introduce Valentyna Jurkiw and Adrian Honnery's pasture-raised Allyn River Galloway Beef. For the last ten years we've listened to our friend Valentyna talk longingly about owning a farm and growing her own animals, we've watched her work tirelessly in pursuit of her goal and we've talked together at length about how lovely it would be to one day sell the animals she reared. Now, finally, she and Adrian have turned their dream into a reality and we couldn't be more pleased and proud to be offering you this excellent beef.
The farm that Valentyna and Adrian found is nestled on the Allyn River at the top of the valley, just below Barrington Tops, north of Newcastle. Mr Bone was there in October last year and was totally smitten by the dramatic landscape, the gorgeous Galloways, Adrian and Valentyna's passionate and forensic commitment to restoring the property and allowing the cattle to live as freely as possible and Valentyna's excellent cooking, which was apparently a highlight of the visit. I cannot wait to see it all for myself.
This first delivery of Galloway steers (and the batch that we'll receive next week) are three year olds that have lived at the farm for the last two years and hung for three weeks in our cool room. We've often extolled the virtues of older animals in this newsletter - slower growing genetics and more mature animals produce better outcomes all round from animal welfare and environmental impact through to deeper flavour profile. Most retail beef is between 12 and 18 months old which doesn't compare in any way to beef from an animal that has lived at least twice as long.
Diet is also a critical factor and it's important to understand that an animal that's been 'grass-fed' isn't necessarily the same as one that's been rotated across fresh pastures for the course of it's life, giving it access to a diverse range of different plants from which to select. Adrian was keen to describe his Galloways' recent menu.
'In addition to the usual suspects of naturalised summer Kikuyu, Paspalum dilatatum and Setaria pumila (Pale pigeon grass), the boys most recently were on the following endemic summer species:
- Casuarina cunninghamiana (River she-oak) (they love the leaves);
- Commelina cyan (Trad, or Native wandering creeper);
- Cynodon dactylon (Common couch) (although some say this is an introduced species);
- Microlaena stipoides (Weeping grass); and
- Paspalum orbiculare (Ditch millet).
They would have also nipped at many other species (in the Galloway fashion) but these would not have formed a material part of their diet and would not impact much on their flavour. But hopefully their drinking water over spring and summer being only clean, pristine river water has a substantive impact on their flavour.'
So far, we've only tried a snippet of sirloin but it was as sweet and herbal as you'd expect and the fat was lovely and yellow. The Allyn River Galloway has been running out the door but we do have some ribeye, sirloin, osso buco, minute steaks and topside left.
If you miss out this time, we're getting some more next week and it will be ready for you in about a month. Here are some more photos of the gorgeous Galloways and their farmers.