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'Aged Suckler Beef'.. our new favourite bite

Before we talk about 'Aged Suckler Beef', let's talk about 'Prime Beef'. Most beef we consume will come from an animal between 12-30months old. Most supermart beef is as young as possible to be as financially viable as possible. At Nempnett Pastures, we are driven by eating quality, so take our Prime Beef to a minimum of 24 months old, this is to allow the animal to reach natural maturity and develop flavour. It also takes longer to finish (fat enough for slaughter) an animal on a 100% grass-fed diet like we do.

What is a Suckler herd?

We operate a suckler herd, a suckler herd is a traditional herd of cattle where the female cows raise their own offspring; who suckle their milk, hence the name 'suckler herd'. We do not milk our cows, we leave that to the calves. As a result, we have mature female cows which we keep in our herd to produce our prime beef, they live a very natural life, operating in a very natural cycle. They get pregnant naturally by our stock bulls in the summer, they then give birth in the spring, they raise their calf until after Christmas when we wean, then they give birth again in the spring and the cycle is repeated. Adult female breeding cows can remain in this natural cycle for as long as they continue to thrive and get pregnant without issues.

So what is 'Aged Suckler Beef'?

'Aged Suckler Beef' is the beef of our adult breeding cows when they have reached the end of their life, either by not getting pregnant for whatever reason or if there are any other issues which would cause a welfare problem if she was to continue in our herd. This beef is consistently over 30 months old and could be as much as 180 months, either way, the animal has had a long natural life, much longer than that of traditional prime beef and the result is beef with more depth of flavour, buttery yellow fat, with a dark mature meat.

As we will always want to retain the size of our herd, (in fact we're currently trying to grow it) we will never have loads of these animals coming through the food chain, making this beef a bit of a treat to be cherished.

I hope I've explained it well enough for you to understand our system and how 'Aged Suckler Beef' is different to 'prime beef', and I hope if you do decide to try some when it's available, that you enjoy it as much as we do.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog.

Geroge Ford

Ps. If you want to see our youtube video of this beef fresh in the fridge, watch it below.

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