IF you are looking for high quality, organic local meat, Hyden Farm Organic Meat and Poultry is a very good place to start.
The winners of Best Organic Producer of the Year 2008 and a Gold Great Taste Award, they can be found at Winchester Farmers’ Markets.
The small farm in the Meon Valley is run by Richard and Angela Jones.
They breed their own replacement animals and can guarantee complete traceability.
They believe that welfare of their animals and the quality of what they produce go hand in hand.
“Our herd of English Longhorn beef cattle is the tenth oldest herd in the country and all the cows can be related back to our first heifer, Heath and Reach Hyacinth,” says Angela.
“Traceability is not an issue here!”
She adds: “High welfare production is always more costly than fast, intensive systems. Our birds, individually, are expensive but due to their size it is quite possible to get at least three meals out of one, plus you have the carcase for stock at the end. It takes chicken back to what it once was: as a special meal.
We do believe when you taste ours, verses the supermarket option you just might be converted!”
Because Hyden Farm use traditional breeds that grow slowly with a bit more fat, they believe their customers get a mature flavoursome meat.
Hyden Farm specialise in the original Norfolk Black turkey – a British, native species with a delicate gamey flavour, while their geese are reared in the time honoured tradition of free range grazing in the paddocks on the farm.
n For more information, visit hydenorganics.
OUR TEAM PUT HYDEN FARM PRODUCE TO THE TEST LAMB Five minutes under the grill with a sprig of rosemary, these lamb chops were really easy to cook, tender to cut and completely mouth-watering to eat.
The meat was full of flavour and simply melted in the mouth. They were so good that I could have quite easily have demolished a whole plateful!
BACON Looks can be deceptive because these bacon rashers may appear small at first glance but the thickness of the meat sure makes up for that.
Grilled until crispy they certainly provide the ingredients for the ultimate bacon butty.
DUCK Cooked on a slow roast this supreme of duck was succulent and full of flavour.
Although duck is renowned for being a more fatty meat, this portion once cooked had very little fat remaining and just a thin crispy skin which simply added to its flavour.
CHICKEN Chicken is perhaps the most versatile meat available and the quality of this organic poultry is second to none.
As opposed to the portions you may expect to pick up in a supermarket, the breast is large and succulent, lending itself to a variety of possibilities.
From drizzling lemon and olive oil over a slowly roasted portion to covering in crispy breadcrumbs and served alongside roast potatoes, the generous and tender chicken breast is sure to provide ample food to satisfy even the most demanding palates and appetites.
GAMMON Just taking the steak out of its packing, it was clear that this was very different from standard supermarket gammon.
Instead of wet and pale coloured flesh, the curing had left the meat much drier and richer in appearance, with deep reds and rosy pinks.
The care and attention in the butcher's preparation made the taste much fuller.
As well as the usual saltiness of the gammon, the flavours of bay and cider flowed through the meat, providing different dimensions of flavour and making it either the perfect main focus of a meal, or a worthy addition to any Christmas dinner.