Here’s the latest Countryside Kitchen column from Yelvertoft mum Milly Fyfe.
Milly lives with her husband and two children on their livestock and arable farm.
Let’s talk about beef. Beautiful British Beef. What could be more sustainable than heading to your local butchers or farm shop and picking up a joint of topside or a few sirloins, knowing that the cattle have been raised across the Northamptonshire countryside? Low food miles, cattle fed on grass and grain produced locally and processed within a few miles too.
Between 23 and 30 April, Ladies in Beef are once again championing ‘Great British Beef Week’ for its 12th year, bringing attention to the ways beef producers are respecting the land, whilst also producing the foods we enjoy eating.
Here on our farm, we’ve been producing suckler beef for 3 generations. What I mean by suckler beef is that when a cow has a calf, it remains with its mother for 9-10 months before being weaned and produced for beef or future breeding stock.
Our cattle are grazed on grass for 9 months of the year and brought in over winter as the ground becomes too sodden. We grow all our own crops to feed the cattle including grass, silage and hay. Barley is grown for feed too and the straw is bailed up and used for bedding.
We try to breed all our own cattle to reduce the risk of bringing animal disease into our herd. We rarely buy cattle in, so most animals we produce are born and raised on our farm and then only leave when they are finished and ready for the butcher. 90% of the beef cattle we produce supply three butchers’ shops and travel 5 miles from the farm to the butchers.
Cheesy Meatball pasta
300g dried taglietelle approx. 6 nests.
360g ready made British beef meatballs (they normally come in packs of 12) or from local butchers
Butter (1 tablespoon)
2 Leeks (English)
150g soft cream cheese
1tsp wholegrain mustard
Approx 75 ml beef stock
Block of strong parmesan cheese to grate shavings
Pack of French beans or asparagus dependant of what’s in season
Ground black peppercorns
Prep time 20 mins, cook time 20 mins
Place 6 nests of tagliatelle into a pan of boiling water and cook to instruction on packet (normally 10 -12 mins) Once boiling, allow to simmer until ready to serve.
Meanwhile brown the meatballs in a wok style pan with butter on a medium heat. (5 mins) Turn with wooden spoon occasionally for colour throughout.
Once meatballs are brown add chopped leeks to soften (2 mins)
Add wholegrain mustard and stir then add beans or asparagus
Add beef stock and allow mixture to simmer for 5 – 7 mins
When mixture has reduced down and beans /asparagus are softened, add the cream cheese and allow to melt into mixture. Stir as required (2 mins)
Drain (with colander) pasta and serve pasta into 2 equal portion sizes using a pasta claw into pasta dishes
Place 6 meatballs with equal sauce mixture on top of pasta with serving spoon
Garnish with parmesan shavings (using wide bladed veg peeler) and black pepper