The Old Cow Shed Farm Shop Products
All our farm shop products are made by us, here at the Old Cow Shed, from first principles where possible.
We source all our ingredients either from our own smallholding or locally from small suppliers.
Our current list of Farm Shop Products include:
We only use free range, rare breed pork from pigs raised completely naturally in a mixed meadow and woodland environment, with no growth promoters or other chemical nasties. To make our bacon we cure the resulting pork in a time honoured fashion, no sealing in plastic bags or added water (in fact, for our dry cured bacon we spend over 3 weeks taking the water out of it). This results in a totally different eating experience to the normal, run-of-the- mill bacon. It has great flavour and texture and does not ooze white water when cooked like the mass produced stuff. Once cured we then smoke it for 18 hours over oak or marinate it in our own secret Black Bacon recipe (based on beer and molasses). We offer a choice of handmade sausages including those which are completely additive free with no preservatives, unlike 99% of sausages available today, including those from your local butcher. We also make our own black pudding from blood from our pigs – once again, the majority of black pudding is not quite what it seems having been made with dried blood that is often imported.
Our bacon is available cut in two ways; traditional thin slice and a much thicker slice we call “Plainstead’s Cut” after our friends Sally and Nick requested it.
Our range includes
- Back bacon: smoked, unsmoked and Black
- Streaky bacon: smoked, unsmoked and Black
- Shoulder bacon: smoked and unsmoked
- Gammon steaks
- Sausages: Old English and Black Pepper. We aim to have a guest sausage on a regular basis
- Homemade Black pudding
- Hickory smoked bacon ribs
- Specialities: Guanciale (cured pigs cheek and the traditional ingredient in real carbonara, recipes available), Pancetta
We source our fish from a local fishmonger and buy organically raised Scottish salmon as our raw ingredient. We then cure the sides with a sugar/salt mix to create a slightly sweet result and smoke for 8 hours over different woods. We usually use either oak for a deep, smokey flavour or beech for a lighter taste. We will also use a range of fruit woods on an occasional basis such as apple or cherry; these result in a sweeter, more fragrant fish. In addition, we will have specials available such as gravadlax (when Dill is in season), kippers or smoked salmon pate. We have discovered that roasting our smoked salmon with a little butter creates a moist, highly flavoursome result; this will be available at least once a month.
We have a mixed flock of chickens including bantams, commercial layers and pedigree old fashioned varieties. Our chickens are free to roam three acres of fields and their naturally foraged diet is supplemented by non-GM feed. Typically chicken feeds contain GM soya and we aim to keep our land as free from GM products as possible. They also like to check if the sheep or pigs have left any of their breakfast and take a walk around the courtyard for any stray wild bird seed even though they know it’s out of bounds. This method of egg production produces much lower yields but eggs with a naturally golden yolk. We sell our eggs in mixed boxes containing small, large, white, cream, brown and occasionally blue.
Sauces, preserves and condiments
We will always have a seasonal condiment available to complement your purchases. These will be made here, never brought in and relabelled and will depend on what is available at the time. For example, in May we have a Wild Garlic and Hazelnut pesto made here from garlic foraged in the Peak District. Other specials will be posted on our FB page – please check what’s available this week (Facebook)
We only use cheese made from British milk and gently smoke it for 8 hours over either Oak or Beech, or occasionally lighter woods such as Alder. We are currently sourcing a local cheese to use.
As a smallholding we sometimes have an excess of produce depending on what is growing well and will be selling this too as and when available. This will include vegetable seedlings and vegetables from our garden and polytunnel. We aim to grow everything as chemical free as possible, employing time honoured traditions such as crop rotation and use of homemade compost mulches. Again, our FB page will have information on what we currently have available (Facebook)
Lamb and Beef
We are keen to support other local producers and as a result we will have lamb and beef boxes available from our friends Sally and Nick at Higher Plainsteads farm, just the other side of Coombes Rocks (also the source of the name for our thick cut bacon). They have a high animal welfare ethic and farm in a natural chemical-free way. They lamb indoors but all other times the sheep have full access to pasture. Their beef cattle are heritage breeds and spend all but the worst of the winter months outside on pasture. This results in a slower growing, more flavoursome meat and one well worth waiting for. Like all small farmers, availability of their meat is seasonal, we will post on our facebook page or email to our newsletter distribution list when some is on the way. We have a very small flock of sheep and will have our own limited supplies of lamb available in the autumn.