Tuesday, 28 August 2012
5 Questions - Lochbyre Rare Breed Meat
Sunday mornings used to hold strong memories for me of fresh Morton's rolls, spread thick with butter before being filled with three or four rashers of crispy bacon and a splash of tomato sauce. That memory had faded over the years down to the simple fact that good flavoursome bacon seemed to have disappeared. It got so bad that bacon rarely got a mention when it came to the weekend breakfast.
Step in Lochbyre Rare Breed Meat. A family smallholding run by Allan & Susan Steel on the outskirts of Newton Mearns, south of Glasgow, they provide ethically produced, great tasting, high quality meat. At the farm they keep two kinds of native rare breed pigs, the Gloucestershire Old Spot and the British Saddleback. Both breeds make lovely mothers; they are very hardy and produce excellent, flavoursome pork and bacon.
How did you get started?
We both have farming backgrounds, Susan's grandfather had a piggery in Giffnock while my grandfather was an agricultural contractor in Jackton. We had been looking for a smallholding in the local area for about 5 years and we were about to give in, when with a last roll of the dice we wrote a letter to a local farmer about the availability of a piece of land. Luckily, this was the chance we had been looking for and after a couple of viewings we were the proud owners of 23 acres of land only 5 miles from Eaglesham where we were living at the time. So after selling our house and investing every last penny we had (and much, much more) , Lochbyre Rare Breed Meat managed to get going.
Whats the best piece of business advice you could give?
If the dream means anything to you, persevere! Don't listen to the doom-mongers, be patient and don't give up. You only live once!
Where would you like to see your business in 5 years time
In 5 years time we would love to have our own farm shop, selling and delivering all our produce and also the best food and drink that our local area has to offer. We believe that at least 90% of all of our food basket could be sourced from a 100 mile radius of East Renfrewshire, leading to a more wealthy ,community based society.
If you could only have one of your own products, what would it be & why?
If we could have only one of our own products then it would have to be a whole Gloucester Old Spot pig. The list of things that can be done with pork is HUGE, from sausages to the amazing pulled pork. Oh, and let's not forget our delicious bacon.
You can invite one person (living or dead) to your last meal “ Who would it be and why?, and what's on the menu?
Sorry, but we would have to invite two guests. The first would be the Dalai Lama, we are not religious, but this man talks a lot of sense. The other guest would be Homer Simpson, a complete contrast to the Dalai Lama, but we think that they would be hilarious together. For the meal, well Lochbyre pork would have to figure highly. We don't think Homer would mind too much and the Dalai Lama would be happy because Lochbyre pigs live the best life a porker can live!
Lochbyre have quickly become a regular on the Lanarkshire Farmers Market circuit, selling a wide selection of hearty sausages and quality bacon, to burgers, escalopes and roasting joints. However, make sure that you arrive early as they have a habit of selling out their pre-packed goodies quickly. If your looking for a tasty treat for breakfast/lunch then you might be lucky enough to get a fresh roll stuffed full with delicious pulled pork or juicy spit roast pig.
For those of you who cannot make it to the farmers markets, Lochbyre have recently started a local delivery service. You can either order online or call them for more details. Why not check out their Facebook page or Twitter feed and see when they're at a market near you?
Of course, the arrival of Lochbyre Rare Breed Meat in my local area means that I can start to turn my memories into reality once more.
For fantastic meat with a free range flavour, you'll be hard pushed to find better tasting pork!