Swaledale Butchers sent me the products below for the purpose of this review.
When I was looking on the Swaledale website to choose some of their meat to try I found it very difficult to choose, it all sounded so good. The story of Swaledale working with small farms in the Yorkshire Dales conjured up images of dry stone walls and fluffy sheep. Reading a bit more about their history I found out that they exclusively use native breeds, everything is prepared fresh and they even grind their own spices for their sausages.
What I Ordered
I decided to try products that I either hadn’t tried before or ones I was very familiar with. The website was easy to use and the products were listed in helpful categories. I ordered:
- 4x steak burgers
- 1x Smoked streaky bacon, extra thin slices
- 2x Denver steaks
- 1x Pork, fennel and red wine sausage meat
- 1x Texan hot links
- 4x Beef minute steaks
The total cost (at time of ordering Aug 2022) was £41.55 + £3.95 P&P.
The email confirmation came through quickly and I was kept well informed of my order and where it was right up until I opened the door and brought it in the house. I thought the ordering process was simple and if I had any queries I knew where to contact someone.
The box and packaging were great. Everything was still very cold when I opened it and the gel packs can be used or repurposed and any leftover packaging is recyclable. As everything is prepared fresh all the products had seven days shelf life on them, the bacon had 14 days. So all I had to do now was work out what to cook!
I ended up dividing some of the meat into smaller portions so some of it I cooked fresh and some of it I froze, defrosted and cooked. Having been frozen didn’t affect the taste, quality or cook of anything I tried.
What I Cooked
First of all I used two of the minute steaks in a stir fry with plenty of vegetables and noodles (similar to this recipe). I sliced them quite thinly which meant we had a generous portion of beef between two adults and a toddler. The remaining steaks I popped into the freezer and made a similar stir fry a few weeks later.
Using sausages to make a pasta sauce is one of my favourite things to cook I was really looking forward to using the fennel sausage meat for just that. It was so delicious! The sausage meat added a real depth of flavour and I would have liked to have some spare to dot on top of a pizza too.
I was really looking forward to trying the burgers, although I find it one of the most difficult things to take a good photo of no matter how tasty it is! The Swaledale burgers cooked really well and didn’t shrink in the pan. We served them with cheese, burger sauce and gherkins (classic!). The other two are still in the freezer to try another day. I’d really like to try them on the barbecue as I think they’d be even better.
One of the best things I made was a Grandma pizza pie. The recipe is from Olive and I’ve made it loads of times and like to vary the toppings. I used a few slices of the extra thin bacon with sliced peppers and mushrooms. The bacon crisped up really nicely and gave the pizza a subtle smoky flavour.
When cooking the Denver steaks I followed the instructions on the Swaledale website for their fast-flip method. You can find the method here for rump steak). The results of cooking it this way were fantastic. I would use the fast-flip method every time for cooking steak from now on. Our steaks were served with a creamy mushroom and pepper sauce.
I knew the Texan Hot Links were meant to be full of flavour. So I went classic and served them as a hot dog. I’m so glad I did as it allowed the spices to really pack a punch. I really liked the spicy, not too hot flavour and I think they’d be great on a barbecue.
What I Thought
Overall I thought the quality and flavour of all the products I tried was excellent. It is a company I would order from again and I think they offer a good variety of different products. At this point I would try to find something that I didn’t like, or that I would change if I ordered again and I have nothing to criticise at all!
Thank you to Swaledale for the products. All words and opinions expressed are my own.