We’re buzzing here at Black Welsh Lamb as we’ve just won THREE Gold Stars for our leg of hogget lamb at the Guild of Fine Food’s international Great Taste Awards.
There were 14,195 products entered this year and only 1.8% won a 3-star rating so are you can imagine we are feeling very proud of our flock.
We have won two Gold Stars three times before, but to win three Golds is fabulous news for us. As some of you know, Nick and I don’t eat meat ourselves, but we have learnt to use our senses, other than taste, to judge our product and continually improve it. So, to get this amazing accolade from such a well-respected body of judges is real affirmation for us.
To be awarded three stars, produce has to be deemed by judges to be “exquisite”.
Here are some of their comments;
“natural caramelisation and an intense sweet lamb aroma”,
“it is tender, succulent and full of flavour from those Black Mountain grasses“
“mild and sweet, with grassy notes,”
“ it is a remarkable piece of meat and has given us enormous pleasure to eat”.
Except for three rams that we brought in to breed with, all our sheep were born here on our farm.
They are raised on our grass and hay, with no concentrates like soya or maize. Because they eat a wide variety of mineral rich grasses and wildflowers, they gain weight at their own speed, rather than being fed sheep nuts or concentrates, to fatten them quickly. As a result, our lambs take more than a year to mature and are classed as hoggets . They reach that stage at their own speed, enabling us to provide fresh lamb pretty much all around the year.
We have a small farm in the middle of our village just outside Abergavenny on the edge of the Black Mountains. The house dates back to 1540 and the fields have not been ploughed for a very very long time.
We converted to organic farming 25 years ago. As a result of the way we farm, we now have a wide range of different types of grasses, herbs and wildflowers. They provide a great nutritional mix for the sheep to eat and that also impacts the flavour of the meat.
We keep our hedges tall and they provide shelter along with extra minerals for our sheep. High hedges, as tall as trees, are also good for the planet. In fact, recent soil testing across our fields showed that the way we farm has resulted in us being carbon positive, a carbon sink, even though we only produce red meat.
Winning 3 Gold Stars at Great Taste , the world’s largest and most trusted food and drink accreditation scheme, means a lot to us. As a small sustainable farm, we have only 100-200 lambs each year and we want to make sure that all our lamb goes to people and businesses who will share our values and respect what we do,
If you are a chef, an individual or a family who believe that we should be eating less, but better meat, get in touch and hear about our ideas for partnership.
You can become part of the story.