Knepp has just launched their online meat shop which delivers nationally. They are selling:
- Longhorn Beef ……………………………………… see full range here »
- Tamworth Pork ……………………………………… see full range here »
- Red Deer + Fallow Venison ………… see full range here »
We have been a uber-fans of Knepp meat for many years. For anyone looking for Palaeolithic nutrition that is in tune with our genetic inheritance and has the highest ethical and environmental credentials, look no further – this is it!
Better than organic, grass-fed and free-range
At Knepp the animals roam in wild herds, living as nature intended in an environment that is bristling with wildlife. Animals are culled to control numbers and their meat is now available through their online store.
The problem has always been availability. In the past we had to drive to one of the few butchers that stocked this marvellous fare and it was only available at certain times, certain cuts and with limited availability. Now their meat is frozen and available all year round for nationwide delivery. You can order in bulk and fill your freezer so you always have top quality produce right at hand.
Knepp Wild-Range Meat Reviews
Beef and Venison
Our first Knepp order arrived well packaged in cardboard with freezer packs so everything was still thoroughly frozen. We put some in our freezer and sent out others to friends, family and colleagues to cook and review. Here are their findings…
1) King Arthur Joint of Longhorn Beef
I was unsure how to approach wild-reared meat, unsure if it should be left longer than a supermarket joint or not. The cut was also unfamiliar to me, but it was a good shade of deep crimson with some visible pale veins and some fat on top, so I decided to pack it around with onion, garlic cloves and red cabbage, and give it a couple of hours at 180 ˚C in my fan oven. To go with it I made roast potatoes and carrots, mashed celeriac, and peas.
The joint came out dark, swimming in juices and with a pleasing crust to the fat. It was easy to carve and held together fairly well in spite of my inexpert carving technique, and the slices came out a lovely deep pink in the middle that my camera did not do justice to.
In the end though, it’s not the looks which matter, but the eating. And wow, was it good eating! I have never before eaten meat which was so secretly succulent, it didn’t leak juices at every cut, but in the mouth it was moist and incredibly flavoursome. The taste had a richness I would associate with adding wine, but I hadn’t put anything in with the veg apart from salt and pepper. In terms of texture, it had a dense bite without being tough or stiff, and the fat from the top managed not to feel greasy even towards the end of the meal as it began to cool. Oh, and the gravy formed by the juices and vegetables was so good I got a spoon to polish off the last of it from my plate at the end. All in all, it served eight good meals, remaining delicious and still tender with reheating. I think the intense flavour is probably due to the wild roaming and age of the cows, but I’ll have to check some other cuts to be sure. I’m certainly keen to try them!
KNEPP WILD RANGE MEAT
King Arthur’s Roast Beef
2) Venison Striploin
I had heard about the Knepp Farm re-wilded organic meat, and how extraordinary it was, so when I was asked to cook a piece and provide a photo and review of the meal I felt challenged to do it justice. With such special meat, I wanted to keep it simple – so I just seared it in ghee for 2-3 minutes on each side, then left it in the hot butter for 10 minutes to continue cooking and basting itself. As you can see, it was medium rare. It was exquisite! How to describe…. It’s hard to put words to it: melting, moist and more-ish perhaps? Also slightly sweet. So easy to eat, and sit, and taste again. I cooked this with no seasoning at all, and it needed none – but some may prefer salt and pepper. I like my food natural.
The accompaniments went well with the meat, offering a bit of tartness to offset its juiciness. I might prefer raspberries to rhubarb next time because the celeriac also gave a sort of sharpness – but rhubarb is what my allotment has at present. I cooked it with a little sugar. The celeriac was crushed with a bit of melted butter. The cabbage was just right as a bland green to cleanse the palate between the other strongly-flavoured elements. Again, no seasoning, just as nature made them.
Delicious. Satisfying. Worth every penny.
KNEPP WILD RANGE MEAT
Venison Strip Loin
3) Old English Longhorn Steak Mince
Mrs Newby’s Review
“Oh my god.” Was the first thing my husband said when he tasted these meatballs, followed by intent chewing and the follow up “It’s divine.”
He wasn’t wrong. I had made meatballs from my mince, just seasoned with salt and pepper to avoid swamping the meat. After browning in a pan, I had added them to a Mediterranean style sauce of onions, courgettes, peppers, olives, basil, and tomato, and served up on a bed of pea pasta. It wasn’t a fancy dish, but the meat really made it something special – the balls were very beefy, without being overpowering, moist and substantial. The texture was solid and dense, but without any of the gristle or fibrousness that can bring down a large meatball.
The depth of flavour is hard to describe, but was a little like the intensity of a good truffle compared to plain chocolate. There just seemed to be more meat in every bite, and it was distinctly beef as opposed to any other meat. I’ll definitely be getting this again, it seems very versatile because it has enough subtlety of flavour to be enjoyable plain, but is also distinct enough that I think it would stand out in stronger sauces as well.
KNEPP WILD RANGE MEAT
Longhorn Beef Mince
4) Venison Steak
Keir Watson’s Review
Venison steak was new to me, so didn’t know what to expect, so treated it like beef steak. It was a large piece and enough for two meals for me. I probably should have divided it in two, but cooked it whole. The packet says “organic” but this is better than organic from the animal welfare and ecological angles as these animals are an essential part of the ecology actually driving biodiversity and landscape restoration at Knepp. I learned all about this when researching my article for Le Point, where I reviewed Isabella’s book Wilding which explains the story of Knepp’s groundbreaking rewinding project (see here).
The venison was deep red, succulent and fine-grained. It cooked very similarly to beef steak, needing only 2 minutes on each side for medium rare. The steak was virtually fat-free, which I guess is typical of venison.
I served the steak with coleslaw. The meat was tender, juicy with a distinct gamey richness. There was a small amount of tough connective tissue and I could have done with a steak knife, but this is a very small issue in an otherwise outstanding steak. Now I know what to look for, I expect I could have spotted this and cut it out before cooking. I feel a bit mean knocking it down one star which probably represents my inexperience more than anything else.
Looking back at the Knepp site they point out this cuts leanness, and recommend it be served with “mashed root vegetables and a rich gravy or sauce.” That sounds perfect. I’ll try that next time!
KNEPP WILD RANGE MEAT
5) Old English Longhorn Sirloin Steak
What a great looking steak: that long strip of fat gave it so much flavour! Many people do not realise that much of the flavour of beef comes from the unique aroma that is found in the fat.
This steak was as easy to cook as any normal sirloin steak. I fried it in goat’s ghee (clarified butter), which works perfectly for steak and does not trigger my cow-dairy allergy.
As you can see the meat was succulent and moist. What you can’t tell is just how delicious it was.
The first time you have Knepp meat something magic takes place. It communicates with a deep genetic ancestral part of you. My first taste a few years ago, led me to write to Isabella and Charlie Burrell at Knepp the following email:
“I just have to send you this email, as I am glorifying in post prandial bliss following a simple, ultra elegant and sublimely, nay profoundly, delicious Knepp rump steak. My God it was good! Not just good in a pedestrian sense, but in a timeless, ancestor stirring, stunning way, which left us staring at each other, bereft of speech. Food that can do that needs some explaining!”
These words flowed from my fingers then, as an urgent attempt to convey the recognition that I had seen something! I have had some years to ponder what I saw at that meal, as it hangs in my being still. The Knepp produce contains within it the very essence of England. It is indeed a timeless quality, and something in me, and those writing the reviews above, is a reflection of the communication across time with the precious spirit and wonder of this place and its people.