1. Green Meadows Beef
  2. 1. Can we get a brief description of your business and what you produce?

 

Green Meadows Beef is 100% grass-fed export-quality Angus beef steers from our third-generation family farm in Coastal Taranaki.  We not only farm our animals but we also have a custom-built butchery where our beef is aged and butchered to our requirements.  This allows us to have complete control over the process and to ensure our customers benefit from full traceability back to our farm.

By export-quality, we mean our animals are males (steers) and a larger size than that normally available on the domestic market.

We are a true family business with Joe (our Dad) handling the farm operation and assisting in the butchery, Margy (our Mum) being chief meat packer in the butchery, Karl and Brent (the neglected middle child and the ever wise eldest) chipping in from the side-lines when required - well, and when not required as well - and I’m responsible for the day-to-day management of the business.

 

  1. 2. What motivated you or what reasons were behind you starting this business?

 

We started the business for two separate reasons.  Firstly, all of our animals were previously sent to a large processor and exported along with a whole range of other farms’ beef.  We thought, hang on, our beef is better – why should it be mixed with beef from other farms?  Selling direct to our customers also gives that great satisfaction of dealing with the food loving public and hearing how they love our beef and what they’re doing with it.  We’ve had many customers tell us that they’d given up on beef altogether after the quality they were getting beforehand.  It is a real buzz to think that something that has come from your farm is responsible for a change in mind-set.

The second reason was to keep the fourth generation of Careys (us three brothers) involved in the farm.  We were all off doing our own things but always held the farm dear to our hearts.  Setting up Green Meadows Beef is a great way to keep us involved in a business that still has the farm as its centre.  Plus, it is pretty special (and fun…most of the time) to be able to work together as a family.

 

I always like the Family aspect to these stories it tends to mean the passion is greater about what is being produced.

 

  1. 3. What is your preferred method of feeding i.e. do you use animal feed or pure pasture etc.

 

All of our animals are 100% grass-fed.  That means they eat only grass and grass supplements (hay and silage) grown on our farm.  While grain fed beef does give a consistent result meat wise and is perfect for chefs, we prefer that our animals eat their natural diet of grass.

  1. 4. If I buy a whole cow do you butcher it for me?

 

If you drive in looking for home-kill cutting, you’re out of luck.  We only process the animals we farm ourselves.  You can, of course, order a full 200kg (an animal’s worth) from us!

 

Yes I meant buying a whole one from you; I don’t think I would be able to carry a cow to you guys.

 

  1. 5. Do you do your own butchering?

Absolutely. The animals come back to us from the licensed abattoir in carcasses and they are butchered by our trained butcher, Pat.  Pat has over 25 years’ experience under his belt and still uses traditional techniques and methods.  We think it is one of our strengths.  We were immediately drawn to Pat after tasting his sausages – if a butcher can make decent sausages he is surely onto a winner.

 

  1. 6. What inspires you to continue doing what you do?

 

Hearing the great feedback from our customers and seeing them really connect with their food again.  Too often cooking is just about slapping something together quickly and gobbling it down even quicker.  We find our customers are taking the time to experiment with different cuts of beef and taking great pride in what they are serving up to their families.  It is great to see the wide range of dishes that are cooked with our beef.

 

Well I can certainly vouch for the products you create, steaks had a real depth of flavour and the mince was just excellent.

 

  1. 7. In your own kitchen what 5 ingredients can you not do without?

 

A freezer full of Green Meadows Beef (of course, so that doesn’t count!), quality beef stock, onion, garlic, fresh herbs and a good bottle of red wine (half for cooking and the rest for sampling to make sure it is good enough to cook with).

 

Good choices

  1. 8. What would be your death row meal?

 

It would definitely be a beef degustation meal with Beef Wellington as the main event. (We’re still trying to create the perfect Beef Wellington ourselves.  If you’re ever in Wellington (funnily enough), try out the Beef Wellington at The Tasting Room.  It is perfect!)

Because it is a death row meal, each course would be beer matched with local beers from Mikes Organic Brewery.

 

Sounds like my cup of tea and I am a massive beef Wellington fan, if you need help on the progress in that, you know ideas, tasting etc. you only have to ask! I have actually had their version of Beef Wellington.

 

  1. 9. You are based in a beautiful part of Taranaki what advantages are there in your location?

We are incredibly fortunate to be able to farm where we farm.  Growing up, we had it all.  The farm is underneath Mt Taranaki, on the banks of the Taungatara Stream and through the neighbour’s farm is the beach (this is how we got the name ‘Green Meadows’ – the surf break at the beach is called Green Meadows).  You know you live in a special place when you can go swimming and eeling in the river on your farm and then walk to the beach for white baiting, surfcasting and collecting paua.

Beef farming wise, the climate allows us to feed our animals grass for 365 days of the year – something that is difficult in most parts of New Zealand (it is either too wet and cold in the winter or too dry in the summer).

Taranaki as a whole is a pretty special part of the country and a place that is often neglected – if you do find yourself here, be sure to get in touch so we can show you around!

 

  1. 10. How can we get a hold of your product?

 

Our customers can buy direct from our website, www.greenmeadowsbeef.co.nz, for delivery (free of charge) New Zealand wide.  On our website is a whole range of beef boxes starting at 5kg.  We also have two unique features on the site.  Firstly, with ‘Swappa Box’ customers can swap out the cuts of beef in the boxes they dislike or already have enough of buried at the bottom of the freezer with the cuts they do want.  Secondly, customers can add items in their beef boxes with ‘Beef up Your Box’.  Both are very popular options with our customers as a way to make buying from us a smart choice.

We are also available in some of New Zealand’s leading food stores – Farro Fresh in Grey Lynn and Constellation Drive; Moore Wilson Tory Street, Masterton and Porirua; and locally at Fresha Food Store in New Plymouth.  We hope to be announcing further retail stores soon.

  1. 11. What is your favourite cut of beef?

 

What a tough question!  All of them?!  We are obviously fortunate to be able to sample them all fairly regularly.  Steak wise I would have to say Sirloin as you get all that delicious ‘beef’ flavour.  Otherwise, slow-cooked shin on the bone.  Rich and delicious.

 

Interesting, I think this is the best part of beef, everyone has a different opinion about what they like to eat, and I am a massive scotch fan. As for shin on the bone, anything slow cooked is usually good.

 

  1. 12. What is your favourite non beef meat product to eat?

 

Lamb (eaten only in season – the way it should be).

 

  1. 13. What would you say was the most unloved, underused part of the beast?

 

Corned Silverside!  We love Corned Beef with mustard sauce in our house but it has such a bad name.  Our customers can’t believe how tender our silverside is and how the beef doesn’t shrink when cooking.  One customer thought the silverside was too good to be corned!

On the whole, we’ve noticed that people are really experimenting with the different cuts of beef they cook with and looking away from the historically ‘sexy’ cuts of meat.  This means all of the traditionally underused parts of the animal are in hot demand.  At the moment (bearing in mind it is winter), we sell out of shin on the bone quicker than we do Eye Fillet steak.  It is fantastic to see.

 

I was brought up by my Nan and Mum and through them learnt to appreciate the “less desirable” cuts. I love them and have a particular interest in offal. I also think more and more chefs are now learning to add these to their dishes.

 

  1. 14. Down the other side of the scale what would you say was the most overrated part? Or the question could be what is your least favourite to eat?

 

I’m going to get in a lot of trouble here but Eye Fillet Steak. I like my beef to have flavour which only comes about from the cuts of beef where the animal has actually done some work.  The Eye Fillet is a lazy cut!

 

Fair enough, I used to love fillet but not I need fat! Scotch rules!!

 

  1. 15. What would be the single best thing about what you do?

 

Aside from having a continuous supply of beef, getting out and about and meeting our customers.  We take care of our own deliveries in the Taranaki region and conduct all our store tastings.  It is great to get amongst the people eating our beef.

 

I really want to get to Taranaki sooner rather than later, it is a region that really fascinates me.

 

  1. 16. Do you love a nice juicy McDonalds?!!!

 

I’ve been known to dabble in the odd Angus burger from McDonalds (for research purposes, of course…) and who doesn’t love a Happy Meal?!

 

Woah that was such a PC answer! Well handled!

 

For more information about Green Meadows Beef visit their website at
http://www.greenmeadowsbeef.co.nz/

Or join them on Twitter

https://twitter.com/getbeef

 

If you would like to see some of the recipes I created using their products visit the red meat section of the recipes page!