We are delighted to announce Yorkshire’s First Cull Yow project.
Our project is unashamedly Inspired by Matt Chatfield and his amazing project in Cornwall. Matt has managed to turn culled ewes (Yaws as they call them in Cornwall, Yows here in Yorkshire) into one of the most highly sought after menu items in restaurants across London and the South West.
Culled Ewes are sheep that are no longer producing lambs and are removed from the flock, usually destined for the bottom of the food chain. Matt (inspired by the farming methods of Iberico pigs in Spain) saw the potential of taking these old hillside ewes and giving them some lovely fresh pastures to retire on and as such fatten up again. The ewes end up producing some incredible meat, mainly thanks to their maturity, very active life, and now with the freshly added fat content. This farming process is then followed up by the butchery steps that include expert seam butchery followed by hanging and maturing the culled ewe in a similar process to how we hang our beef etc. The end result is a product that rivals incredible beef and pork for depth of flavour and will hopefully be an exciting addition to your menus in the future.
After conducting our own research and speaking to Matt (who has generously given his time to advise us on this project), we decided to get cracking with farming our own first batch of Culled Yows here at Waterford Farm. Rob was tasked with finding some good condition highland Yows to begin the program with, and our first batch arrived last week. We have opted for a flock of Scottish Black Face sheep. They are one of the hardiest sheep breeds in the country, renowned for their depth of flavour thanks to their active lifestyle. Our flock have spent their lives lambing on the hills of Yorkshire, so will enjoy our gentle pasture for their retirement.
The Wow Cull Yow project will be documenting the benefits of working with what many farmers see as a farming by-product. We will be monitoring the regenerative benefits of farming Yows on our soil here and at other like-minded farmers who are working with us on this project.
We anticipate our first batch ready around November- December with limited availability so keep an eye open for any ‘For the Cooks’ releases.