of place in a Spanish bullring. His horns were fiercesome; he weighed just short of a ton. He spent his entire life outdoors on the uncompromising Lakeland Fells. He was part Cumberland White, part Aberdeen Angus, what we called Cumberland Angus, more properly called Blue-Grey Angus, although his coat was black.
The bull was brought to Ayres abattoir, near Newby Bridge, at dawn. The journey from the farm was less than an hour. The travelling time is important because a long journey will lead to stress and stress releases a hormone which toughens the meat. Some commercial breeds will spend 18 hours on their final journey in a lorry crowded with other frightened animals. We are fortunate having Ayres so close to hand so that the stress is kept to a minimum
The bull was released into the building immediately on arrival and five minutes later it was dead- but not before it had exchanged a tender kiss with a cow awaiting a similar fate- as this video shows. The sides of beef weighed 214 and 216 kilos respectively- a total of 420 kilos, which is a formidable weight for a traditional beast. They will be hung for 26 days and the sirloins have been set aside for the Slow Food “Burns Night” dinner at the Damson Dene on January 25th.