It is almost that time of year again. I have brought the first five wethers down from the moor to fatten up a little before slaughter, but in a couple of weeks time, the first animals will go to the abattoir and a week after that, it will be delivered to my customers and start appearing on dinner tables and menus.
It is a fairly exciting time, but also somewhat daunting (a bit like approaching lambing time really). It is when most of the money comes in from the sheep, but there is also a lot more work to be done, feed to be bought and so forth. There is also the phone calls/visits to head chefs, emails to private customers and so forth to find out how many animals i will need. Then arranging their killing and butchery. Then changing everything when someone changes their mind.
But, the end product of all of this is fantastic mutton. I had some friends over for the weekend, and so my wife prepared a mutton hot pot in the slow cooker with black puddiing, onion, carrot and potato. It took nine hours to cook, but I think i personally ate about 4 or 5 servings of it, and had trouble moving far or fast that evening!
And, more than the money, it is the feedback from chefs and customers about how good the meat was that keeps me going when things get difficult!
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