Story #4: Meet the other families in our meaty affair
Introducing MacDuff Wholesale & HG Walter – United by a passion for quality & provenance
When I started on the Mac & Wild journey, little did I realise that I would end up in a love triangle with my beef suppliers.
If I were to ask my good friends and partner suppliers at Macduff and HG Walter today what makes a great relationship, I am sure they would agree it would be time, affection and 7 weeks hanging in a salt chamber.
It Runs in the Families
Cooking burgers on the streets of London in 2010, I knew I needed the best beef money could buy. That took me to the doors of HG Walter Ltd in Barons Court. H.G Walter Ltd is a family run butcher where Adam Heanan is the young managing director at the helm. I felt at home speaking to Adam, his father had started the business just a few years before my dad began Ardgay Game.
I soon started asking lots of questions about the beef and its provenance. They were answered when I came across wholesaler, Andrew Duff of MacDuff‘s another family run affair outside Glasgow. Andrew is the 4th generation of Duff to run the business, his great grandfather, Peter started the business in 1890. Peter’s son Laurie, a Scottish and British Irish Lions international rugby player then took over the reins. Now father and son team Rory and Andrew are in charge.
An Aging Affair
MacDuff’s buy cattle from Dumfries and the Borders, the top 2% of cattle from 14 farms are selected to send to HG Walter each week, not before first aging the meat for 2 weeks. HG Walter then age our beef for a further 4-5 weeks before it reaches the kitchens of Mac and Wild. Ribeye is matured in HG Walter’s dry aging salt chamber for 6-7 weeks. Our delicious burgers are made using mostly ribeye and mince.
Recently, MacDuff’s have actually butchered two cattle beasts bought from the family croft of Maddy, our Falls of Shin General Manager. Situated at Rogart, just 20 minutes from our Highland restaurant, Maddy and her Mum Lucy are an incredible mother/daughter crofting duo, passionately rearing rare breed pigs, sheep and cattle. They share our passion and vision of improving the quality of food we offer to market and ultimately consume. Another family involved in our meat supply chain – we hope to share more of their story and the importance of small scale crofting here on the journal in weeks to come.
What (or Who’s) Your ‘Beef’?
We are not ‘mincing’ our words when we claim full traceability on all our beef. HG Walter now send us kill-tags with the steaks so we can tell you exactly where the beef came from; the name of the farm, breed of cattle etc. This might sound overly ‘literal’ to some but it’s about integrity and a direct connection to the farm.
I’ve spent a lot of time with the Heanan’s and the Duff’s, we have a great relationship with both organisations and love working with them. The overwhelming motivation of both families is their desire to produce the best possible quality product which is why we all work so well together and connects me to my original motivation when I started cooking meat in 2010.