First wagyu beef producer in West Norfolk supplies meat to butchers, hotel and catering company
A farmer's daughter from East Winch, inspired by her late father who kept cattle, has become the first producer in West Norfolk of a rare form of meat which is highly sought after for its exceptional quality.
Sarah Juggins, started with her small herd of wagyu, a breed which originated in Japan, four years ago and in October she was able to supply local butchers, a hotel and a catering company with the meat from one of her calves.
She has a bull, a foundation cow called Winnie, and two calves, after the third calf went to the abattoir for its meat.
"My dad, who passed away two years ago, was a cattle farmer who kept the Limousin breed so I had grown up knowing about cattle farming. After university, I came back to West Norfolk and was lucky enough to buy a plot with a few acres next to the house," she said.
"I started off with two Dexters, which I have still got, and then I came across wagyu and thought they were really interesting and started to delve deeper."
Sarah explained that the meat, which is marbled with fat running through it, is of a high quality and it has high levels of Omega-3 and 6.
"People might recoil in horror because of the fat, but it's good fat and when it cooks down, it adds to the succulence and flavour of the beef," she said.
She feeds her cattle on grass and hay. "This means that the fat is even better for you because it is not enhanced with other feed, such as barley."
Sarah has plans to develop her herd and has already had eggs collected from her foundation cow. In time she expects to treble the size of her herd.
"When the first calf was born, my mother drove my father, who couldn't walk, to the smallholding and with a phone, he was able to see the birthing process so it felt like my dad had seen a full circle of my enterprise, which I got into because of him. He had seen it from the beginning through to the first calf being born," she said.
Sarah's wagyu has been supplied to JE Howard's butchers, which has shops in Gayton and West Newton, Titchwell Manor Hotel and Matthew Owsley-Brown, a neighbour of hers, who runs Owsley-Brown Catering Company. One of his dishes using the beef is called Wagyu ragu.