Goat meat from the Cockerham Boers farm
PUBLISHED: 00:00 02 April 2019
One small corner of Lancashire is turning into a haven for lovers of good food. Lancashire Life makes a meal of it.
If they ever decide to launch a new food trail in Lancashire, those atmospheric flatlands around Cockerham would be a prime contender. There, you can find most of the ingredients you’d need for the perfect dinner party – delicacies from the Lancaster Smokehouse for starters, followed by salt marsh lamb from Bank End Farm with delicious fresh vegetables from around Pilling.
Dessert would be luxury gelato from Wallings and I’m sure you’ll find many a truckle of cheese nearby. The drinks waiter might struggle with the lack of a local vineyard but there are some excellent beers from the team at Farm Yard Ales.
While the lamb here is first class, you might be tempted to try something different for your main course – goat meat from the Cockerham Boers farm based on a bend in one of those long lazy lanes that criss-cross this coastal area.
It is estimated that 80 per cent of the world’s population regularly consumes goat but the British have been slow to catch on to its subtle flavour..
People who are perfectly happy to eat lamb suddenly turn squeamish about goat.
It defies logic but once you’ve tried it, cooked properly, it’s a succulent sensation that you’ll want to repeat.
Consumption of goat cheese and milk has risen steadily but meat is not stocked by any of the major supermarkets although a few are thinking about it for ready meals.
The BBC Good Food magazine’s list of top trends for 2019 predicts that goat will get a foothold in the meat market.
You’ll never come across goat meat from Cockerham Boers on a supermarket shelf. Farmers Sharon and Chris Peacock have a national following for their products but you can tell they are happy that small is beautiful on their 50 acre plot.
Sharon says having just 120 breeding females provides them with year-round meat while allowing them to concentrate on welfare and sustainability - two of the cornerstones of what they do.
‘We are not interested in expanding. We want to stay small but do it really well,’ she says. ‘Food scares have become a regular thing, even in this country, but people who come here know exactly what they are getting and, importantly, where it comes from.’
Meat can be purchased by mail order or from the farm gate and they have quite a following. ‘We have regulars from far away as Carlisle and one man drove from London to collect his family’s Christmas meat,’ Sharon says.
‘In the past, it has had a reputation for only being popular with certain ethnic groups, such as people with a Caribbean heritage of cooking it in curries. But we are finding it is now mainstream.’
They started out with pure Boer goats but soon discovered they weren’t hardy enough to thrive outdoors during a Lancashire winter. With careful cross-breeding they came up with a British meat goat that is unique to their farm.
Sharon and Chris produce the same sort of joints that you would expect from a lamb farmer with prices ranging from around £12 to £14 a kilo. The taste is said to be more delicate than lamb.
They also make sausages, burgers and mince and are looking at curing goat.
‘We know that certain types of meat production are bad for the environment,’ says Sharon. ‘So, if you are going to eat meat, then you should eat the very best.’