Our butcher, the Smit family, has been in the trade for three generations. They used to buy their cows at the cattle market. Now they buy them directly from the farmer. Pure Dutch beef.
In collaboration with the farmer, the Smit family reintroduces the blaarkop in Groningen. Gezinus visits the farm almost weekly to check on the cows.
Everything is done by hand in the butchery. It almost doesn’t get more artisan than this. That’s why the Block & Barrels loves to work with them.
The blaarkop is an old breed of cattle already mentioned in the Middle Ages in Groningen. The cows are solid black or red with a white head. Around the eyes the blaarkop has a black or red ring, the blaar. It is a strong breed. They hardly need any extra food in winter, they have a very strong health and therefore don’t need preventive antibiotics.
The blaarkop is bred for both milk and meat, so they are less environmentally harmful. They are kept outside most of the year, eating whatever they find in nature. This way they don’t disrupt the ecosystem, but actually contribute to it! The blaarkop is a good and sustainable cow.
The meat of the blaarkop is marbeled, which gives it a very refined taste. When possible we use beef from the blaarkop. Good for the environment, the flavour and quality.
Block & Barrels. A concept born out of two long weekends at Meatopia, one of the best food festivals in Europe. Mark and David have always worked in hospitality. Boudewijn is an experienced food festival organiser. They share a love for good food and beer. Two out of the three being South African, there is going to be a lot of meat involved.
Sausages are according to our own recipes, in collaboration with a local butcher. We dry age our steaks in-house and we try to use all the meat in our kitchen, from nose to tail.
Sustainability and craftsmanship are very important to us. That is why we choose to serve beef from the blaarkop and pork from free range pigs. Both bred in the province of Groningen. And that is also why we choose to work closely with Smit. A butcher’s family in the business for three generations.