Downland Produce enjoy free range meat live a healthier life

I love to cook and eat but I am always conscious about when it comes to cooking with anything as it can make a big difference to when it comes to taste, that is why it is important to buy good quality products. Apart from that it is also very important to me to know that the produce has little impact on the environment hence why I usually buy organic, free range or fair trade produce.

Meat in particular though is very important when it comes to buying any as I am an animal lover I would love to believe that the animal had a good life beforehand, such as roaming fields, not locked up in a cage. So when I discovered about Downland Produce who only sell free range meat it made me very happy to hear as not all butchers sell free range meat.

I was gifted a meat box on a courtesy basis from Downland Produce to show me how good their free range meat is.

Downland Produce

In 2018 Chris took on after months of planning Downland Produce, a small and passionate business in the heart of Wiltshire.

Downland Produce produces sausages and bacon in small batches. Their sausages are handmade and their bacon is cured using traditional methods, we also have a custom built smoker to complement our award winning products. Working closely with local food producers to help keep the food miles down and the traceability of each product crystal clear.

Chris wants to provide intimacy between not only the butcher and his craft, but also the customer and the industry.

Downland Produce sell quality meat from locally reared beef animals to the high welfare chickens. All their meat is naturally reared, totally traceable and locally sourced in Wiltshire and across the South West. They are especially proud of their Red Tractor Assured, RSPCA Assured, locally sourced, Award-winning, Wiltshire pork. All their meat is produced to the highest welfare and quality assured standards.

You can visit Downland Produce in Melksham or find them at Broadway market every Saturday and Chatsworth market every Sunday in London.

When sending out all packing of their products it’s done by them, meaning you can be assured that the products quality and traceability. Our sausages are handmade and our bacon is cured using traditional methods, they also have a custom built smoker to complement their award winning products.

Free range is the best

Free range meat is the best type of meat, as it is healthy and tasty, but also to know that the animal had a good life beforehand is great to know, especially when I love animals.

What does free range exactly mean though? It means that the animal has lived life free to roam outdoors rather than being confined in cages or enclosures and fed finer feed.

Here are 10 reasons why free range meat is healthier for you:

  1. Fewer calories – as live a more natural and cleaner diet.
  2. Contains more healthy fats – as they eat grass and not grain fed.
  3. More organic – the animals enjoy a more natural diet, which means they are free from antibiotics and livestock feed.
  4. Promotes biodiversity – animals can roam fields freely outdoors, rather than being confined in an enclosure for 24 hours each day which usually are indoors.
  5. Free from deadly diseases – caged or confined animals are more susceptible to bacteria and viruses, which leads to various kinds of diseases.
  6. Great for protein – rich in protein essential to help us grow.
  7. Helps support normal blood sugar levels – great if you are insulin-resistant, as free range meat helps maintain normal blood sugar levels. Also provides a great source of protein which is low in carbohydrates which can help help prevent the rise of blood glucose and reduce the risk of acquiring diabetes.
  8. Helps decrease the risk of heart diseases – rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants such as vitamin E.
  9. Free range meat contains electrolytes – can help prevent you from suffering from electrolyte imbalance (muscle spasms, twitching weakness, numbness & tiredness), which pertains to the lack of essential electrolytes in your body.
  10. Free range meat tastes better – because the meat is leaner, free range meat tastes better because the animal it’s from has a more natural diet, thus resulting in lower fat content.

Courtesy of Downland Produce I was kindly gifted one of their Festive Meat Packs of my choice to try so I opted for their most festive pack which included a turkey crown.

Free range meat is the best

This is Downland Produce 2kg Free Range Turkey Crown pack which comes with a variety of free range meat and only costs £50.00.

It came supplied with

  • 1 x 2kg Free range Turkey Crown
  • 1 x 1.2kg Gammon Joint
  • 10 x Pork Chipolatas
  • 12 x Back Bacon

Upon receiving the meat pack I was highly impressed by the look and size of the meat and could not wait to start cooking with it.

Cooking with free range meat

Firstly I decided to cook with the turkey crown, even though it was not quite Christmas yet I just could not wait to eat it. It really did produce an outstanding turkey dinner, so moist, and full of flavour but the great thing about the turkey crown is that it comes with legs and wings so needs a lot less cooking time than a full turkey. Plus as the turkey was ever so large there was plenty of turkey leftover so I made also a meat pie from the left over turkey as well as a turkey sandwich.

With my turkey crown I decided to cook a turkey dinner which I cooked some roast potatoes, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, roast carrots and sausage stuffing balls.

As advised by British Turkey, the temperature of your oven should be heated to 190C or 170C fan.

Depending on how large your turkey crown is will vary on the amount of time it takes to cook a turkey crown:

Under 4kg: 20 mins per kg plus 70 mins
Over 4kg: 20 mins per kg plus 90 mins

To see if your turkey is cooked it should be around 70C. This is the recommended temperature for cooked turkey according to the Food Standards Agency. You must then leave it to rest for 20 minutes and it will continue cooking through. Before serving your turkey, you can also check to see if ready and safe to eat by poking a skewer into it and if the juices run clear then it is safe. It is highly recommended though to be double safe in using a proper meat thermometer.

Turkey Dinner


  • Turkey crown
  • 5 slices of bacon
  • Butter
  • Potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • Goose fat or oil
  • Carrots, sliced into round
  • Cauliflower, divided into florets
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Sausage stuffing balls


  1. To start, weigh your turkey crown and calculate the cooking times.
  2. Put the turkey in a large baking tray and cover with butter and bacon. Season. Then place in oven.
  3. Place the potatoes in cold water and bring to boil. Cook for around 15-20 minutes on the hob.
  4. Place a tray for the potatoes in the oven and warm up some goose fat or oil. Then drain the potatoes and add to the pan and pop into the oven for around 45 minutes until crisp. Remember to turn half way.
  5. It is best to let a turkey rest for around 20 minutes before serving so take out of oven and leave to rest.
  6. In this time cook your sausage stuffing balls in the oven for around 25 minutes or according to packet.
  7. Also in this time cook your vegetables on the hob in boiling water.
  8. Now slice the turkey and serve up with the roast potatoes, sausage stuffing balls and vegetables.

As my turkey crown weighed 2kg it only needed 1 hour and 50 minutes to cook. It came out beautifully as the meat was succulent and provided a great flavour. Also for some reason the breast meat did not seem as dry as a standard whole turkey. I think it is because the cooking time is way less than cooking a whole turkey with all it’s bits. There also was plenty left over which is always great as I could get even more dishes from it.

As I had plenty of turkey left over, as there is only two of us, I decided to use some of the left over turkey to make a turkey pie.

Turkey Pie


  • Puff pastry
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 180ml white wine
  • 300ml double cream, plus tbsp for brushing
  • 250g shredded turkey
  • 200g frozen peas
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tbsp dried thyme
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 170ºC fan.
  2. In a large, pan over medium heat add butter and melt.
  3. Add the onions and carrots and cook until soft then add the garlic.
  4. Now stir in flour and cook until beginning to bubble. Gradually whisk in the white wine. Bring mixture to a simmer for around 3 minutes. Slowly pour in cream and continue to cook, stirring until mixture comes to a boil and thickens slightly.
  5. Fold in the shredded turkey, peas, parsley and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Pour in a pie dish and let cool.
  7. Now place the puff pastry over the pie dish. Trim and slit a few slits in the centre. Brush with cream and bake the pie in the oven until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, around 35 minutes.

It produced a creamy turkey pie, which was full of flavour thanks to the delicious turkey and vegetables within.

With the rest of the turkey left overs from the turkey crown I made a simple turkey sandwich.

Simply cut bread, butter, turkey, lettuce and brown sauce. Really tasty.

With Downland Produce sausages I made a Toad in the Hole.

Toad in the Hole


  • 6 pork sausages
  • red onion, cut into wedges
  • rapeseed oil
  • 100g plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 140ml milk
  • Bunch of rosemary leaves, chopped
  • Salt


  1. Heat the oven to 220C or fan 200C.
  2. Put the sausages and onions in a frying pan, drizzle over some oil and cook on the hob until golden.
  3. Put the flour in a bowl with 1 tsp salt. Gradually whisk in the eggs and milk to make a batter, then stir in the rosemary.
  4. Add 2 tbsp oil to a deep baking tray or baking dish and heat in oven until hot.
  5. Add the sausages and onions to the pan and pour over the batter.
  6. Put in the oven for around 30 minutes. Then serve.

The sausages I used even though chipolatas they certainly were tasty and not dry at all. Great texture and flavour to them. Plus the batter worked well with them.

With the gammon I simply boiled with some carrots and served with mash.

To boil a gammon you will need to cook according to how heavy your piece of gammon is

  • 20 minutes per 450g, plus an additional 20 minutes

Boiled Gammon and chicken soup


  • Gammon
  • Tinned chicken soup
  • Carrots, chopped into rounds
  • Potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
  • Knob of butter
  • Half cup of milk
  • Brussel sprouts
  1. To start, weigh your meat to calculate cooking times.
  2. Put the meat in a large pan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil.
  3. Boil for half the calculated cooking time, periodically skimming and discarding any white froth that rises to the surface, then simmer covered.
  4. Take out the gammon and leave to sit for around 20 minutes. In this time add the carrots to the gammon water and cook for 20 minutes.
  5. Also in this time cook your potatoes in water for around 20 minutes or until soft. Then mash with the butter and milk.
  6. Add brussel sprouts to a pan of water and cook for around 10 minutes or until soft.
  7. Before slicing the gammon warm up the chicken soup.
  8. Slice up the gammon and serve. Pour over the warm chicken soup, and serve along with the carrots, brussel sprouts and mash.

Really delicious piece of meat, so salty and tasty. It literally melted in the mouth.

As this was also a large piece of meat I had plenty of gammon left over so I made a few sandwiches with the rest.

With the Downland Produce free range streaky bacon I made a simple bacon sandwich. Simply cut bread, butter, and bacon. Crisp, porky, salty and tasty.

What is your favourite cut of meat?


Rating: 5 out of 5.

As a meat lover I must admit I was very impressed by all the produce from Downland Produce. Not only was I safe in the knowledge that all their meat is free range, but the size of the meat provided was great and the taste was exceptional.

The turkey crown was easy to cook, no bones to tackle, great taste and provided a number of meals, as it was huge.

The sausages even though chipolatas they were not too thin, did not need a lot of cooking and was really meaty, not herby.

The gammon was a great piece of meat, as it had a great texture to it, the size was great, porky and salty.

The bacon crisped up well, high in flavour with a great saltiness to it.

Now I tend to find that when you buy from a supermarket that the meat even if free range has not much flavour and can be quite watery and this is because of the chemicals pumped into the meat to preserve and the way it is packaged. Least with a butchers you know the meat is fresh and not had any nasty chemical pumped into it. Not all butchers though sell free range meat so if you are wanting free range it is best to check with them.

However to be doubly sure that you will be buying a great piece of meat that is free range then purchase via Downland Produce and you won’t even need to go out and collect it as they can deliver direct to your door. Apart from free range meat Downland Produce also sell fruit & vegetables and dairy.

So if you are looking for meat be it for yourself, or to impress your partner or even for a dinner party with friends and family then they will be impressed if you serve them up any of Downland Produce free range meat.

Downland Produce buy your free range meat now

Downland Produce
B5 Ashville Centre
Commerce Way
SN12 6ZE

Tel: 01225 945011 or 07514 645373

Downland Produce, are a small butchery business offering the highest quality, locally reared, free range meats. Offering home delivery and supply many restaurants; their products can also be found in many quality food retailers.

Fresh pork
Bacon, gammon & ham
Meat boxes
Poultry & game
Free range beef
Fruit & vegetables

They offer free delivery on orders under £50 within a 5 mile radius of SN12 6ZE. Delivery costs £5 on all other orders.

You can also collect your order for free from B5 Ashville Centre, Commerce Way, Melksham, Wiltshire, SN12 6ZE.

Thanks to Downland Produce for the very tasty meat pack which was a festive treat. All views and my own honest opinion.

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