Hardiesmill beef served on the Orient Express

Hardiesmill pedigree Aberdeen Angus herd.
Hardiesmill pedigree Aberdeen Angus herd.

Beef from a Berwickshire farm is serving as the star attraction at Edinburgh’s first gourmet steak restaurant as well as being served on the Orient Express.

Hardiesmill in Gordon has been selected to supply beef to the Restaurant at the Rutland as part of the eatery’s recent transformation into the Kyloe Restaurant and Grill - Edinburgh’s first gourmet steak restaurant.

In order to stand out amongst the increasing number of excellent dining venues in the city, and following a period of extensive market research, the new restaurant specialises in providing a gourmet steak experience alongside its popular a la carte menu.

And steaks from the Hardiesmill herd of pedigree Aberdeen Angus made the cut to star on the Kyloe menu.

David Haetzman, The Rutland’s award-winning head chef, explained: “Everyone loves a good steak so we are determined to give our diners the best steak experience possible.”

The name Kyloe, an old Scots word for Highland beef cattle, was chosen for the restaurant as it represents the strength and versatility of Scottish beef produce.

When selecting suppliers, David was not only looking for a fantastic product, but for suppliers who take provenance seriously.

Owned by Robin and Alison Tuke, Hardiesmill is a family business specialising in rearing pedigree Aberdeen Angus cattle.

It was chosen as one of Kyloe’s main beef suppliers thanks to the Tukes’ rigorous approach to breeding, feeding and handling.

“In our endeavours to become Edinburgh’s top steak restaurant we have spent considerable time searching for the best suppliers of beef and decided to use suppliers who we believe have fantastic products which will provide a great experience for the customer,” David said.

“As well as traditional cuts we have chosen some less familiar cuts for their texture and flavour,” he added.

Hardiesmill currently stocks 400 cows, and the team knows each of them by name! The cattle are raised free-range on two adjoining farms, Sweethope and Hardiesmill.

As well as Kyloe Restaurant and Grill, Hardiesmill provides steak for The Orient Express and other high-end clients. In 2009 they were invited to provide the beef for the finals of the Bocuse d’Or World Cuisine Contest in Lyon.

The Hardiesmill range of steaks is the largest in Britain and they also smoke and cure meats on-farm. The beef is all hung for three to four weeks before being seam cut by Hardiesmill’s in-house master butcher.

Having spent three generations studying nature and reducing the number of variables, Robin and Alison believe that three things really affect the eating experience of beef: breeding, feeding and handling.

As a result, they only use one breed of cattle, Aberdeen Angus, and no crosses. They also stick to a grass-only diet for their cattle and don’t use quantities of high-protein barley or corn, which increase the water content of the meat and changes the taste. Great care is taken in the handling of the meat from conception through to delivery, and Robin and Alison believe that having ‘happy cattle’ is an essential factor in producing high quality meat.

“We have to have happy cattle as stress makes the beef tough and causes that piece of gristle you often find in the sirloin, so we check them daily, handle them regularly, and keep their diet forage-based,” they explained.

This approach and the outcome - extremely high quality meat, meant that Hardiesmill steak was a must-have for the new menu for the Kyloe grill and restaurant, at The Rutland Hotel in Edinburgh.