Life is too short for anything else.
About Whole Roast Ox Company
We are based in Wensleydale, near Hawes, in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales; surrounded by traditional Dales' hay meadows, herb rich hill pasture, and heather moorland.
In the spring of 2015, we had the opportunity to purchase a machine capable of roasting a whole beef carcase known as a Whole Roast Ox . It was an opportunity not to be missed, and we are now (as far we know) the only outside catering company in the UK capable of roasting a Whole Ox.
So what is a Whole Roast Ox?
When we talk about a Whole Roast Ox, we’re talking about roasting a whole beef animal that has been reared slowly, with care, on grass pasture. It’s a bit like when we talk about roasting a pig, which we would all call a hog roast.
“We want to bring back the community spirit and theatre of providing guests with a beautifully roasted whole roast ox. For me it is such an exciting venture; its fun, its theatre, it is cooking that goes back to our roots and it is great eating. We have cooked a pig in an earth oven known as a Hangi, we have just built a wood fired pizza oven, and love cooking outdoors with fire as in an Argentinian Asado. The Whole Roast Ox takes these to a new level of experience and entertainment, that brings people to together and pays high respect for the meat using an animal nose to tail, no waste."
History of Ox Roasting. The theatre and spectacle of a slowly roasted Ox is something that is rare in this day and age but has its roots in the history of celebration food.
In Anglo Saxon times it was practice to roast an Ox Whole. King John reportedly had three ovens built at court for the purpose. During the 'mini' Ice Age and river Thames 'Frost Fairs' of the 17th Century, Ox were roasted whole.
The tradition continued into the 1800's, a local history group in the South East (www.wlhg.org) write about the Jubilee Feast in commemoration of King George III's 50 years reign, and how the Ipswich Journal reported the occasion.
"The most prominent festivity of the day was an ox roasted whole and afterwards distributed to the populace, in the presence of the Duchess of Chandos, Lord and Lady Henniker and other members of that family. The concourse of people collected to witness this display of ancient British hospitality was very considerable. The number was estimated at between 4 and 5000 but, so ample was the supply of roast beef, beer and bread that all whose appetites solicited them to partake of the feast went away perfectly satisfied."
Whole Roast Ox has been used as part of Royal celebrations, (Coronations and Jubilees) - the footage below shows an Ox Roast in the town of Ledbury, to celebrate the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Following a road accident in his twenties, that resulted in severe spinal injuries, entrepreneur and founder Ian Bell, established a catering company called Abbotside Events. This company offers menus for weddings and corporate events, as well as more informal parties. Since then the team have been providing a range of catering options from hog roasts, to five course wedding meals.
Ian and the team always set great store in paying attention to detail, to all aspects of your event. We use the best quality, locally sourced ingredients and make it our responsibility to offer you, and your guests, a friendly and highly efficient service.