A farming couple from Adderbury are hoping their new line of steak will become the go-to answer to the ubiquitous question: What do you want for your tea?
Released to the general public this week, Milkbeef is the brainchild of Emma and Stuart Watson who have owned and run Manor Farm in Twyford for the past 10 years. The farm itself has been in Emma’s family since the 1930s.
Described as sitting at the midway point between veal and mature steak, Milkbeef is both a modern evolution of the beef producing process and the need for diversification for the farm’s survival.
Stuart said: “The beef enterprise has always been here, it’s always been a suckling herd.
“We were always very keen to make the cows work as well as we could but this particular idea, that is us trying to do something a little bit different.
“It’s quite an old fashioned system we’re running here and the chances are it wouldn’t be sustainable if we didn’t try something else. That’s very much the driving force behind this idea.”
The process is a relatively simple one but is said to be both ecologically friendly and a more natural way to raise cattle. Stuart said: “The cows are allowed to express their natural behaviours as much as possible. It’s a very natural thing to wean, all mammals go through it.
“What would normally happen is they would then go into a shed for the winter and go out the following season to finish at about 20 months old.
“That’s where Milkbeef comes from in that they have had the best quality of life up to weaning and instead of putting them into a shed let’s see what happens if we make beef now.”
The product will only be sold locally for now giving Stuart and Emma the chance to engage with potential consumers.
Emma said: “We very much wanted to have a conversation with the consumer about our beef in terms of why we think you should buy us over other products.”
Milkbeef is tender, has a sweet, subtle taste and costs around the same as mature beef. It is available locally at Wykham Park Farm shop.
The product will also be available from Alcoks Butchers, Summertown, Denshams Butchers, Witney, Fillet and Bone, Chipping Campden, Waghorne’s, Cheltenham and Jesse’s Butchers, Cirencester.
For more information visit www.milkbeef.co.uk.