For close on 60 years the Bjorksten family have been breeding Hereford cattle, and since 2011, James Bjorksten has developed his own venture, Hereford Red Beef.
Unlike traditional beef farming business models that depend on the mass production, grain feeding and anonymous butchering of the stock, James has taken a different approach, one that’s more in step with current demands, both in flavour, and in ethics.
The Hereford Red Beef cattle on their property in Yeoval are not only treated differently to other stock during the growth stages, but the butchering and distribution is also carefully controlled by James and his family.
“We let our stock get up to about 600 kilos and around 16-19 months of age,” James said, “Which is about 100 kilos and 3 – 4 months older than the cattle used by the major supermarkets.”
That difference in age and weight results in meat that has developed a richness and real beef flavour that has won the hearts and palates of the restaurant trade, and foodies, in the central west.
“The beef really doesn’t need any sauce because our beef is finished on grass,” James said, “This really does give our steaks an incredible flavour that just doesn’t happen with grain finished beef.”
Hereford Red Beef has been a part of the Orange Region Farmers Market for nearly two years and the markets are a unique opportunity for customers to take home a selection of meats, including beef cheeks, oxtails and everything in between.
“We have the full range of cuts available, literally from the head to tail. Customers are really excited to find that their meat has a story, that they know exactly where their food is coming from. Our beef is single origin and because we have a unique relationship with the processor, we can guarantee that what we sell, is what we grow.”
At the markets James will also have some beef bourguignon meat pies made by the Agrestic Grocer. “They were so popular last month that we’d sold out by 11 o’clock, so they’re making quite a few more this markets,” James said.
The June Orange Region Farmers Market are on Saturday the 13th of June from 8.30 to 12.30 in the Agricultural Pavillion at the Orange Showground, Leeds Parade, Orange.