Raising the steaks


Hi, I'm John Vanson from North Cornwall, near Bude, producing organic beef and lamb off a 200-acre holding for Tesco. We've been here 23 years now; before we came here it was a small dairy farm of about 100 acres. I think the way we rear our cattle; we do produce them organically, the calves are born to their mum, they stay on their mum for the whole summer - probably seven or eight months. When they're weaned off their mums, they come into the sheds and are kept through the winter on a grass-based diet, all organically fed; and then they go out to the fields in the following year and then they're finishing in the late autumn of the second year.

We do produce a lot of good quality grass and I think our beef has got a lot of the natural flavour and natural taste and is one of the outstanding products of the West Country.

It's a good idea to buy British because all my animals are reared naturally on their mum, they eat a grass-based diet and they're quite slow in maturing which gives them a lot better flavour. I think it's important that beef matures properly to get the natural flavours out of it. We get the process right in producing this beef; they're properly reared and fed in the right manner and then it's passed to the process of rematuration. Following on from then it's down to the consumer to get it cooked right.

My favourite joint is brisket; I think it's one of the more tastier joints, it's a cheaper joint, it's just full of flavour. I'm passionate about my beef, nothing beats a Sunday roast on Sunday. Not on Monday, Sunday. For me it's the highlight of the week.

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