QUALITY WAGYU BEEF
RICH EXTRACTED MEAT FLAVOR AND HEALTHIER MARBLING
IT'S WHAT'S FOR DINNER
...or at least it is at our house quite often and we would love for it to be at your
house as well!
Along with breeding and raising quality genetics for the live cattle world, Twin Oaks is
happy to also operate a "Farm to Table" product that aims at creating a quality freezer beef product for you and your family to enjoy.
Be sure to check out our online farm store today!
FROM OUR FARM
TO YOUR TABLE
When we got started with cows I knew one day one of them would end up becoming dinner ...I mean who has a cattle farm and still buys hamburger at the grocery store, right? Jason and Mady were excited for that day to come when they were eating their own steak...Jessica, being the animal lover she is, was not as sure if she could do it. Knowing that she would be out voted in this decision she decided to mentally prepare the best she could from day one. So with that, the decision was made for all of the freezer beef animals to be named "Dinner." That way in the event anyone asked what we were eating I could answer honestly... we were eating ‘dinner’. Call me crazy if you would like, but people still often laugh when I reference the field of ‘dinners’ out there grazing in the pastures.
In the beginning, we started off with purebred Angus or Angus-cross as our beef offering until the first half-blood Wagyu (F1) was ready for processing. As stated in our story, that is when Jason ‘died and went to steak heaven’. We currently still have a few Angus girls left in the breeding world, but have since moved this side of the operation to be all Wagyu ... whether it is Fullblood Wagyu (which are 100% Japanese genetics) or our percentage influenced animals, often called American Wagyu (which are a Wagyu/Angus mix). The reason for this switch here at Twin Oaks is that we believe the taste, texture and consistency achieved with the Wagyu are just unbelievable.
WHAT EXACTLY IS
Wagyu basically means ‘Japanese Cow’ and can be any of the four Japanese breeds of beef cattle with the most desirable one being the ‘Japanese Black’. Originally raised as work cattle, the Japanese Black beef is prized for its intensive marbling. Over 90% of all Wagyu stem from Japanese Black strains, so when someone says ‘Wagyu’, they are usually referring to this line which also happens to be the one we breed here at Twin Oaks as well. ‘Kobe’ beef would be a more common name that is recognized as being associated with the Wagyu breed of cattle.It is simply the Wagyu cattle that are raised with-in the Kobe region of Japan.
The Japanese pride themselves on their genetics, finishing and overall cattle practices that each region (or prefecture) in Japan has a beef all of their own. Since we live here in Virginia our cattle do not get to carry the elite title of "Kobe"…so we simply refer to them as Wagyu, or American Wagyu if they have the Angus influence in there too.
WHY IS WAGYU BEEF HIGHLY SOUGHT AFTER?
As a result of various genetic lines breeding wise, combined with longer periods for fattening, the Wagyu cattle have an unparalleled level of marbling in the meat. Not only does the meat look different with the fine flecks of marbling that you will often see, but Wagyu marbling (or fat) is also better tasting. Have you ever heard the phrase..."melt in your mouth?" Well, it might not actually happen when you eat Wagyu beef, but it will be pretty close! The fat melts at a lower temperature than any other cattle so you will often get that melt in your mouth feeling and Wagyu beef has a quality to it that results in a rich, buttery flavor unseen in other strains of beef cattle. If that isn’t exciting enough, the fat is also unsaturated and high in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids; meaning not only is Wagyu marbling more delicious, it’s also healthier. Win Win!!
Here at Twin Oaks, our process for producing a high quality beef product at our farm honestly begins at the very beginning with the breeding and genetics behind each animal. Every decision we make will hopefully ensure that quality comes first and I often say that we are involved from conception to plate (and every step along the way)! Just like we do for the cattle on the seed stock side of our operation, we also look at the genetics when it comes to the freezer beef side as well. We make sure the Wagyu bulls we are breeding to have the genetics that are known for producing high quality carcasses and carry more traits for marbling in their offspring, while not giving up too much size. Also, we are currently members of the American Wagyu Association and the Australian Wagyu Association and all of our Fullblood Wagyu animals are parent-verified, with-in the association, to ensure the genetics behind all of our beef products trace back, by DNA, to the original genetics imported here from Japan. For the American Wagyu animals, which are the Wagyu/Angus cross, they are DNA verified for their Wagyu genetic percentages as well. This will help us to ensure that the quality of the product you receive will be something you are happy with and hopefully will want more of!
Once the little ones have grown on the inside for nine months and entered our world safely, the fun begins as we get to watch them grow! At first, they will be nursing their mom and nibbling on other types of feeds out of curiosity until they reach weaning age, which is typically around 7 months old, and then it is off to the ‘dinner’ pasture where they will continue to grow until harvest time. We currently have 12 different paddocks on the farm that the cows will often rotate between as a way for us to better manage the land, along with extending our grazing seasons. All of our cattle are primarily raised on pasture (or hay depending on time of year here in VA) but we do offer a custom blended grain mixture, which is made at the farm by us, and given to them free choice throughout their life. We often respond when asked, that our cattle are “grass-fed with dessert”. Basically, they live a normal cow’s life of primarily grazing the pastures and chewing their cud but are able to eat the grain as they please. Now it might take longer for them to finish out this way, since the grain is not their main diet, combined with the slower growth of the Wagyu breed itself.
Here at Twin Oaks, we feel this is the best way to get the level of taste and marbling in our beef product but still allowing the animal to naturally grow and develop at their own rate. Age is really just an estimate for processing schedules, as we are more looking for them to reach a certain live weight range before we know they are truly ready for butcher. But, in general, it typically takes the American Wagyu, which have the percentage Angus influence in them, around 24 months to reach the end of their time at our farm, while with the Fullblood Wagyu animals it could be as long as 30 months or more! Also, the animals themselves are antibiotic and hormone free and we, as their handlers, are Beef Quality Assured (BQA) to make sure that best handling/humane practices are always taking place here on the farm.
After finishing at the farm, the ‘dinners’ are delivered to the butcher where they are dry aged for around 10-14 days and then cut to our custom cut-sheet. All of them are processed under USDA standards into individual packages that are all vacuum-sealed, labeled and weighted with our farm’s logo on them, before being frozen and ready for your use. Our beef is currently sold via our online farm store and then either picked-up or delivered direct to the consumer. During the Farmer’s Market season (May to October) you can often find us at our local market and the store will also offer this location as a pick-up spot with the days that we are there. Our beef is sold either as a whole cow or in direct-yield portions [half, quarter, eighth] along with smaller mini-portions that are more of a fixed weight bundle pack, along with individual items as they are available as well. Check out the farm store today to see our current availability or to reserve your next beef share!.
BEEF AVAILABLE AT BARN 2 DOOR
If you have never purchased beef this way before, or even if you have, we know that this part of the process can get a little confusing as there are many different ways to calculate the price. Here at Twin Oaks, we never charge you a butcher fee, or a labeling fee, as all of that is already included in our cost. Our pricing for the direct-yield portions of beef are a set price per pound that is based on the animal’s carcass weight, which is the animal less head and organs but still has the skeletal frame intact. A typical steer for us weighs about 700-1,000 pounds hanging and will produce about 400-600 pounds of meat. The online farm store will show you an estimated price range for each portion size as it automatically
figures the cost based on these parameters. A list of what a whole cow would typically yield is included below as a general reference. The roasts are all in the 3-4 pound range and the steaks are typically cut an 1” to 1-1/2” thick.
Please keep in mind that every animal is different and quantities will vary slightly as all of these portions are a true direct yield to what your specific animal produces. This list is more to provide you with an idea on what to expect in terms of specific cuts of meat we receive and the amounts for each one as this is one of our most commonly asked questions. We consider this list to be the best package in terms of utilizing all the animal’s typical cuts, along with providing some value added items but not all of the random things you might not ever use. However, we can work with you to customize these selections to meet your specific needs for a whole cow or half cow purchase only, but we would need to know ahead of time for this request as this information is given to the butcher at the time we drop them off.
Beginning in 2022, we started measuring and collecting data on all of our animal’s carcasses by using a MIJ Carcass Camera to scan the ribeye of each one to determine various traits including the marbling percentage, marbling fineness index and marbling area just to name a few. With all of this new data that we are collecting here at Twin Oaks, we decided to also add a superior Fullblood Wagyu only product to our ‘Farm to Table’ line-up that is referred to around here as ‘Black Label’ and will be your culinary ticket for the Wagyu Experience. All of the animals that reach the "black label" status here at Twin Oaks must first meet certain minimum thresholds for the various marbling characteristics and grading before they can achieve this special label (and yes the label is literally black with white writing). All of this is officially determined based on the animal’s carcass scan that is done, by our butcher prior to cutting, with our MIJ Carcass Camera which will grade the animals ribeye on the Japanese grading scale. Based on all of the information we have found, our "Black Label Wagyu" should be grading alongside the Japanese A4 products. We know there are a lot of characteristics that come into play when it comes to grading beef, but this black label will show you it is on a different level!
QUALITY IS OUR
Here at Twin Oaks, we prioritize quality and we make sure that is part of the process from the
genetics to the plate! If you are interested in learning more about our "dinners" or coming out to the
farm to meet them, feel free to contact us anytime.