Move aside USDA Prime Angus Beef, now it is MBA Prime - at a price you can afford.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Who can resist a piece of great steak? Especially when it is:
  • of excellent quality, well-marbled tender and juicy USDA Prime ribeye cut (not even choice or select)
  • nicely crusted on the exterior and wondefully flavored from Mallard reactions to browning
  • warmed and juicy pink on the inside
A piece of MBA steak: Grilled to perfection.
Cut your steak knife through it and with your first bite, you know that; hey fiddle diddle, not only do cows jump over the moon, humans do too.

Unfortunately, premium beef comes with a premium price. It will easily cost $120 or more per kilo. Most will not be able to afford it except for very special occasions. It is out of reach for most Singaporeans.

What if I tell you that the beef of this quality is available at a price a lot less than that? That one day (soon), it is so cheap that you can easily buy it at the Mamak Indian Beef stall in your local wet market?

"Potong saya some MBA Tulang Mata, boleh? (Tulang Mata,  Rib-eye in Malay)

"Of course, boss. How much and how thick you mau?"

"Tiga kilo, dua inci. Cepat, yeah?"

"Ya, cepat-cepat."

And you go home with some world-class beef which your family can look forward to in the evening, which is only slightly more expensive than pork.

That is great, isn't it?

So, what is this MBA cut? Scotland may have cattle from the provinces of Aberdeenshire and Angus.

Now, Singapore has her own local version: Marina Barrage Angus.   

Project MBA successfully completed at Marina Barrage recently
The fear of reliance on foreign workers has spilled over to fears of reliance on imported meat. In fact "local" animals have been complaining. All of a sudden, Orang Utans are now noticing the presence of Chinese pandas. Local cows are mooing about how their meat is only fit for curry at hawker stalls while the imported ones are destined for fine dining eateries. Not fair.

And with the ever-widening gulf between the rich and poor, Singaporean authorities have been hard at work at making premium quality stuff affordable to all, may it be pre-school education or beef.

VAS has now come out with an ingenious way of breeding quality cattle using the facilities of Marina Barrage. In fact, according to Mr Lim, the spokesman for VAS, the first test project has been very successful and they are ready to roll out this new industry across the island.

Properly speaking, it is an underground project.

Yes, in land-scarce Singapore, we have to go up or down. And research has proven that great-eating cattle can be bred the humane way - underground.  

This means you do not need to force feed them with grain in their closing days. When kept underground, they remain still and simply grow their marbled fat in the cool humidity of our tropical weather. They only need to be fed grass for 2-3 hours a day.

That is where Marina Barrage is coming in handy.

Day time, it is flying kites. Night time, it is flying glowing ones. And in the dead hours of the morning, long after midnight, our MBA cows troop out quietly and graze the MB grass.

The amazing thing is this also helps MB to rely less on foreign workers to maintain the field.

This idea should work in various green spots on the island: underground by day, grass-grazing by night. 

Think of the underground bomb-shelters we have. Or large underground bunkers underneath our Parliament. Great commercial use of peace-time space. Great solution to the scarcity of foreign workers.

Very green, very local and very future. 

See how nicely marbled this MBA "Tulang Mata" is. 
I was privileged to be invited to a MBA beef-tasting event held recently for food-bloggers only. When they heard that I run an active cooking blog, they gave some cuts to me.

How was it? All I can say is that it will give US or Australian ones a huge run for their money. In fact I predict that this may well end our reliance on foreign beef. And for the first time, ordinary Singaporean folk will get to enjoy great beef at prices they can afford.

Can you buy this beef now? Only if you have the right VAS contacts. However, the wait wont be long and precisely a year from now (this means, 1st April 2014), this MBA beef will be publicly launched.

It will be in time and perfect for local consumption and the next elections.

All will be able to enjoy bits of a premium quality life ... at an affordable price.  

Ed note: If you have enjoyed this bull story, you might like to read these too. 

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  1. Haha... You got me last year with the Hakka Yong To Fu post and you got me again this year! :D

  2. Hi C & S - I did not expect anyone to fall for this year's..but looked like some did! :)

  3. I am reading this today and being the 3rd April, I have forgotten about April's fool joke and actually fell for this. Hehehe

  4. Had me going for a minute there! Nearly fell for your fried eggs post though... my wallet is grateful that it was April Fools!

  5. So where do you find these super cows? :p

  6. I totally fell for this!! oh no, wait, I did not :D