The rise of Wagyu beef!
Wagyu beef seems to be on every menu but what is it and why is it so popular?
Contrary to what you may have heard, Wagyu is not the act of massaging cattle, but is in fact a Japanese breed of beef developed to yield higher than average fat store’s in the animals muscles, increasing readily-available energy for better working cattle.
Luckily for us, this intra-muscular fat known to as ‘marbling’ is also responsible for the delicious, melt in your mouth flavour of Wagyu beef and is the reason Wagyu is now one of the most highly sought after meats worldwide.
In Japan the genealogy of Wagyu is strictly maintained, with each farmer keeping impeccable records on the lineage of their herd to ensure the quality of the beef being produced. Previously, this meant that the only true Wagyu beef had to be imported from Japan – but in more recent times, Wagyu cows have made their way into Australia and Aussie farmers are now producing some of the highest quality Wagyu in the world. The Australian Wagyu Association is now the largest breed association outside of Japan with both fullblood and Wagyu-cross cattle being farmed in Australia for domestic and overseas markets.
In Australia, the marbling score is assessed visually by an AUS-MEAT qualified grader and is ranked on a scale of 0 to 9. Generally speaking, the higher the fat content, the higher the marbling score. And the higher the marbling score the more juicy, tender and expensive the meat!
*Meat Standards Australia (MSA) is a grading system proven to take the guess work out of buying and cooking Australian beef and lamb. All products identified with the MSA symbol have met strict criteria to ensure they achieve consumer expectations for tenderness, juiciness and flavour.
When cooking with wagyu it’s definitely a ‘less is more’ approach. The meat itself is so full of flavour there’s no need to add anything other than a little seasoning. To cook the meat, pre heat your NEFF Griddle Plate on a high heat, then reduce down to a medium heat before carefully placing your beef on the plate. We recommend cooking Wagyu medium rare so that you can truly appreciate the quality and texture of the meat and as always, ensure you rest the meat when cooked for a few minutes for more juicy, tender beef.
You can buy Wagyu beef at most gourmet butchers across Australia.