Ive written many times about the glories of wagyu beef the deeply marbled, super-juicy, ultra-tasty meat of the Japanese kobe cattle. The most glorious of the genre is said to be available only in Japan, but around the world, farmers have reared the steers to produce their own wagyu beef.
The best Ive tasted is Australian Gold, which costs around 25 per steak but is very difficult to source. So Ive now found another supplier, and the great news is, theyre right here in this country.
Based at Upper Bryntalch Farm in Montgomery, Mid-Wales, Ifor Humphreys is one of only a handful of British farmers to breed kobe cattle.
Wagyu, also known as Kobe beef is renowned for its superior eating qualities. Its unique taste and texture is down to the intense marbling or intramuscular fat within the meat. Dont worry its good fat!
Ifors Welsh Wagyu are reared on clover rich pastures before finishing on a grass and blended grain ration. He also feeds them beer daily and gives them an occasional massage!
On his website, Ifor explains: œWagyu were originally draft animals used in agriculture and were selected for their physical endurance. This selection favoured animals with more intra muscular fat cells marbling which provided a readily available energy source. Japanese Black Wagyu derive from native Asian cattle.
œThere were infusions of British and European breeds in the late 1800s but the breed was closed to outside influence in 1910. Realising the value of their unique product the Japanese Government banned the export of Wagyu and declared them a national treasure! Some escaped by fair means or foul!
œThe first Wagyu arrived in America in 1976 in Australia in 1990 and in Europe in 1996 and we are still playing catch up.
So, what does it taste like and how does it compare to other Rare Breeds and Australian Wagyu?
Price: Around 19.50 per Porterhouse steak.
Pre-trim weight: 220g
Post-trim weight: 200g.
Cooking: Heat a cast iron pan until its white hot. Oil the steak, not the pan. Cook for exactly 2 minutes each side for medium-rare. Season the steak after the first 2 minutes. Leave to rest for 2 minutes. Carve.
Tasting notes: Crusty, crunchy, toffee-like exterior, yields to juicy burst of mouth-filling fat. Dense, meaty texture with strong beefy-caramel taste. Utterly delicious.
Marks: 8 out of 10.
for sells his Welsh Wagyu via Alternative Meat.