Australian Wagyu beef is highly sought after around the world. Even though it has Japanese origins, Australia has become one of the top global producers of Wagyu beef. Excluding Japan, Australia is the largest breeder and cross breeder of Wagyu beef in the world. Australia even has its own Wagyu Association that ensures beef manufacturers are creating the highest quality and grade of Wagyu.
What is Wagyu Beef?
Wagyu is a Japanese breed cattle native to Asia. The word wagyu means a Japanese cow. Wagyu beef can be a horned breed of red or black cattle.
To qualify as Wagyu, the beef must come from one of 4 cattle breeds. Japanese black, Japanese Brown commonly referred to as Red Wagyu, Japanese Shorthorn, and Japanese Polled are the four kinds of Wagyu beef. Japanese Shorthorns and Polled cattle are only bred in Japan.
Where did Wagyu Beef Come From?
Japanese cattle were first used to pull heavy loads. Their physical strength made them the perfect candidate for draft animals. In addition to this, Wagyu cattle had more intramuscular fat cells or marbling which gave them a steady source of energy.
Eventually, Wagyu became a prized national treasure. In 1997, the Japanese government forbade the export of cattle to other nations. Luckily, Australia had already received genetic samples and cattle before they were banned.
When did Wagyu beef come to Australia?
Wagyu Beef landed in Australia in the 1990s. The Australian Wagyu program received genetic samples from Japan and the US. Additionally, live full-blood Wagyu cattle were also shipped from the Japanese regions of Tajima, Tottori, Oyakama, and Shimane.
Since its inception, the program has grown into a reputable industry. The demand for prestigious Australian Wagyu beef has grown exponentially globally and domestically. Except for Japan, Australia has the largest population of Wagyu and full-blood Wagyu in the world.
Why is Australian Wagyu Beef Unique?
Wagyu is highly coveted for its amazing flavour and buttery fat that erupts as soon as you place it in your mouth. Its marbling creates a tender luxurious texture, unlike any other meat.
To create premium Wagyu with remarkable marbling farmers allow the calves to feed with their mothers for the first 6-10 months of their lives. The calves are then fed by following Japanese standards for the next 400-500 days.
How is Australian Wagyu Beef Graded?
Australia uses its own grading system to classify cuts of Wagyu beef. The AUS-MEAT marbling system ranges from 0 with no marbling to 9 with incredible marbling. The cut of beef with the largest amount of marbling is regarded as the highest grade of Wagyu.
Australian grading scores are the same as the Japanese beef marbling scores. The quality scores are graded from 1 (poor quality) to 5 (high quality). Australian Wagyu MB 5 would be identical to Japanese Wagyu BMS 5. Beef graded MB8, or MB 9 would be given an excellent quality score. The only difference between the systems is the Australian scale stops at 9. Everything above grade 9 is graded 9+.
Types of Wagyu Beef
There are various cuts of Wagyu beef to choose from. These are the cuts of beef that make up the Wagyu beef family.
- Wagyu Beef Top Sirloin Steak: Cut from the rear end of the cow. The sirloin is split into Top Sirloin and Bottom Sirloin. Sirloin steak is a lean cut of meat that is moderately tender with good flavour. This versatile cut of meat is perfect for frying, grilling, or baking.
- Wagyu Chuck Eye Roll: Cut from the neck and shoulder blade of the animal. Marbling makes this meat tender and juicy. Perfect for pan searing or grilling.
- Wagyu Beef Brisket: Cut from the chest beneath the ribs. Alternate layers of lean meat and fat. Wagyu Beef Brisket is a tough cut of meat with a rough texture. It is best cooked thinly sliced, barbecued or stewed.
- Wagyu Beef Top Sirloin Roast: Cut from right below the tenderloin near the rear end of the cow. Meaty delicious flavour perfect for roasting or braising.
- Wagyu Tenderloin Steak: Cut from the tenderloin section of the animal. This part of the animal is hardly worked, creating a tender lean cut of meat. This delicate cut of meat has a sweet buttery flavor that is unmatched by another cut of meat in its class.
- Wagyu Ribeye Steak: Wagyu Ribeye Steak is thick cut of beef with gorgeous marbling. Located between the chuck roll and strip loin. This cut of meat is tender and sweet giving the meat a fine texture and intense flavour.
- Wagyu NY Striploin Steak: Positioned between the ribeye and rump. Its size and shape is perfect for cutting steaks. Tender cut of meat with a fine texture and succulent marbling.
- Wagyu Flat Iron Steak: Cut from the shoulder of the animal. Marbling gives flat iron steak a rich beefy flavour that can only be compared to the tenderloin. One of the most tender pieces of meat best served grilled broiled or thinly sliced.
How To Cook Australian Wagyu Beef
Australian wagyu is not your typical everyday meat. It is unique and full of juicy flavour. You can cook it like you do any other cut of beef if you want to, but wagyu beef deserves an extra dose of tender loving care. With a little time and effort you can maximize the full flavour and texture of Australian Wagyu beef. Here are 5 master tips to ensure you get those amazing flavors from your cut of beef.
Pick the right cut of Wagyu beef.
There are many cuts of Wagyu beef to choose from. You want to make sure you are picking the right cut of meat that is suited for the recipe. Use a Tenderloin or Ribeye steak if you plan to pan-fry or grill your meat. Top Sirloin Roast or Beef brisket are perfect for roasting or braising .
Store your beef correctly
Before you cook your steak it is important to know how to properly store your Wagyu beef. If you order your Wagyu online, your beef will come completely or partly frozen in a vacuum-sealed package. Place your steaks into the freezer immediately until you are ready to eat them. Exposure to air will result in freezer burn. Placing your beef in the freezer will help you prevent freezer burn.
Thaw your Wagyu beef.
Place your steaks onto a plate in the refrigerator and thaw it for up to 48 hours. As soon as your meat is thawed, immediately cook it to preserve the freshness and flavour of the meat.
Remove the Wagyu from the refrigerator 30 minutes before you cook them and allow the beef to come to room temperature. This will ensure that your meat cooks evenly and give you a perfect sear on the outside of the steak.
Use very little seasoning
The highest grade of Australian Wagyu beef is cooked with a light sprinkle of salt and pepper. You can use steak seasoning, but be careful as you can destroy the delicate flavour that Wagyu naturally has on its own.
Cook your Wagyu to Medium Rare
Whether you cook your Wagyu on the stovetop or the grill do not overcook your beef. There is no such thing as well done Wagyu. The optimal temperature of Wagyu beef is medium-rare. Cooking your meat to medium-rare will give you a succulent texture with a buttery sweet taste.
Australian Wagyu beef is the highest grade cut of meat. It is full of buttery, sweet flavour that melts in your mouth. If you do indulge in a succulent cut of Australian Wagyu store and thaw your meat properly and cook your meat to medium-rare to get the best results.