A look into our specialty beef.

What is Wagyu?

Wagyu simply translates to Japanese Cow. There are four breeds of Wagyu with only the Japanese Black and Japanese Brown (Kumamoto line) available outside Japan. The Japanese Brown are also referred to as Red Wagyu or Akaushi. Bred over generations in Japan, Wagyu cattle were typically raised by low-income farmers. The cattle were fed poor quality diets consisting of rice straw, but were always bred for quality of beef where size of the animal has always been primary concern in the American beef industry. This manipulation of diet caused the Wagyu’s metabolism to adapt over a period of 200 years. Resulting in Wagyu beef showing superior marbling on low-quality diets. A pure Wagyu steer, when butchered, will have high-marbling within the meat without possessing the large ring of fat around the muscle that you typically see in the American supermarket. This is simply because of a genetic difference in the way their bodies metabolize fat.

What makes them special?

In the US they are bred for the superior meat quality traits and calving ease ability and, are also used in terminal meat programs with breeds like Angus and Holstein to increase the meat quality grade of the first cross progeny.  Fine strips of fat are found even in its lean meat (known as marbling). The flavor of the fat is exquisite, with a buttery, tender texture that dissolves in one’s mouth.  

 

Our utilization of mixing these breeds with Angus "American Kobe beef", produced by an F1 cross of Wagyu/Akaushi bull and American Angus cows, is in a league of its own. American beef is rated on a USDA scale of Select, Choice, and Prime. American Kobe beef requires its own category because it starts above Prime. To get an idea of its richness and what makes our beef so special, you have to understand the chemistry. The fat composition in the marbling will begin to melt at 77 degrees Fahrenheit, the same as butter—causing it to literally “melt in your mouth.” This results in recommended preparations not exceeding medium temperatures, thus keeping the fat from liquefying. American Kobe beef has less saturated fat than a typical American Angus, a 2:1 ratio in fact, and contains high levels of oleic acid (the good fatty acids found in olive oil that prove to help reduce cholesterol). In addition, strict guidelines dictate that beef—in order to be labeled Kobe—must also be free of hormones and antibiotics.

 

Ponderosa's brand of beef is produced by introducing enough of the American Angus strain to give the crosses a wider rear end and larger frame for more meat production. The genetic mixture also alters the meat slightly to compensate for the American palate which typically leans away from the over-bearing richness of pure Wagyu beef.

See the difference

The USDA scale for upper grade meat quality has 3 levels: Select, Choice, and Prime. Prime is the highest USDA grade. Roughly, 3% of traditional US cattle harvested are graded as Prime – equivalent to a Wagyu BMS score of 5 (The Wagyu MBS Score ranges 3-12). Over 90% of domestic Wagyu cattle grade out as at least Prime, with most reaching a BMS score of 7-8.  Wagyu’s intense marbling occurs from genetics and from the cattle spending more time on special feed, about 30 months as compared to commodity beef cattle which are fed about 24 months.

AKAUSHI

Origin : Japan
Status : Heritage
Temperament : Friendly, Curious
Known for : One of the most marbled beefs in the world.
Flavor Profile : Exquisite, Nutty, Olive, Blue Cheese, Delicate, Juicy, Silky, Succulent.

BLACK WAGYU

Origin : Japan
Status : Heritage
Temperament : Docile and easy to handle
Known for : One of the most marbled beefs in the world.
Flavor Profile : Exquisite, Nutty, Olive, Blue Cheese, Delicate, Juicy, Silky, Succulent.

© 2018 Ponderosa Partnership, LLC