When you’re choosing a steak, you can expect it to set you back a bit, but you’ll need a big budget to serve this up for dinner.
Described as the most expensive ribeye steak ever sold in Britain, the rare Japanese wagyu been given an A5 rating – which is awarded to just 1% of Japanese beef.
A5 is the highest possible ranking. Yield grade A to C is the ratio of meat to the total carcass weight and the meat quality grade is 1 to 5. The four criteria are: fat marbling, brightness of the meat; texture and the brightness of the fat.
It comes from the Gunma region near Tokyo, and is being sold for the first time in the UK by high-end London butchers, Tom Hixson of Smithfield, which was founded in 1963 and has a string of celebrity customers.
A 250g slab of the stuff will cost £120.
Wagyu beef highly prized across the world because of the way it is produced.
Wagyu farmers only harvest four cows at one time, so they can dedicate themselves to making sure the meat is perfect.
Rumour has it the animals are massaged regularly and even enjoy the occasional beer to increase the inter-muscular fat which gives wagyu its distinctive rich flavour.
Gunma Wagyu cows are usually fed with wheat and corn for three years, which is about seven to eight times longer than regular cattle who are fed for 15 months.
The fact the cows graze on the rolling green fields of the region and drink from the Tone River is said to produce a delicate aroma of fat.
George Hixson, whose grandfather Tom set up the company, said: ‘This is by far and away the rarest rib eye we have ever had available.
‘There is not a lot of it around. The selection process is rigorous and it’s time consuming to create. Supply is extremely limited.
‘It’s so unique and so perfect that as soon as you take it out of its shrink-wrap it will decrease in value because air affects its texture.
‘This is not a normal supermarket cut. A 250g steak would be plenty and would satisfy your appetite because it is so rich.
‘Wagyu customers tend to be high-net worth business-people and private chefs.
‘A lot of people will buy for occasions so they will be having well-heeled guests over for dinner or they will use it all for themselves for a special occasion.’
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