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Direct Meats

Knights Farm
Swan Street
Chappel
Essex
CO6 2EE

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Ben Rigby
Kobe Beef
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Japanese Wagyu

Japanese Wagyu

We can supply traditional Japanese Wagyu beef from regions such as Kagoshima and Ohmi, their beef is intensely marbled with soft fat, they have higher percentages of monounsaturated fats, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and is lower in cholesterol than commodity beef. The combinations of these fats deliver a distinctive rich and tender flavour compared to other beef.

Satsuma Wagyu

Exclusive to Direct Meats Ltd is Satsuma Wagyu, traditional Japanese wagyu from the Kagoshima prefecture. With its inherent marbled fat allowing that melt in your mouth experience, to the delicious flavour and tenderness offered by our Satsuma wagyu, it truly is a wonderful product.Furthermore, you may be surprised to learn that this particular brand is affordable to all, especially when you consider buying cuts such as shank, chuck rib and rump. Each of these cuts are versatile for use in many starters or appetizer dishes as well as main dishes, whilst rib eye, striploin and fillet are also popular for steaks.

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Why Wagyu?

Wagyu is Japanese for beef cattle and refers to 4 pure breeds: the Japanese Black, the Japanese Shorthorn, the Japanese Polled and the Japanese Brown. Wagyu beef is produced around the world, but the diets and methods of production vary greatly. Non-Japanese Wagyu (for example Chilean, American, Australian) is often produced by crossing the cattle with other breeds. Direct Meats sells genuine Japanese Wagyu, which means you get the best quality, best tasting, and truly authentic beef. Wagyu cattle are raised to have intensely marbled soft fat in the muscle. Surprisingly, Wagyu is lower in cholesterol than commodity beef, and contains high percentages of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The marbling (known as shimofuri in Japan) gives the beef a distinctive rich and tender flavour with a melt-in-the-mouth quality. Wagyu is also known for its sweet, full-bodied aroma (known as wagyuko) which means when it’s cooked it smells amazing too.

History of Wagyu

Originally Wagyu cattle were not bred for eating. They were used to work in the rice fields, logging in the forests, and in the mines. Their owners needed animals that would be able to work long hours and have a productive work life. As a result of selective breeding the cattle developed a lot more fat within their muscle tissue, which meant they had a quickly accessible store of energy. It wasn’t until after World War 2, when tractors began to take over the jobs of the cattle, that a market for Wagyu beef was created and its special characteristics were understood.

Wagyu Farming Today

Typically Japanese Wagyu cattle farms are small family enterprises, with between 50 and 300 beasts. A lot of research is done on the genetics of wagyu to improve meat quality and most cows/heifers are artificially inseminated. Every calf born is issued with a unique 10 digit reference number that can be used to trace its lineage over 3 generations.  Calves are normally sold by auction when they are 6 or 7 months old and are grown on at special fattening farms. Wagyu beef cattle are raised in paddocks and well ventilated barns, and they are fed a mixture of hay and compound feeds.

Wagyu Feed

Cattle Feed Ingredients

1. Compound Feed
2. Corn
3. Barley
4. Oat Hay
5. Timothy Grass
6. Long Rice Straw

The cattle are kept in pairs, grown slowly and without stress. When they area around 30 months old they are sent for slaughter. Wagyu is graded according to its yield (proportion of meat on the carcass), marbling, colour, firmness of the meat, and the colour/quality of the fat. Direct Meats only sells wagyu that is graded A5, A4 or A3, which means you’ll be buying the best quality.

Why Japanese Wagyu from Direct Meats?

Satsuma Wagyu is exclusive to Direct Meats, and is produced in the Kagoshima prefecture of Japan.

Kagoshima Map

Kagoshima Prefecture is in the south-west region of the Japanese mainland and has a generally mild climate. The Kirishima Volcano Chain crosses the central region from north to south. There are 11 active volcanoes spread out from Kirishima in the north to the Tokara Islands in the Southern Sea and a great number of natural hot springs in between. The region is largely agricultural and is known for its wagyu beef, but is also famous for producing the world’s largest variety of radish called Sakurajima Daikon which is the size of a basketball! Kagoshima is a leading livestock producing prefecture in Japan. It is also the largest producer of the Japanese Black Cattle (Kuroge Wagyu), which is famous for its superior meat quality. The largest concentration of cattle farms are in the cities of Kanoya, Soo, and Ibusuki. Satsuma Wagyu is the "grand cru of Kagoshima" and only the top 10% of cattle are branded Satsuma Wagyu.

Wagyu is not just for Japanese dishes. It is a premium product, but customers will notice the difference and are often interested in provenance story behind this meat. Direct Meats is able to supply a range of cuts of Wagyu such as ribeye, brisket, silverside and wagyu burger mince. Please see our brochure for full details. Our butchery and sales teams are very happy to work with customers on ideas for dishes. We keep some Wagyu in stock and pre-ordered meat is sent straight out to customers with all its Japanese authenticity labels. Direct Meats also supplies other brands of Japanese Wagyu – Kagoshima and Omi. It is also licenced to sell genuine Kobe beef.

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