Ogata Farms A5 Japanese Wagyu Steak Now Available in the US – Robb Report

On a bluefin tuna that exceeds 600 pounds, you only get a few pounds of really good stuff: the ultra-fat belly called toro, the crown jewel of many omakase menus. So when you come across a slice of beef that gets the nickname “earth toro,” you know there’s greasy goodness in your future.

This is the case of Ogata Farm Maezawa A5 Wagyu beef. This rare and coveted cattle from Iwata Prefecture in northeastern Japan produces richly marbled beef that is among the best in the country, earning it comparisons to Exalted Tuna Belly. And, for the first time, this beef is available in America, through online supplier Holy Grail Steak Co.

I recently got my hands on some of the beef. I grabbed a ribeye from Maezawa, easily and quickly building a nice crust on the outside while the inside remained smooth and tender. It was obvious from the first bite that the steak lived up to the hype.

Raising valuable beef for generations, the Ogata family farm grows around 800 head at a time, sending only 40 to 50 to market each month. And unlike how my kids treat me, the ranchers allow the cattle to “sleep in peace,” which means they don’t disturb them when they’re relaxing.

What also sets the cattle apart is their diet, which includes local beer, tofu, honey, and another component that they discovered almost by accident. Following the 2008 financial crisis, the cost of importing corn to Japan skyrocketed, leaving the farm looking for another way to feed the livestock. One place they looked for supplies was a local brewery, where they found beer lees, the yeast byproduct of beer making. They started feeding this to the cows, and they never backed down, believing the lees add a subtle sweetness to the steak.

Of course, the Ogata A5 is incredibly rich. It’s not meant to take a steak on your own. In fact, you would want to share one of these steaks with several friends. However, Holy Grail also offers an A4 which backs off the marbling a bit and offers a meatier cut. Either way, Wagyu fans will be thrilled with Maezawa Beef.

Buy now: from $219

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