Grass Fed Versus Grain Fed
Grass fed beef has a lower fat content & a clean, mild flavour. Grass fed meat is also more environmentally sound.
Grain fed beef has a consistent strong, rich, buttery flavour. It has a high marbling content making the cut more tender & soft in texture.
Wet Aged Versus Dry Aged
Beef is normally wet aged which improves tenderness but does rob the beef of some flavour.
For dry aging, beef is hung in a controlled environment; a specialised dry ageing cabinet that maintains temperature & humidity for anywhere between 4 weeks & 12 months. A protective layer forms around the cut allowing the juices & liquids to reabsorb into the muscle. This intensifies the flavour & allows the beef to become more relaxed & tender. The result is a truly unique eating experience.
What is Marbling
The intramuscular fat running through the inside of the muscle is known as marbling. The amount of marbling is influenced by the breed, feed & age of the animal. Basically marbling is fat & fat equals flavour & tenderness. Marbling is assed & scored in Australia on a scale of 0-9. The higher the number the better!
Wagyu is a Japanese breed of cattle with a genetic potential for producing beef with a high marbling content & a fine texture. Wagyu breeds are finished on grain to help develop the marbling content.