Ozaki Gyu has captured the imagination of chefs around the world. This unique brand of wagyu doesn’t smell, is beautifully marble, has a smooth, rich flavor, and is incredibly juicy.
Ozaki is the surname of the farmer who has been improving the quality of this beef for more than 30 years: Muneharu Ozaki. The beef is named after him, just like some famous wines are named after their vintners.
Ozaki researched American cattle ranching and studied animal science in the US during his early 20s and eventually developed his own way of raising cattle. His focus wasn’t on quickly raising large cattle but on raising cattle that would be safe for loved ones to eat. He wanted to produce chemical-free and hormone-free beef.
Every morning, Ozaki spends two hours blending 13 natural ingredients into his cattle feed. Some of those ingredients are white charcoal, strained lees from beer, which is full of probiotics, and Norwegian seaweed. His cows always receive fresh feed blended that day because Ozaki doesn’t want them eating anything rotten or stale. The water he uses comes from a mountain spring.
Ozaki often buys 8-month-old calves at auctions and raises them on his original feed that is a mix of grass, local Miyazaki products, and imports. At any one time, the Ozaki ranch is raising about 1,000 heads of cattle, which they break into groups of two or three so that Ozaki and his crew can better manage the herd.
Generally, cattle are shipped to the slaughterhouse when they reach about 700kg (a little more than 1,500lbs), which takes about 27 months, but Ozaki identifies the timing on an individual basis. The average Ozaki cow is considered ready for slaughter at about 32 months, about the same time it takes to make a superior wine.
Ozaki Gyu is imported to more than 30 countries. If you are lucky enough to find yourself in a restaurant serving this unique beef, give it a try. You won’t regret it.