Ozaki beef refers to beef from Wagyu cattle raised on a single farm that’s owned and managed by Mr. Muneharu Ozaki in Miyazaki Prefecture. He’s the only farmer in Japan to use his own name to market his beef.
Mr. Ozaki began by studying the most advanced techniques relating to beef cattle production at a farm in the USA which holds 17,000 cattle. However, he felt that he personally was unsuited to the mass production methods deployed in “beef cattle producing factories” which fatten cattle quickly and ship them at an early stage. On his return to Japan, he decided to produce beef that he and his family and friends would enjoy eating every day. He duly took over a farm and started by raising 100 cattle; after more than 30 years of effort he was finally satisfied by the flavour of his beef, and named it “Ozaki beef.”
The feed for the cattle is mixed every morning and evening during an extremely labour-intensive process lasting two hours. It comprises 15 kinds of feed, such as grass from the meadow, moist barley mash (a by-product of beer brewing), maize, barley, and so forth, with no preservatives or antibiotics whatsoever. Most Wagyu in Japan are slaughtered at around 28 months, but Mr. Ozaki believes the flavour continues to improve as they mature, so he prefers to slaughter them when they’re 28 to 36 months old.
The mature meat not only possesses a sublime texture, but is flavoursome with a sweetness that emerges as you chew. Its fat melts in the mouth and is easily digested, so you can eat a whole slab of beef without being overwhelmed by its richness.