Shimane wagyu cattle were not actually used for their meat originally. When Tatara “iron manufacturing” was in its prime, cattle and horses were the essential means of transportation between the mountainous regions where iron was produced. As a result, the mountains of the Chugoku region became known throughout the country for its cattle breeding production. During the Edo period, cattle were then needed for their manure which was then used as fertilizer for the rice fields, but in the mid 1950’s the demand for cattle dropped and breeders turned to a more economical solution of using them for meat instead. The rest is history with Shimane’s breeders producing many fertile bulls such as “Itozakura the 7th” which holds a country wide reputation.
Shimane wagyu beef is meat from Japanese black cows that were born and raised in Shimane. The Shimane born cattle feed includes barley and corn, which they will continue on for about 2 years where they will then be sold as Shimane born, Shimane raised, “Shimane Wagyu Beef”. They are distinguished by their “Shimane Brand” seal that marks the packaging to show its superior quality over normal local wagyu beef. It is known for its white flecks of fat that run through the bright red muscle creating a beautiful marbling pattern. One of the biggest traits of Shimane wagyu beef is that it has a deeper umami flavor that lingers on the tongue longer than normal beef. And because of that, special attention has to be given while cooking. It is recommended that it be cooked on high heat to your desired doneness and then sprinkled with salt to retain the juiciness of the beef.
This seal is given to beef that meet the standards to be called “Shimane Brand Wagyu Beef”. Look for it at restaurants serving Shimane Brand Wagyu Beef.
Note: all links are in Japanese.
Steak House Moebino [map] [link]
In 2002 during the 8th National Wagyu Competitive Exhibition also known as “Wagyu Olympics”, which is held every 5 years, Shimane wagyu cattle received the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries Award for best beef cattle in Japan. In addition, it also won the Prime Minister’s Award twice in the ten times that it has been held.