FOR the owners of Scottish success story Highland Wagyu, the mission is simple: to create the best beef in the world.

Already the largest producer of Wagyu cattle in the UK, the firm are close to becoming the biggest in Europe.

The animals are pampered, grazing on fertile Perthshire land, supplemented with organic seaweed and Omega 3.

On a 25,000 acre estate in Perthshire, Martine Chapman houses the cows in “zen-like” buildings, keeping the beasts happy and content.

What gets produced at the end is a steak that is marbled, buttery, and in demand from the some of the world’s top chefs.

“In our opinion, Wagyu shouldn’t be called beef, it’s completely different,” Chapman tells The National.

“The intramuscular fat, known as marbling, makes it superior and it melts in your mouth like butter. We’ve had comments and jokes before that you don’t need to have teeth to eat Wagyu.”

The cattle originated in Japan and came into the UK as embryos – only 200 animals ever left the East before they closed the gates. Highland Wagyu is made from a hybrid of Scottish beef.

Chapman says demand for her produce is rocketing.

“Our products are available online and through our Wagyu shop – we only sell direct to chefs. One of our key customers is John Rutter, head chef at Kyloe Restaurant & Grill in Edinburgh.

“Because it is so marbled when you cook it, the fat melts the steak from within, tenderises it and adds flavour. Wagyu comes from four different breed of cows. They are reared, fed and looked after quite differently which produces this unique fat.”

She recommends it medium rare: “All cuts are great, some better than others. It’s down to personal preference, however the ribeye and sirloin are more popular in the market.

“I find the more interesting and less known cuts intriguing. My personal favourite is the Wagyu Bavette, served medium-rare, with beef dripping chips and panzanella salad.”

This quality meat is not cheap. At Kyloe prices for Wagyu Featherblade and Wagyu Rump start at £42, although Wagyu Brisket is available on their early diner menu, which runs from 4-6pm, Monday-Friday, and includes three courses for £23.”