Each country has its own way of grading beef, or determining what consists of high quality beef and how to measure it. In Japan, for example, wagyu is graded on a BMS scale from 1-12 and is ultimately graded A1-A5 through C1-C5. In America, most steaks fall into one of three USDA categories: Select, Choice, and Prime with Prime being the highest quality and highest amount of marbling.
Up until a decade ago, only 1-2% of all cattle harvested in the US qualified as Prime. However, in the last decade the USDA Prime category has recently grown to about 6% of harvested cattle, what the USDA defines as only "slightly abundant" marbling. This goes a long way to explaining the rapid growth in the availability of USDA Prime steak in today's marketplace.
The vast majority of Prime steak today is what we at Holy Grail would consider lower Prime. We weren’t satisfied with just “slightly” abundant marbling and wanted to find an Angus program that was the Holy Grail of the American beef world, something we would consider truly high quality American beef.
We went to work finding a partner that not only provided the upper echelon on Prime beef, but also met our high standards of care, and we found them. Our partner is arguably the best and most consistent Black Angus cattle producer in the country with the purest genetics around. Packed with beefy flavor, this is the most tender, succulent, and juicy Black Angus you can get.
With only about 1,000 head available each year and very high demand, their steaks can be found only at the best luxury steakhouses in the country - you likely won't find them at your local grocery store or butcher.
We offer the traditional cuts of ribeyes, strips, and filets, as well as more unique butcher cuts in this program to satisfy any grilling desire. We are also proud to offer Upper Prime Dry-Aged steaks as part of this program. To learn more about dry-aged steaks, follow the link here.
If you consider yourself a fan of a traditional American steak, Upper Prime is as traditional as it gets. These steaks are thicker cut and have more of a classic beef texture than our wagyu offerings. Upper Prime certainly isn't lacking for marbling or flavor, but it's a program that is more beef-forward than fat-forward, so it won't melt in your mouth quite like wagyu. We personally love both, but there's a time and place for each, and sometimes you just want a beefy, juicy Upper Prime steak.