What Is Wagyu? The most amazing Beef you’ll ever try!

Wagyu is something I’ve heard about – but what is it?

This up-and-coming product has been making big waves with beef lovers everywhere!

Wagyu is simply a breed of cattle that comes from Japan. “Kobe Beef” is specifically Wagyu beef that comes from a town called Kobe, located in Japan. These genetics have been brought to Canada and North America and are now being produced domestically. Wagyu is sometimes also called “Snow Beef” due to the high level of marbling or Domestic Wagyu!

One of our partnering farms is #LakesideFarmstead, also known as #NonayBeef. The Japanese Wagyu genetics have been crossed with the Holstein cows at Lakeside and now produce some of the most amazing beef available today. Many people don’t think of Holsteins as being “beef” animals but the truth is, they create INCREDIBLE beef all on their own. They are not typically used as such because they grow so slowly and take 2 – 3 times longer to grow and mature. The Wagyu animal is similar in growth and maturity to the Holstein, so the breeds are very complimentary to each other and the final result is fantastic!

What does it taste like and is it really that great?

My first time trying the Wagyu x beef, I admit – I was skeptical. I was concerned that the marbling would disappear and that my steak would be a half the size when I took it off the BBQ. I was also concerned that the fat would be heavy and thick and tough and that most of my steak would go to waste.

But what I got was a big surprise!

The Wagyu x is truly a melt-in-your-mouth beef. There is no need to add oil, butter or seasoning (just a light covering of salt), it tastes just like salted butter with the smooth, rich texture of great beef. There truly is nothing to compare it to. It really doesn’t shrink and the fat is actually very edible and soft. I have less waste on a Wagyu steak than I do on any other type.

If you are a BBQ enthusiast and you haven’t tried this fantastic product yet, we highly recommend it! It can be Sous Vide, BBQ’d or reverse seared. However you cook it, it will always be delicious!

Of course, the Ribeye, New York Striploin and Tenderloins are the first things you think of but I have a few faves that might surprise you! Removing those 3 from the equation, I am going to count down my top Wagyu x cuts from Nonay Beef!

#6 – Flank Steak – Great for Tapas night with friends, this steak is easy to toss onto the BBQ and cook to medium. 1 steak is large enough to feed 2 – 4 people. Minimal seasoning is required but if you want added tenderness, you can always marinate it for a couple of hours prior to grilling. Great flavour is already naturally in the Wagyu Flank Steak but a marinade will help bring out some additional tenderness.

#5 – Skirt Steak – Slightly more tender than the Flank Steak but really similar in taste and texture. We also love to split one between the two of us and they are economical and delicious. Cook the same way as the Flank Steak. Marinating is optional. We truly LOVE the Skirt Steak!

#4 – Maui Ribs – Unique and fun! These ribs are cut across the bone and have very little bone actually in them. They are super fast to thaw for dinner and easy to BBQ. Just salt both sides and grill on a hot BBQ for 3 – 5 minutes per side and they’re done! We love them in a pinch but we also love the buttery texture that makes these so easy to eat and love. Maui Ribs (also called Korean Ribs) pair great with a glass of wine and an evening of eating outside on the deck or at the picnic table. They are convenient and delicious and a little out of the ordinary, which makes them a favorite way to switch things up from time to time.

#3- Hanger Steak – You probably haven’t heard of these and for good reason. It is also called the “Butcher’s Steak” because butchers have been known to keep it to themselves and not sell it. They are difficult to find and you only get 1 from each animal. The muscle is unique as it does zero actual work, making it one of the most tender cuts on the entire animal. A steak that is 300 grams+ is perfect for sharing between 2 people. Again, this is a simple cut to simply salt and BBQ. Very uncomplicated.

#2 – Top Sirloin Steak – The Top Sirloin deserves a lot of credit here. They are a lot cheaper than a Ribeye or a New York but are a great way to introduce yourself to Wagyu. A nice sized steak that can be eaten anywhere, any time and for any occasion. No special treatment. No marinade required. No special seasonings. Simple, easy and always great! Just salt both sides, toss it on a hot grill and voila! Great steak that’s low maintenance… and you still get to try out the buttery flavour that Wagyu is famous for.

#1 – Denver Steak – One of our absolute FAVES! This is an easy #1 for me. It is cut from the Chuck (upper shoulder/neck area) which typically doesn’t make you think “tender” but these will truly blow your mind. They are heavily marbled and melt-in-your-mouth. Try it once and you will rave about them. They are picking up popularity and sell out quickly due to their richness and bold flavour. We recommend a reverse sear or sous vide and then finish on the BBQ. Personally, I put them in the oven at 300F for about 10 minutes. A thermometer will help you determine how cooked they actually are. They are thick, rectangular pieces, so getting the inside done to your liking is where the oven or a sous vide come in. Once they reach your ideal internal temp (I like 140F), remove them from the oven and place them on a hot grill or in a hot cast iron pan. Sear them on all sides just until they brown up a bit but be careful not to over cook. Remove and let it rest for about 10 minutes under a tin foil cover. This will help it soak up all the juices and really increase the flavour.

Remember… if there is a puddle under your Wagyu x beef, you haven’t let it rest long enough. I am guilty of it, too, because I usually can’t wait to get in there!

If you have questions about the Wagyu x Beef, feel free to send us a message at info@craftbeefco.ca and we will do our best to help you out.

Don’t be intimidated to cook Wagyu. Just give it a go!!

Happy BBQing!

 

Trish

The Craft Beef Company Ltd.

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