School me on wagyu

Discussion in 'Whats Cooking? Food, Drink, & Gear' started by sudsy9977, Mar 6, 2019.

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  1. Mar 6, 2019 #1

    sudsy9977

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    What’s the deal? Can you get true wagyu in the us? Is it worth the money? Any vendors in nyc that I can walk into to see the quality? Also how is Costco selling it? That seems crazy to me. Ryan
     
  2. Mar 6, 2019 #2

    KCMande

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    Japanese breed raised in the states.
    Plenty of domestic farms raise wagyu, it's not Kobe beef (Kobe barely leaves Japan) . Better than Angus but much more expensive. D'artagnan has a wagyu program so. Does LA Frieda.

    Snake river, Mishima, Strube, and heartbrand off the top of my head
    Few others as well I can't think of at the moment.
    Should get you started

    As for. Costco. Haven't personally stepped foot in one in years, but judging by shear volume of sales. Wouldn't be surprised by them carrying an average brand relabled as a house brand.
     
  3. Mar 6, 2019 #3

    sudsy9977

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    How does the American wagyu compare to the Japanese a5? I’m guessing there’s quite a difference in price? Ryan
     
  4. Mar 6, 2019 #4

    parbaked

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  5. Mar 6, 2019 #5

    KCMande

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  6. Mar 6, 2019 #6

    milkbaby

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    Is the $103 per pound of the Costco A-5 a reasonable price? Just curious.
     
  7. Mar 6, 2019 #7

    5698k

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    I Understand that Wagyu is the breed. Kobe beef is wagyu bred in Kobe, to certain standards. Think..all champagne is sparkling wine, not all sparkling wine is champagne.

    Wagyu is incredible stuff, but not necessarily the end all. Snake River Farms is a great source...I’ve gotten briskets from there.

    Is it that much better than prime beef? Depends on the cost difference I believe.
     
  8. Mar 6, 2019 #8

    rickbern

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    I asked my butcher at eataly in nyc what he would buy for his premium steak dollar, wagyu or 45 day aged. He thought it an interesting question, said no one had ever asked him before and pretty quickly decided he’d go with the aged steak.

    YMMV.
     
  9. Mar 6, 2019 #9

    RonB

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    Wagyu translated means Japanese cow. Typically, in the US, Black Angus are crossed with Wagyu and sold as Wagyu. There are several breeds of cattle raised in Kobe that are allowed to be sold as Kobe beef. There used to be a limit on how much Kobe beef could be exported from Japan, but I'm not sure of the current status. I do see that Costco is selling Wagyu - not Kobe. However, it seems to me that Wagyu A-5 is pretty darn nice. :D
     
  10. Mar 6, 2019 #10

    podzap

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    What is reasonable, anyway? Wagyu is an exclusive product targeted toward the elite class, which means that the price is high enough to exclude most classes of consumers. If you have enough cash to throw around and pay $103 per pound for steak meat, then you really should care less if the price would be $303 per pound - if you want some then you just pay what it costs and don't think twice about the price! Or said the other way around: if you need to care how much it costs, then you can't afford it.

    That said, when I have seen "marmoripihvi" (marbled beef ribeye filets of about 30-40% fat) for sale in Finnish supermarkets the price has normally been between 50-100 EUR per kilogram. When I've seen Japanese dudes on Youtube cutting up Wagyu into steaks, the meat looked to be about 60% fat. There is a reason why they only show them to the frying pan - anymore than that and the whole thing melts :)
     
  11. Mar 6, 2019 #11

    DamageInc

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    Back a few days before new years, a local supermarket had acquired some Kobe A5. It was 2000 DKK (270 EUR) per kilo. Didn't buy any but it was beautiful.
    IMG_20181228_141115.jpg
     
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  12. Mar 6, 2019 #12

    btbyrd

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    The thing to realize about the highest grades of wagyu is that they're as much fat as they are protein. Consequently, you can't cook or eat the higher grades in the same way you might cook or eat ordinary beefsteaks. It's almost like foie gras -- if you sear it hard in a dry pan, it'll end up frying in a pool of its own fat. If you try to consume 20oz of A5 ribeye like it's an ordinary prime steak, you will kill yourself. The high fat content is also extremely sating. I once tried to eat an A5 steak on my own once, and managed to eat a third of it before feeling as though I simply couldn't go on Actually, I tried to split the steak with my wife, serving her the rib cap and myself the rib eye. She was done after two bites. "It's delicious, but I'm done." I courageously tried to bat cleanup, but couldn't finish my own portion.

    My view? Wagyu is delicious, but it is best served in small portions as part of a multi-course meal.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
  13. Mar 6, 2019 #13

    WildBoar

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    Great post :cool:
     
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  14. Mar 6, 2019 #14

    btbyrd

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    Thanks! Just as a followup, here's a photo of the steak that brought us down.

    wagyu (2).jpg

    I was living in the greater Chicago region at the time, and Mitsuwa Marketplace would periodically run stupid specials on Japanese A5. That steak above was $60 at $65/lb. Absurd. Anyway, Mitsuwa is a quasi-chain, with locations in major metropolitan areas. The NYC area one is in Edgewater NJ. Might be worth a trip if you can find a sale. I've also gotten A5 Japanese wagyu through the mail from Debgragga, which is also in NYC. Good stuff, and a shop I'd love to visit in person.

    One other thing about wagyu. I sort of hinted at it above, but I should spell it out a bit more. There are really two types of wagyu steak-product: the "very well marbled, scores a few notches above Prime" eatin' steak and the "Christ almighty, that's gotta be the fattiest hunk of tender steaky fat fat on the face of the planet" product. Both are excellent in their own respects, but they're totally different and demand totally different preparations. There's also the "tweener" grades, which straddle the line. There is indeed a continuum of wagyu, but on each end of that continuum there are distinct kinds.

    wagyu.jpg

    I've gotten good wagyu "eatin' steaks" through the mail from Snake River Farms, D'Artagnan, and Heritage Foods USA (which is fantastic and in NYC). What's common to all good wagyu is a unique fatty acid profile that's higher in monounsaturated fats than typical beef breeds. Tallow is ordinarily composed mostly of saturated fats (which is why it's so hard at room temperature, like coconut oil) but the liquid-at-room-temp monounsaturated fats in the wagyu fat give it a luxurious melty texture. A5 will melt all over your hands. And all over your tongue. It is delicious raw.

    One last note: wagyu burgers are an abomination.
     
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  15. Mar 6, 2019 #15

    sudsy9977

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    Thanks for the posts. I’m in nj so a trip to edgewater or nyc ain’t outta the question. I would want the crazy fatty kind of wagyu and have a small portion. I mean if you’re gonna have it might as well go all out
     
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  16. Mar 6, 2019 #16

    cheflivengood

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    thats pretty industry standard I'd say. 5 years ago Kobe was about $96/#
     
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  17. Mar 6, 2019 #17

    Tim Rowland

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    If you simply want to try some wagyu without loosing a large portion of your wallet buy a "lesser" cut of wagyu instead of sirloin or ribeye try something like cushion meat thinly sliced. I picked some up from H-mart a few weeks ago for a snack and I think the whole pack was around $18. I hit it with a torch and some Himalayan salt real quick. wagyu.PNG
     
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  18. Mar 6, 2019 #18

    milkbaby

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    For that steak pictured, did you and your wife just eat it raw like sashimi? Or is it often quickly torched on the outside?

    I'm curious. Also, one of the kids at work is going to Japan for a conference, and she's looking to try some while over there.
     
  19. Mar 7, 2019 #19

    btbyrd

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    Since it was relatively thin for a steak, I used an unconventional technique. I par-froze the meat and then seared it on one side in a ripping hot carbon steel pan. This gave it a nice crust on one side and gave a continuum of doneness from well done near the seared edge to almost totally raw on the other side. I saw Grant Achatz do a similar one-sided sear on a thicker piece of A5 that he'd cooked sous vide at a very low temp (I forget the specifics, but it was under 130F... so very low). Seemed like a good technique to me. Sort of like searing a scallop -- or foie gras. Put a really hard sear on one side and leave the rest barely cooked. I liked it.

    If I was going to try a wagyu experience in Japan, a high-end teppanyaki experience would probably be at the top of my list. But I've never been to Japan, so I'm sure there are a ton of interesting ways to cook it that I'm not even aware of.
     
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  20. Mar 7, 2019 #20

    osakajoe

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    When people say Kobe Beef they are talking about a brand. I try to describe wagyu to people similar as wine. It depends on where it’s from and the type of cow.

    This link goes over the majors.
    https://www.japan.travel/en/story/wagyu-brands/

    My good friend and his family own a big farm, not on that list, where I order wagyu for parties. Here’s some pictures
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I recommend searing thin pieces a minute and thicker steaks rare to medium rare. Serve with wasabi.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
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  21. Mar 7, 2019 #21

    PC315

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  22. Mar 8, 2019 #22

    Kippington

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    I was once offered a bit of wagyu - thinking it was normal steak, I took a bite. If the idea of a mouthful of butter tickles your fancy, wagu is for you.

    On a similar note, if you're after a good steak, dry aged is a totally different beast as well.
     
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  23. Mar 8, 2019 #23

    DamageInc

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    There is a meat importer in Denmark that offers dry aged grass fed free range wagyu from Finland. It's not super duper fatty like some of the photos posted in this thread but the taste is unbelievable. It's rare to find something that both has the buttery aspects of wagyu with the flavors you get from dry ageing.

    [​IMG]
     
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  24. Mar 9, 2019 #24

    podzap

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    There may be some grain of truth there, but there is more than a bit of creative wording in their advertising description... The thing is that here in Finland, we only have grass on the ground for 4-5 months out of the year. Also, cows are kept locked inside of heated barns for the other 7-8 months of the year due to the crappy climate.
     
  25. Mar 9, 2019 #25

    buffhr

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    I have tried to find these "finnish wagyu" breeders and well came up quite short, well i did find 1 farmer that had some "wagyu" but he was asking 400€ per kg, huge difference to what he can get them in DK. I am not super knowledgeable about the cow raising here in Finland, but of the 2 farmers I know the cattle roams from April to december. Being Canadian we face much worse temps and climate there and cows still roam alot even in winter, however grass feeding is not possible...
     
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  26. Mar 9, 2019 #26

    DamageInc

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    I've lived in Finland. I know what the weather is like, and you are right, they can't be grass fed year round or roam free year round. Hell, it might not even be wagyu (probably some cross breed). Whatever it is, it's really delicious. I'm not complaining. The dry aging helps the story along too.
     
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  27. Mar 10, 2019 #27

    gstriftos

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    Steak (R)evolution

    A Netflix movie-mentary about steaks around the world and breeds they come from.
    Personaly I found it very enjoyable and somewhat informative.
     
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  28. Mar 12, 2019 #28

    Cashn

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    FCC00B94-9101-46E4-9306-3550E42A9F8A.jpeg I bit the bullet on the crowdcow a5 stuff when I found some $50 or so coupon. These are ribeye end cuts, still haven’t tried them out yet.
     
  29. Mar 12, 2019 #29

    sudsy9977

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    Cashn. Please update us when you have them. I’d appreciate it. Ryan
     
  30. Mar 12, 2019 #30

    sudsy9977

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    I tried looking for that movie. Did it not come out yet?
     

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