Tag: Wagyu


wagyu ribeye

Wagyu Beef: Japanese and American Heritage

wagyu ribeye

According to the American Wagyu Association, only four Japanese breeds are truly considered Wagyu: Japanese Black (the predominant Wagyu exported to the U.S), Akaushi (also known as the Japanese Red Cow), Japanese Polled, and Japanese Shorthorn. In Japan there is strict regulation on labeling and export of this prized livestock – even in Japan true Wagyu accounts for only .06% of beef consumption.

These cattle were originally raised as draft animals—selected for their endurance, which was fueled by their great capacity to store fat. As gastronomy became the main indicator for selection, unique breeds of Wagyu began to develop in prefectures including Matsusaka, Kobe, and Shiga.

Wagyu beef is known for its abundance of intramuscular fat and grades levels above USDA Prime. A special grading system has been developed for this beef based on a Beef Marbling Score, or BMS, ranging from 3–12. To give you an idea, USDA Prime steak might come to 11% fat whereas a level 3 BMS must have a minimum of 21 percent intramuscular fat, according to Steven Raichlen, BBQ Bible.

The first Wagyu cattle were imported to the US in 1975 when a Japanese Emperor gifted four bulls to a Hawaiian. The meat is steadily becoming more popular among American chefs and home cooks. In the United States Wagyu is often crossed with Angus, but as the American interest in Wagyu grows it’s being raised with increasingly pure genetics.

The Akaushi beef we carry is from Heartbrand Beef in Texas. This family-owned ranch has been raising Japanese cattle since 1992.

If you’re interested in sourcing some of the best Akaushi and Akaushi/Angus Wagyu beef available in the United States please visit our storefront HeritageFoodsUSA.com/Beef. And if you’re really serious about amazing beef, check out our Ribeye Variety Pack—our curated selection of the most exquisitely marbled steaks.

wagyu ribeye

What is Wagyu Beef?

The name Wagyu refers to any Japanese breed of beef. Kobe is a type of Wagyu, as is Mishima. For the past decade Heritage Foods has sourced Akaushi, a spectacular breed of Wagyu, arguably the most intensely marbled beef breed in the world. Akaushi is the Japanese Red Cow, a national treasure in Japan….

Wagyu Tenderloin, Heritage Foods USA

Grilled Akaushi/Angus Tenderloin

There is nothing like Akaushi/Angus Tenderloin to satisfy a hungry party. Our friend Ted shares his favorite additions to summer gatherings:

 

Ted: My approach is fairly simple, as I love the taste of the meat more than any flavoring or spice…

Wagyu Tenderloin, Heritage Foods USA

About 6-7 days prior to cooking I take the roast from the freezer and leave it in the refrigerator to defrost. After a couple of days I unwrap the cut and let it air on a rack set over a cookie sheet for 3-4 days. This will allow the surface to become firm. I flip over the small-ended fold back about 3” and secure that with a metal skewer.

The day I cook it I bring it up to a little less than room temp, salt the entire piece with Himalayan salt (a fine textured salt), and let it stand for an hour or so. I am using a Lynx grill with two regular gas burners and one high heat burner. I light the two regular burners about 20 minutes before putting the steak on. I set the temp to medium low and cook the steak about 45 -50 minutes, turning regularly.

Wagyu Tenderloin, Heritage Foods USA

I try to get the small end to about 130°, middle to 115° and thick end to 100°. We fed eleven people with 3/4 of the tenderloin and I cut the thick end into filets about 1” thick put back on the grill the next day for perfect leftovers.

 

…And for the drinks

About 2 weeks before the party buy 4-6 semi-firm but ripe peaches, 4-5 firm Fuji apples and 4-5 navel oranges.

Heritage Foods USA

Slice the peaches first, then the apples. Add the oranges on top so the citric acid keeps the apples from turning brown. I layer these in a big bowl, plastic or ceramic, then cover with equal parts Triple Sec, Peach Schnapps, Vodka, and White Rum. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the wine cellar for two weeks.

In college 50 years ago we made this in garbage cans, but a 5 gallon water bucket also works great. The day before the party I dump the fruit into the water bucket, I add 3 gallons of Italian style wine (inexpensive is fine) add approximately 750ml Peach Schnapps, 750ml Vodka, 750ml Amber Rum.

I don’t add sugar or orange juice so the only other ingredient is ice, which I like to put in the cups so it doesn’t dilute the Sangria. It’s very potent but the fruit is really the kicker –you can blend two days before, no problem.

If you can keep this cool, it will last quite a while.

 

 

 

Ted, NJ

How to cook a steak

By Janani Lee

Akaushi Strip

It doesn’t seem like there should be that much mystery involved in cooking a steak, but it is not as easy as you may think…or maybe it’s way easier and you are just over thinking it. I know that until recently most steaks I cooked were either way over done or stabbed to death with a meat thermometer (usually some combination of the two), but I have since read up on the subject and can confidently grill or pan sear a steak. I consider this a major life accomplishment.

 

So, here are a few simple tips gathered from around the internet and tested in my kitchen:

Start with a good steak. At Heritage we carry Ribeye and NY or Kansas City Strip steaks. Our farmers care about the health of their cattle and the conditions they are kept in and that translates to high quality meat.

Know what you like and don’t get too distracted by lots of labels and titles. Prime, Choice, and Select are all USDA distinctions related to tenderness and marbling – they say nothing about the cow. Organic, grass-fed, and grain finished related to how the cow was raised, but can also indicate how the   beef might be. Grain finished tends to have more marbling and be more tender, while grass-fed may have a more distinct flavor and leaner, more developed muscle. Know what you are looking for in a steak and choose accordingly.

NY_Strip_Steaks

Salt. Salt is important not only for flavor, but also for moisture. Salt draws moisture out of your beef before you cook it, so it browns better (and tastes better)

Use a thermometer. A thermometer is like an x-ray for your steak – it can tell you exactly what’s going on inside.

Rare: 125°F – 130°F
Medium-Rare: 130°F – 135°F
Medium: 140°F – 145°F
Well-Done: 160° and higher

 

Meat continues to cook after you take it off the grill, so remove your steak from the grill or pan when your thermometer is about 5 degrees less than you want it to be.


Rest. Let your steak rest before you eat it that was the juices redistribute. About 5 minutes should do it.

 steak

Check out these other guides from The Food Lab and the Kitchn for more tips:

http://www.thekitchn.com/6-steps-for-grilling-the-best-steak-of-your-life-172700

http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/05/how-to-grill-a-steak-guide-food-lab.html

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