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Troble

Wagyu Beef?

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What is everyone’s thoughts on Wagyu beef? There is a chef here in San Diego who used to do high end multi course private dinner featuring Wagyu  beef extensively for most courses. When COVID hit he pivoted to creating a butcher shop since he had all this American A5 Wagyu  that he’d been raising in Montana. He’s since opened two shops abs I’ve been thinking about getting some meat from him to try it out, that was really the genesis is for my butcher box challenge he I did back around Christmas. I wanted to make sure I executed that well before purchasing some expensive Waygu meat. 

here’s his site. https://chefstevebrown.com/cosecha/

his Instagram page has a lot more info and videos in his posts https://instagram.com/chefstevebrown?igshid=z39ya27q6ssq

what is everyone’s opinion on Japanese, American & Australian Wagyu?

 

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Wagyu is the breed of cow, I think it literally translates to Japanese cow. Wagyu is the breed of cow that Kobe beef comes from, it’s that to be Kobe beef, it literally has to come from Kobe Japan, raised under very specific conditions.

That said, Wagyu is exceptionally good beef, but I find that it’s not worth the price difference between it and prime beef.

If you want the best, get Wagyu, bang for the buck, prime.


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@5698k thanks for that. I am familiar with what Waygu is I’ve just never plunked down the money for it myself at a steakhouse. I’ve heard differing opinions on Japanese Waygu vs American Wagyu. Was wondering if people on this board had experience with the meat 

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It has to be tried Troble.
I’m not sure of the difference between Aussie v Japanese.
Each country professes to be the best- japan for traditional reasons, Aus for science and breed management.
I like it.
Despite the extra expense, you will be sated with 1/2 to 1/3 of the mass that you would normally eat due to its rich flavour. For me, 150grams is plenty.
Cook it rare, and from room temperature.


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For me, it's a splurge purchase - special occasions. I can get Prime grade beef at CostCo for very reasonable prices per pound - just a couple of bucks more a pound than Choice Reserve at my local supermarket and less than a 1/4 the price of American Wagyu. Example, CostCo prime ribeye cap is normally $16.99/lb, Snake River Farms gold grade wagyu for the same cut is $99/lb. No way the wagyu is 4x tastier than the prime. Just sayin'

 

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I've cooked Choice brisket and then I cooked a Prime and immediately noticed the difference between the two, the nod going to prime. Sorry I haven't had Wagu, sure it tastes awesome, but my cholesterol has been riding just below the Dr's tolerance and that's fine for me. Prime steak is a caviar, you can eat it slowly and enjoy the pleasure, wagu since I haven't had it could be more coined to sex, the pleasure of this experience maybe more defined, but the cost of that lady or "man" ( being gender friendly and all ) will haunt your wallet in the morning. So if it were up to me, it's prime, all the time. Hope that helped you Troble, although I get the feeling it didn't. Let me put it another way, , your at the track and you got two favorites to pick from, one's a horse from Kentucky (a breed apart, a stallion ) always comes in first if not always places at every race and his name is Prime.  Then comes along this horse called Wagu, already there's a little vibe here, you know the names a bit off, (rhymes with Magoo)  but his poop smells like perfume. Who you gonna bet on, I know some bug is biting your ear sayin, "bet on Wagu" and by the way, incidentally, and only by coincidence of course this horse is from, you guessed it, Montana. Now your repeating, Kentucky, Montana, Kentucky, Montana and your wondering what to do. Lucky for you I'm here, bet on a sure thing, follow the card and you can't go wrong. Brought to you by Amalgamated Meats Union 247, Louisville, KY

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I've eaten wagyu in Japan and really enjoyed it but have no desire to hunt it down and eat it again.  The thing I have found with meat is that the breed and how the meat has been hung and aged makes so much difference.  If I were you I would try wagyu once and then move on. Explore what's available from specialised farms and butchers.  There so much to learn and enjoy.

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I don’t plan on buying Wagyu as a regular event. 
 

I agree with @Tyrusi pay the couple extra bucks a pound for prime brisket, I taste the brisket. I’ve tried grass fed prime brisket and I preferred grass fed, grain finish. I’ve had grass fed prime steaks and those were tasty, and in general all the steaks I cook are prime but most are grass fed corn finish from my Iowa Meat Farms butcher shop that I’ve been going to for 20 years 

I’ve seen Wagyu on the menu at steakhouses but never had the $$$ to spend. But I figure I might try to cook one of these at home to see what it’s like. It’s not a habit I intend to adopt that’s for sure but I am intrigued on guaging the meat for myself at least once 

@Tyrusi drink this special green team called Gynoatemma that really helps with the cholesterol and doctor put me on a statin 3 years ago and now I’m in the very low range the tea is really good. It’s known as the Chinese miracle herb

 Gynostemma Tea ( Jiaogulan Tea )... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M8Q2ABP?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

Edited by Troble
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I'm in the "better living through chemistry" camp - the combo of statins and fish oil capsules have my cholesterol and tri-glycerides under control. 

15 hours ago, Troble said:

all the steaks I cook are prime but most are grass fed corn finish from my Iowa Meat Farms butcher shop that I’ve been going to for 20 years 

Whuut? Some outfit calling themselves "Iowa Meat Farms" and the only place they sell is in San Diego?? :dontknow:

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Never had Wagyu beef but the above comments remind me of something we did a few years ago (well maybe 15-20)

We had a local butcher who was an old chap and who sourced his animals from local farms.

Mrs RD & I really liked the steak - and always had rump. He'd say 'this is a Hereford from the Piddle Valley '- ( four or five miles away) you could poke your head around the counter and glimpse the carcasses as he went in and out of the cold room.

He'd trim them beautifully - clearly enjoying his art.

The steaks were gorgeous.

Then, one day the old boy had gone and Mrs RD and I remarked on how the steaks had become tasteless.

I went in once more to buy our steak for the weekend and a young lad threw up an amorphous vac packed lump of stuff onto the counter.

He slit the vac pac - the meat was bright red and sodden with watery red fluid.

He cut a slice off,  carelessly, no trimming - and it was unceremoniously chucked into a plastic bag and given to me.

It tasted as grim as the scene portrayed.

We never went there again.

But we really missed the steak....

The valley in which we live has several small farms - organic and, I think , but not sure, the largest contiguous bit of organic farmland in the  UK - don't quote me on that though.

Some friends are stewards / guardians of some land called SSI - this means a site of Special Scientific Interest. It's chalk upland and has its own biodiversity - you can't mess with it, but you can graze it as it has been for centuries, if not millennia.

They had a few pure bred Hereford which were suckled by their mothers and were grazing on this SSI land, with it's grasses, herbs and flowers.

So disappointing had the steak been that we decided to buy a whole cow.

It was a Heiffer and it was hung at the local artisan abattoir for 5 weeks. Mr Farmer brought it round in four quarters in a horse box and we hung it from scaffold poles in the rafters of the garage for a few more days.

Fortunately I'd got to know a chap called Ray Smith, a butcher. I'd worked with his wife. He was Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's butcher - probably only known to UK folk, a kind of alternative celebrity chef.

One of his books is here :  

https://www.worldofbooks.com/en-gb/books/hugh-fearnley-whittingstall/river-cottage-meat-book/9780340826355?keyword=&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIjrOtwqW67gIVjJntCh3-vAP5EAAYAiAAEgJ6__D_BwE

I'd recommend it - it's just beautifully written. 

In there is a recipe for "Ray's liver pate" , which I'd made and then when I met Ray I said to him that it was a good recipe but that instead of mincing the mixture I squeezed it between my hands so that it farted out between my fingers and made the pate chunky ( and saved the cleaning of the mincer). We had an instant rapport and he came round to our house, we got some pigs and he taught me how to butcher them.

I've realised this post is a bit long - sorry Troble - hope you don't mind, but my KK is not being delivered tomorrow as planned so I am ameliorating my distress with some adult beverage.

Anyway Ray came over and over the course of the weekend we butchered the heifer He was really impressed with the quality - in fact we cut fine transparent slivers of sirloin, rump and fillet straight from the carcasses to taste the difference. The slivers of raw fat  were like butter.

Cooked, the taste was etherial.

So, to :

 

6 hours ago, Paul said:
20 hours ago, tekobo said:

The thing I have found with meat is that the breed and how the meat has been hung and aged makes so much difference.

Couldn't agree more.

I'd add provenance.

 

RD

 

 

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1 hour ago, RokDok said:

you could poke your head around the counter and glimpse the carcasses as he went in and out of the cold room.

There's a place in the Napa Valley where I buy meat every now and then. They roll out the whole carcass on an overhead rail and ask you, "What cut ya looking for?" Great place and great product. You are spot on with the provenance! 

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RD that reminds me of this story.
My cousins are bull farmers in NZ. They sell their meat for a premium price thanks to the American market preferring bull meat for their burgers. All grass fed and all exported. As good farmers living the dream, they always have an array of animals for their own consumption- Chook’s, pigs, a few sheep. When we were visiting a few years ago they said the local ice creamery had a failure with one of their freezers and they needed to dump 200 gallons of blueberry ice cream.
My cousin lobbed in their door with a truck full of drums to pick up this ice cream and for a month, this fed the pigs before sending them off to the butcher.
Our trip coincided with the return of this pork.... talk about a build up of high expectation for the anticipated bacon breakfast the next day.
Expectations were high........
It tasted like bacon!
It was pretty good, in our minds we had all built up an expectation of a little blueberry, or hint of ice cream flavour in the bacon


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14 hours ago, RokDok said:

I'd add provenance.

Unusually @RokDok, I am going to disagree with you.  If the definition of provenance is that you know where your food has come from then I don't think that makes much difference to the taste of the meat, which is what I was thinking of when I posted above. At the very least I know the name of the supplier of the meat that I buy but I often know the farmer, I have sometimes met the animal and I usually know when it is to be killed and how long it will be hung.  That knowledge makes me feel connected and responsible for my meat eating but my ranking of what impacts the taste is:

1. Breed of animal

2. How long it has been aged/hung

3.  How it was raised and what it was fed (and this could be what you mean by provenance but I don't know that that is in the strict definition of the word)

Which brings me neatly back to @Troble's original question.  Is it worth trying Wagyu beef and does it matter where it was raised - US or Japan?  The biggest difference will of course be the fact that he will be eating Wagyu.  The things that will set the Japanese Kobe version apart will be items 2 and 3 on the list.  For me they are in that order, for a Japanese person who knows their Kobe, 3 may come ahead of 2. 

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@RokDok, I realise I was in a Bolshie mood this morning.  As always, your story was fun.  We spent a few years butchering our own meat the Hugh's "Pig in a Day" DVD was our handy guide when we came to butcher pigs.  I am pretty certain Ray would have been the butcher in that video.  One of us always had to have a clean hand free to press play and pause as we arrived at the next bit of the pig where we required assistance and instruction.  

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No worries !!

We'll have a great discussion once this wretched lockdown is over and you come down for a stout & cider fest !!

I'll also let you into a little secret about the " Pig in a Day with Hugh and Ray " DVD .......

But you'll have to wait for the Stoutfest !!

Best,

 

RD

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