Now a mainstay on gourmet menus, wagyu (literally: “Japanese cow”) was widely mislabeled as Kobe beef. While Kobe beef is derived from wagyu cattle, only the meat from specific animals from a specific region in Japan can truly be called Kobe beef. Since this premium meat is not commercially available outside of Japan, wagyu breeds and hybrids are raised here to serve the appetites of Canadian consumers.
Whether for a special occasion or simply just treating yourself… If you have any interest in wagyu beef, it is likely due to its higher fat content and exquisite marbling. Remember: wagyu beef is an investment– if you plan to prepare it at home, keep reading for five essential tips from D’Arcy’s!
You need two things to cook perfect wagyu: a hot pan and a room temperature steak. Use a heavy pan that distributes heat evenly, preferably cast iron, and bring it up to medium-high on a grill, griddle or stovetop. Take the wagyu out ahead of time to take the chill off of it– cold meat cooks unevenly.
As wagyu is second-to-none in fat content, there is no need to add butter, oil or any other fat to the pan. If using stainless steel, a small trimming of wagyu fat can be used to prime a hot pan. Any excess fat could leave the steak tasting soggy, oily or too rich.
Add salt directly to the pan, not the meat. Create a base layer for the steak with a pinch or two of your preferred variety of coarse salt. Lay the wagyu on the bed of salt in the hot pan– this should create an instant sizzle, a delicious aroma and, in a minute or two, a perfect, golden crust.
Let the first side sear completely before touching the meat, usually two to three minutes at medium-high. If you gently prod the steak, it should move freely before you flip it– any sticking means the crust has not fully formed. Brown the second side before lowering the heat and finishing to medium-rare, usually three to five minutes. Over- or undercooked wagyu beef is a tragedy, so: keep a steady pace, use a meat thermometer (sparingly) and, above all, be patient!
#1: Final touches
Since most of us can’t afford wagyu beef every night, go the extra mile for the best possible experience! Use good cutlery and steak knives, pre-warm your serving dishes and plates and pick out a nice wine or nonalcoholic beverage that pairs well with red meat. To serve, slice the steak against the grain and pour over any remaining pan juices. That’s it– itadakimasu! (“let’s eat!)
The wisdom above outlines a few steps to cooking good wagyu, but always ask your butcher for the best tips. Our experienced, friendly staff can offer specific advice based on the cut and marbling of each unique steak sold at D’Arcy’s. Feel free to contact or visit us today for more info on our selection of wagyu beef!