It’s stage five of the Rare Breeds Steaks Challenge. The breed up for the challenge this week is my benchmark steak….AUSTRALIAN WAGYU
The Breed: Wagyu translates as ‘Japanese cow’, the most famous of which is Kobe. This is pretty nigh on impossible to get hold of outside Japan, unless you remortgage your house, but fortunately, Australia farms the breed and exports all over the world. I source mine from a butcher who supplies some of London’s best restaurants. It doesn’t come cheap, but in my opinion, it is so superior to any other beef I’ve tried that it’s worth the extra expense. Wagyu cattle are genetically predisposed to intense marbling of fat, which contains a higher percentage of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids than typical beef. The increased marbling also improves the ratio of monounsaturated fats to saturated fats. In other words, as red meat goes, it’s very good for you!
The Cut: This cut is striploin, also know as sirloin. It has a thick belt of exterior fat which can be trimmed off and rendered down to make dripping.
Price: Around £25.00 per steak, from a company such as Fine Food Specialist.
Appearance: So intensely marbled with creamy cobwebs of at it is virtually white in places.
Trimmage: Weight before removing exterior belt of fat: 300g; weight after: 225g.
Cooking: Heat a cast iron pan until it’s white hot. Oil the steak, not the pan. Cook for exactly 2 minutes each side for medium-rare. Season the steak after the first 2 minutes. Leave to rest for 2 minutes. Carve.
Tasting notes: A very crisp, sweet, caramel crust yields to a juicy interior that delivers astonishing mouth feel. Rich, deep, beefy fat explodes onto the tongue. This is eyeballs-rolling-into-the-back-of-the-head ecstasy. Beyond compare.
• I’ve served this with homemade tagliatelle, tossed in Parmesan and butter-fried cep mushrooms, then finished with a few drops of truffle oil.