Wagyu Steak: Everything You Should Know to Cook It Yourself
So sumptuous is wagyu beef steak that gourmets daringly bracket it with foie gras, truffles, and other stunning delicacies. But among them all, wagyu is a dark horse. Or rather a dark cow.
You can cook it yourself and enjoy it with your whole family at home. No need to search for a respectable restaurant, which may be located miles away from you.
Sure, you can order foie gras or truffles online, so they are delivered right to the threshold of your house.
But it will take you more than five minutes to cook a family dinner with foie gras.
And truffles are unlikely to make your dearest and nearest feel so full that they don’t want to move.
What’s so special about wagyu steak then? Does it take only five minutes to cook? How much of it will be enough to let a company of five (or even more) enjoy it at its best?
Alright, let’s discover the secrets of this legendary meat.
What Exactly Is Wagyu Steak?
As any other beef steak, it’s a large piece of topnotch meat cut from the fleshy area toward the top of the cow. The ribs, short loin, and tenderloin are the three muscles the classic steak comes from. These muscles take almost no part in enabling movement of the animal. That’s why the meat is very tender and cooks fast.
And yet, wagyu stands beyond gastronomical classics. It’s still the ribeye or short loin. But a cut of this meat looks like a piece of treasurable marble stone, red with white veins all across it. This is a strange, somewhat unnatural beauty that will melt on your tongue, leaving a pleasant creamy aftertaste.
Ribeye vs. short loin. What’s a better steak?
Honestly, none is better. Both are perfect. But there is a difference between the two meats. They satisfy different taste preferences.
As the name suggests, the ribeye comes from the rib. Because the rib cage bears almost no weight and is little used for movement, the ribeye steak is especially tender and evenly marbled. A layer of fat surrounds it. But the fat melts immediately during the cooking, turning into a buttery, but never greasy, seasoning.
The short loin or striploin is considered one of the most popular beef cuts among Americans. Maybe, this is because the short loin steak is ideal for the grill. Also known as the strip steak, it comes from the muscle behind the ribs. This meat isn’t as tender as the ribeye. But it’s also well-marbled and buttery, with neat fat caps on its edges.
Then, how about throwing a gourmet meat party this weekend?
So, You Got Your Wagyu Steak Delivered. Now What?
It depends on your plans. Let’s consider several different scenarios, so you know for sure what you should do to serve a scrumptious steak.
Scenario #1: You want to cook it right away
You’ll receive the meat in the vacuum-sealed package. Before cooking, put the wagyu unpacked into a bowl with cool water and let it rest for one-two hours. Such water cooling helps preserve the silky texture of the steak.
Scenario #2: It’s Monday, and you want to cook it on Saturday
Freeze the wagyu steak right in the vacuum-sealed package. On Thursday evening or Friday morning, put the meat unpacked into the fridge to thaw. Ideally, thawing should take up to 48 hours.
Don’t defrost the wagyu at room temperature or in the microwave oven. The wagyu fat has a very low melting point. It’ll melt in your hands just like chocolate! If the steak is defrosted on the plate right on the kitchen table, the meat loses its juiciness and creaminess, so you risk getting dry, burnt cuts.
Scenario #3: You’ll cook it later, but not this (and next) week
Don’t worry. The steak will feel fine in the freezer for up to one year. Just remember to thaw it unpacked at least 24 hours before cooking.
Scenario #4: You thawed the meat, but your dinner plans changed
If the beef has been thawed in the package and in the fridge for about a day, you can safely refreeze it and cook it whenever you want.
Now, How to Cook My Wagyu Steak?
So, the meat is thawed. It’s lying on the cutting board before you. And you are ready to deal with it. What’s next?
First, besides the steak, you’ll need sea salt for seasoning. And pepper if you want to add some piquancy. That’s it.
You don’t need oil, because the wagyu can be cooked perfectly in its own fat. And you don’t need spices, because they’ll prevent your taste buds from enjoying the true, natural umami flavor of the meat.
Second, you should remember that wagyu meat is very nourishing though heavy. One pound will be enough to cook a treat for 12 people. The ideal portion for one person is up to three ounces. But not more, if you want your guests to feel good after the dinner. And especially if you’re serving the steak with something else, even with rice as a side dish.
The simplest and truest way to prepare wagyu is to sear the meat slices in their own fat. Here are the directions.
1. Bring the meat to room temperature 10-15 minutes before cooking.
2. Slice the meat into 1x1 inch strips, each about 3-4 inches long. Sprinkle them with salt (and pepper).
3. Heat the pan to medium high.
4. Sear the slices for one minute per side. Also, brown the edges slightly, keeping them on the pan for a few seconds.
5. Remove the meat from the pan and let it rest on the plate for a few minutes. So wagyu reabsorbs the juices and “restores” the natural flavors.
Any right pairings for wagyu beef?
Serve it with foods that taste neutral comparing to the meat, so no other tastes will mix with its own taste.
• Cooked rice will be a wonderful garnish.
• So will be sautéed mushrooms and vegetables.
• Add salad greens for more freshness and crunchiness.
By the way, if you like wasabi or soy sauce, you can serve them with the wagyu. Despite the fact that both sauces have very distinct tastes, still they will highlight the original taste of the meat.
Speaking of beverages, sake is a correct but not the only choice. Your favorite beer or dry red wine will go along well with the steak too.
So, you don’t need to be a Michelin star chef to treat your whole family or friends to wagyu beef steak. You see, cooking it is simple, fast, and enjoyable. Though so is eating.
Order the freshest and premium quality meat at Marky’s. Enjoy flavorful moments and create warm memories.