Too much Wagyu

I decided to buy some Wagyu beef and ended up getting more than I bargained for.

My wife gave me a Sous Vide Supreme Demi for Christmas and I decided to break it in. Enter the Wagyu beef.

I went to my friend’s burger place (“Shake Tree”) to ask where I could get Wagyu and he volunteered to order it for me from his meat vendor. He called me up afterwards to ask me what I wanted – they had ribs and loin. The minimum order for the loin with the ribs cost 60,000 JPY (~670 USD) while just the loin cost 13,000 JPY (~145 USD). I chose the cheapest option.

Me with my giant piece of Wagyu beef.
Me with my giant piece of Wagyu beef.

A few days later, the meat arrived and I went to pick it up. When I saw the package, I was stunned at how much it was. Four kilograms and over two feet long! They put it in a small bag so the top part bent over, looking like a giant tongue. When I held it close to my waist, they told me not to do that because it also looked like another part of my anatomy. People were looking as I rode my bicycle with the giant meat in the basket.

I could barely squeeze it into my refrigerator. I decided to call my Japanese friend Yuca to come over and give me some ideas on how to butcher it. When I brought out the meat, she was also shocked. When my wife came home from work, she could not believe her eyes. All three of us spent some time debating what to do with it.

We decided to cut it into four parts. Yuca would take home one kilogram. She decided she wanted 300g to be ground up. So we tried to use my KitchenAid meat grinder. She stuffed in the meat but nothing was coming out – the marbling in the beef was clogging up the grinding plate. It basically just mangled the beef, but she said it was okay, she would feed it to her dog. Lesson learned: do NOT grind Wagyu beef. It’s blasphemy.

Wrong way to cut Wagyu
The uneven surface of the meat was due to my saw-cutting motion. Doh!

I divided the remaining 3kg into steaks. I used my Japanese knife (a sujihiki) and I carved it like I would a steak, with a sawing action. But then I noticed that there were ridges on the surface of the meat and I immediately imagined chef Gordon Ramsey yelling at me, “You donkey! You just ruined a $50 steak!”

So I switched to my other knife with a single bevel (a yanagiba) and sliced with a single stroke. This time, the result was perfect.

At this point, my wife and friend were both hungry. I just quickly seared three rare steaks with a little butter and seasoned them with salt and pepper. I served the steaks with some mashed potatoes I had cooked the previous night. The steaks were melt-in-your-mouth tender. We ate a home-cooked meal that would have cost us over 10,000 JPY if we had eaten out that night!

Wagyu steak slice
A beautiful slice of Wagyu steak

Watch out for upcoming recipes for Wagyu beef.

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