Bazaar Meat By Jos Andrs
SLS Hotel, 2535 South Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas
Celebrity chef José Andrés whips up dishes inspired by Spanish cuisine. Expect steaks coated in mojo verde, Valdéon blue cheese, or moruno marinade. As far as the beef itself, Andrés uses American Kobe, which is a touch tougher and more like the sirloin you may be used to. American Kobe is also a bit cheaper a 20 oz. steak, easily large enough for two hungry people, will run you $140. Before you hit the strip, though, it might serve you well to know the single best way for doubling your money in Vegas.
The World Of Wagyu Beef Is Confusing Here’s What You Need To Know About How To Cook Wagyu Beef At Home
Imagine being told that more than a thousand dollars worth of beef was about to land in your lapsome of the world’s rarest and most sought-after steak, including the famed Japanese “Snow Beef” of Hokkaido and true wagyu from Kobe. Imagine your excitement while setting up a tasting to compare each against the others, all cooked in a variety of ways. Imagine getting so cocky you buy an aged prime ribeye steak for $40 from one of New York’s top butchers “just for kicks,” you know, to have something really average to measure against the greatness of the good stuff.
Now imagine eating all of that prized beef. Amazing, right?
Nope. It was awful. I mean, the beef wasn’t awful the beef was stupendous. But not eaten like that, in one sitting. Not in those quantities.
There’s a video of our tasting, but we’re not going to show it to you because it’s too hard to watch. The effects of the beef hit us early and hard, right after the first round of steaks came off the plancha, with five more rounds still to go. Our energy levels dropped, our jokes became even more forced and less funny, our cheeks became flushed, and our bodies groaned under the oppressiveness of all that fat.
And this gets right to the most important lesson about indulging in real-deal, highest-quality, ultra-fatty Japanese wagyu: You can not, you should not, you must not eat a lot of it. We did it because we had to. No one should make the mistake of doing it voluntarily.
In The Blue Corner Wagyu Beef
While all Kobe beef is considered to be a type of Wagyu, the reverse is not always true! Yep, theres some bad family blood between our reigning champ and up and coming challenger. Wa is the Chinese pronunciation for the Japanese character for Japanese. Gyu means cow, making wagyu a generic description. It covers not only the specific breed of Kobe beef, but also all cattle in Japan. In the 1800s European cattle were crossbred with indigenous stock, creating the 4 breeds that make up wagyu today . The black strains still make up a majority of wagyu beef, giving it a level of marbling that is world-renowned at a slightly cheaper price . Wagyu is not a pure-breed like the current champ, but as mutts go hes still a great deal!
Wagyu Vs Kobe Beef: What’s The Real Difference Here’s Your Guide To Japanese Steak
Everyone has heard the praises of Japanese beef at least once while venturing out to their favorite steak restaurant. Japanese beef known as “wagyu” and, more specifically, the type of wagyu called Kobe beef, is known for being one of the highest quality meats in not only Japan but the world. If you are a meat lover, you know it’s considered the epitome of fine dining. But what, exactly, makes Wagyu vs. Kobe Beef so unique?
Food’s Biggest Scam: The Great Kobe Beef Lie
Think youve tasted the famous Japanese Kobe beef?
Of course, there are a small number of you out there who have tried it – I did, in Tokyo, and it is delicious. If you ever go to Japan I heartily recommend you splurge, because while it is expensive, it is unique, and you cannot get it in the United States. Not as steaks, not as burgers, certainly not as the ubiquitous Kobe sliders at your trendy neighborhood bistro.”
These are cuts of the famous Kobe beef from Hyogo prefecture in Japan. Note the exquisite marbling… of fat throughout. To see it in person, you need to go to Japan, because real Kobe beef cannot be found in the U.S. Photo: Wikipedia
Thats right. You heard me. I did not misspeak. I am not confused like most of the American food media.
I will state this as clearly as possible:
You cannot buy Japanese Kobe beef in this country. Not in stores, not by mail, and certainly not in restaurants. No matter how much you have spent, how fancy a steakhouse you went to, or which of the many celebrity chefs who regularly feature Kobe beef on their menus you believed, you were duped. Im really sorry to have to be the one telling you this, but no matter how much you would like to believe you have tasted it, if it wasnt in Asia you almost certainly have never had Japans famous Kobe beef.
The new book Real Food, Fake Food , covers the gamut of food frauds and scams… American consumers face today.
Beware Of Snake River Farms American Kobe
NOT JAPANESE KOBE BEEF and Snake River Farms is doing the equivalent of a McDowells from the movie Coming to America with Eddie Murphy because it may sound like McDonalds, but thats a Big Mick youre ordering, not a Big Mac. That may not bother you which is what SRF is hoping for, but this sort of thing happens all the time. What I mean by that is that these brand names and regional products are blurred together with other typically lesser products as being the same when they are not. When that happens, you are inadvertently pulling an SRF .
- Jacuzzi versus hot tub.
- Band-aid versus a bandage.
- Champagne versus sparkling wine.
- Roquefort versus blue cheese.
- Bourbon is whisky, but not all whisky is bourbon.
- Scotch is from Scotland.
- Whiskey is Irish whiskey with an e.
This list can go on and on, but you are here to buy Kobe beef versus hearing my rant.
B& b Butchers & Restaurant
1814 Washington Avenue, Houston
B& B Butchers & Restaurant joined the ranks of officially Kobe beef-certified restaurants in 2016, making the Texas fine dining establishment the most recent place in America to achieve the status. B& B serves American Kobe an 8 oz. cut costs $69.
And now, if you prefer cooking your steak at home, try whipping up the 15 best steak marinade recipes of all time.
For more amazing advice for living smarter, looking better, feeling younger, and playing harder,
Japanese Beef: A Worldwide Phenomenon
The reputation and popularity of Kobe beef and wagyu in general only seem to be growing, as word of this fine Japanese meat spreads worldwide. There seems to be no shortage of curious diners who are eager to try the melt-in-your-mouth, tender wagyu for themselves. While Japanese beef can be difficult to come by, meat-eating gourmands all seem to agree that a bite of savory wagyu is well worth the effort!
Meet The Steaks In Our Tasting
Five of the six steaks in our tasting were sent to us by Holy Grail Steak Company, an online purveyor of some of the best wagyu in the world. I added the sixth steak, an American dry-aged boneless ribeye, just as an additional point of comparison. Here’s the list:
While steaks can be cut to any number of thicknesses, the first thing we noticed with our samples, aside from very obvious differences of marbling between the Japanese and American examples, was the differing thickness of the steaks depending on their origin. The Japanese wagyu was cut much thinner, at about half an inch thick, while the American beef was cut into steaks that were between one and one-and-a-half inches thick.
This difference in thickness signals right away that the Japanese and American steaks are to be handled and eaten differently. With its abundant fat content, the Japanese wagyu overwhelms in larger portions , so the thinner steak makes it easier to portion into small bites, and to cook to a high doneness level.
Why Is Wagyu Beef So Expensive
Between the special breeds required and the immense amount of work that goes into raising them, Wagyu beef is understandably expensive. Specialty breeders raise Wagyu calves until theyre between seven to 10 months old, at which point theyll be sold to a farmer to raise them into adulthood. Wagyu calves can cost as much as $30,000, which is more than 10 times what a typical American beef cow can cost. Kobe beef is even more expensive, due to its scarcity.
Where Should You Buy Wagyu Beef
While all of the above stores are great places to get wagyu and Kobe beef, our top recommendation is Crowd Cow.
Crowd Cow offers special deals which make it the best bang for your buck.
But they also care about how ranchers raise their beef and only pick those that are raising them right. Youll see that the flavor of the Wagyu beef and its firmness are a step above everything else.
However, you wont go wrong by buying from any of these places who are all purveyors of a well cooked steak.
How To Cook And Eat Wagyu Steak
So let’s say you want to experience what all the hubbub is about, and you’re ready to shell out for some good wagyu beef. What do you choose? And what do you do with it? Here’s what we learned from our tasting to help guide you through the process, and, hopefully, make sure you get a great experience for your money.
Best Overall: Holy Grail Steak Co
You can buy real-deal Kobe beef
Free shipping deals
Many out of stock options, due to limited supply
Wagyu is wonderful, but if only the best-known beef in the world will do, order some Kobe beef from Holy Grail Steak Co. The company offers some excellent Wagyu options, but also is the only online source for certified Kobe beef, which must be top-grade meat from the Tajima breed, raised in the Hyogo Prefecture.
To sell Kobe beef, you must be licensed by Kobe-Niku there are six licensed butchers, thirty licensed restaurants, and one licensed online retailer. Only a limited number of heads of Kobe cattle are exported outside of Japan, and youll pay $199 for a seven-ounce steak from Holy Grail Steak Co. It will likely be the most special steak youve ever consumed.
What Are The Different Grades Of Wagyu Beef
Different countries have different systems for grading beef, but most purveyors will use the Japanese grading system, which is based on yield and grade. Yield refers to the amount of meat between the sixth and seventh rib, relative to the weight of the carcass. The grade refers to the texture and firmness, marbling, and color of the fat and meat. The yield score ranges from A to C, with A being the highest, and the grade score ranges from one to five, with five as the highest. Most Wagyu steaks in the US are A4 or A5. This information should be very easy to find on the purveyors website.
Best Homestyle Butcher: D’artagnan
DArtagnan has incredible range of other meats
Website is a little confusing
DArtagnan has long been a favorite of chefs and committed carnivores, thanks to its range of high-quality meat and wild game sourced from small, responsible farms and ranches. Its Wagyu comes with the same ethosyou can buy both USA-raised Wagyu and top-grade Japanese Wagyu from the prized Black Kuroge breed of cattle , raised using traditional methods. Both options are hormone-free and antibiotic-free. You can find a range of steaks, ground beef, and even an Italian-style Wagyu beef bresaola. DArtagnan is, frankly, hard to beat.
There Are A Number Of Other Legendary Types Of Wagyu Beyond Kobe Beef But If You Want To Find Only Kobe Beef You Have Come To The Right Place Well To Find A Place To Buy Or 1 Of 38 Places To Eat It At
There are several hundred varieties of Wagyu, and Kobe is just one type/regional product from Kobe, Japan. Although, if you do not care about any of the other regions, and you only want to try the one and only Kobe beef. I am going to list the ideal places to buy Kobe beef online, along with where to eat it at in the good ole U.S. of apple pie, bald eagles, guns, and super sizing, Murica.
A Cut Of Legitimate Kobe Beef Will Cost A Diner Around $200 And A Kobe Burger Is Around $50
What is it about Kobe beef that makes it such a delicacy? Its unparalleled flavor, texture, and tenderness make it a particular indulgence for fine beef connoisseurs.Lately, many fine restaurants have been offering menu options made from another delicate Japanese beef called Wagyu. What is the appeal of Wagyu beef vs Kobe beef? Lets have a look.
How Is Wagyu Beef Raised
The process of raising Wagyu or Kobe beef is almost the exact opposite of the way cows are raised in the industrial food system. Theyre given names and have just a few other cows in their paddock with them. If cows clash with each other, theyre moved to a different paddock.
There are myths out there that classical music is played to them and that theyre treated to regular massages, but farmers do go out of their way to minimize the stress of the cows. Noise levels are controlled, and farmers constantly check in on their animals. While theyre not massaged, they do occasionally get a good brushing to relax them and increase their circulation.
Its important to note here that Wagyu beef must be from the four recognized breeds: Kuroge , Aakage , Nihon Tankaku and Mukaku . Even if a cow is raised in the Wagyu manner, but not from these breeds or specifically called out as a cross-breed, like American Wagyu, it doesnt qualify as Wagyu.
Why Can You Eat Steak Rare But Not Chicken
Beef doesnt carry many parasites which can infect us, so raw beef is safer to eat than other meats, it is not 100% safe though, as bacteria can still be on the surface. Rare beef on the other hand is safe to eat. This is because beef meat is extremely dense, and bacteria cannot penetrate and infect the meat.
In The Red Corner Kobe Beef
This protein is generated by the slaughtering of a specific breed of Japanese black cows. Officially the most famous are from Japans Hyogo prefecture . But our champion is known to have a LOT of bastards running around named Hangyu . Just one shot of the champs semen can sell for $50,000 . Kobe beef has a unique training method. He drinks a lot of beer while getting a full body massage from nearby humans. This prevents the fat from clumping up, and instead distributes it more evenly throughout the muscle tissue. That is why this beef is so soft and delicious!
Best For Bulk Orders: Costco
Shipping is often included in the price
Not as much information on each offering
We all know and love Costcotheres nowhere better to stock up on the essentials, from deodorant to snack mix to t-shirts. If Wagyu beef is essential for you, Costco sells it in bulk, including a 41-pound sampler of steaks, ground beef, and beyond for $1,999.99.
This locker pack features full-blood Wagyu beef raised in Washington and comes with eight rib-eyes, eight New York strips, two filet mignons, and more. If youre not on the market for 41 pounds of top-grade beef, there are plenty of other top-grade Wagyu options in bulk. Perfect for your next cookout or for stocking your extra freezer with the good stuff.
Kobe Beef: The Caviar Of Meat
The term Kobe beef has become synonymous with excellence. But with the name being tagged on meat left and right outside of Japan, the meaning behind it can become a little vague. Genuine Kobe beef comes from the black Tajima breed of Wagyu cattle in Hyogo Prefecture and raised according to the strict protocol set by the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association. Like other wagyu, this variety is well-marbled and is also prized for its flavor and tender texture.Certified Kobe beef carries an approval mark of designation that is stamped on four places on the carcass. This means that the beef has been certified by the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association. A regularly updated list of all authorized Kobe beef that is exported internationally can be found on the associations official website, along with the name of each country and importer. Unfortunately, much of the beef in foreign restaurants using the Kobe label is not actually the genuine article.Oftentimes, menu items such as surprisingly low-priced wagyu steak or Kobe sliders are not, in fact, from Japan. Some restaurants in the USA or Australia use a hybrid of wagyu and Angus, for example other restaurants will use 100% Angus beef that is marketed as Kobe-style.There are very few restaurants selling real Kobe beef overseas, and those that do serve it for rather high prices, so it is recommended that buyers beware.
Best Shipping Deals: Chicago Steak Company
Good technical information on each cut
Free shipping deals
Not as many options as other purveyors
Little information about farms and producers
Since the founding of the Union Stockyards meat processing complex in 1865, Chicago has been known for its meat prowess. Chicago Steak Company carries on that tradition, specializing in Midwest-sourced, USDA prime beef. The Wagyu beef options cover the basestheres boneless strip, filet mignon, ribeye, flat iron, burgers, and a few combination boxes.
Chicago Steak Company also shares a wealth of steak resources on its site, from tips on cooking steak to common mistakes to navigating what all the terms mean. The company calls it Steak University, which sounds like the best possible university one could enroll in. Chicago Steak Company also has a rewards program, offers free shipping over $129 , and sometimes has deals where you’ll get extra meat.