Masami Wagyu is a premium well marbled beef with great flavor. It comes from sustainably raised cattle in an all natural environment from Northern California. Very easy to prepare, think about some wagyu beef when planning your next date night.
Wagyu NY Cut Steak
Wagyu is a heritage breed of cattle that became globally recognized through the branding efforts of Japanese Kobe Beef. Branded Kobe Beef must come from Hyogo Prefecture in Japan and it is all Wagyu bloodline. Wagyu beef was once considered a luxury item only served in the top restaurants outside of Japan. However, accessibility through online markets and local suppliers has made it very easy to find. Consumer demand and popularity continues to increase every year. The high prices are driven by a limited supply and a strict grading criteria that varies by country.
While wagyu beef is known for its’ quality, intense marbling and flavor, like anything else there is a grading system. Among the full-blooded (100%) wagyu cattle the highest grade is A5. All American Wagyu are descended from just four original wagyu bulls. Wagyu cattle ranches in the U.S. also adhere to a grading system depending on whether it is pure wagyu or cross-bred. Often times wagyu are cross-bred with Angus or Holstein through a selective breeding process. See more information about wagyu in our article on visiting Kobe, Japan.
What there is to love about Wagyu beef
Normally, I prefer my steak cooked to a medium or even mid-well temperature. A perfect medium is brown on the edges with a warm pink center. Top quality wagyu beef from a reputable source is so good that it only needs a quick sear. I mentioned before that the best wagyu is so tender that it literally melts in your mouth. It isn’t just the texture. The fat, juices and oil create an emulsion of incredibly rich beef flavor.
You can eat a steak and say it was pretty good. We did a test one night with shabu shabu (しゃぶしゃぶ) with prime graded USDA thinly sliced short rib and Japanese wagyu short rib. The difference in flavor alone is night and day. You really don’t know how good something is until you have the highest standard to compare. Also, most of the fat in pure wagyu is unsaturated and high in linoleum acid. It isn’t plant based, but it is a healthier beef product.
This particular cut of American Wagyu came from Masami Cattle Ranch. We took a trip recently up north for a tour. See our featured article in Artisan Spotlight. While Masami does produce full-blooded wagyu cattle, this particular cut was blended with Angus (F1). What we found was a nice uniform marbling of fat with really great flavor. The texture was closer to Angus than the tenderness that you would expect in pure wagyu. At a price point of $49.99, it was worth it. Consider that top quality Japanese wagyu starts at about $90 per pound on the retail end.
PREPARING THE STEAK
Season steaks with salt and pepper on both sides. Set aside. The steaks that I bought were on the thicker side, so I like to season ahead to allow time for the meat to absorb the salt.
- Heat olive oil in a medium sized sauté pan over low heat.
- Add the garlic and cook till evenly browned on all sides. Alternatively, you can slice the garlic thin and fry the “garlic chips” till lightly browned.
- Remove and set aside.
COOKING THE WAGYU STEAK
- Increase stovetop heat to medium high.
- Preheat oven to 450F. Line a sheet pan with foil.
- Add both steaks to the sauté pan and cook for 4 minutes on each side.
- Place steaks on the sheet pan and cook in the oven for 7 minutes. The temp on this is about a medium rare. Add 2 minutes for a medium or another 5 minutes for mid-well.
- Remove the steaks from the oven and let rest for 8 minutes before slicing or serving.
*Tasting Notes: Cooking times on steaks will depend on the thickness of the cut. Our cooking times are based on an average cut of steak which is close to 1″ thick.
For the rest of the meal I found some really nice mushrooms at Draegar’s Market. It was a mix of white and brown hon-shimeji mushrooms and some gorgeous organic pink oyster mushrooms. Thinking that Valentine’s Day is around the corner, I thought these would be perfect. I had some leftover shishito peppers that I roasted in the oven and completed the meal with hot steamed rice. The kids love ponzu, so I served some on the side to dip with. Ponzu works well in sushi with the more delicate fish. It doesn’t overpower the flavor of the meat and the citric acid provides a nice balance to the rich beef.