How good is wagyu beef?
In my personal opinion (and each member of my family), this was one of the best steaks I’ve ever eaten. This wagyu beef steak was buttery and could easily be pulled apart without needing a knife. All that marbling turns into the ultimate juiciness and tenderness. I’m salivating just thinking about this. I’m only sad that it’s over, but Liz reminded me of the saying that goes something like: “Don’t be sad that it’s over. Be glad that it happened”.
I’ve eaten many great steaks over the years, some cooked by me and some at restaurants, but this steak was in a league of it’s own. I’d only be more glad if ‘it happened’…again.
Australian wagyu beef grading system
Australia is one of the world’s largest producers of Wagyu beef. The quality varies from farm to farm and from region to region. In Australia, wagyu beef quality is measured with the AUS-MEAT marbling system.
This scale measures from 0, pretty much no marbling, to 9+ which is next level marbling. The steak we’re featuring here on our blog was graded at 8 to 9. It’s pretty much the best steak that you and I can buy on the market.
Restaurant-quality steak at home
Cooking a wagyu beef steak can feel intimidating. I’ve cooked many-a-steak, and even I felt a bit nervous about this one. I mean…. I’d just spent all this money and I was worried I might mess it up. Nobody wants to feel like they burned that much money on the grill if they don’t get to enjoy it in its full glory.
Fear not. If you follow the steps below, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have one of the best steaks of your life, and, you’ll be so proud of yourself!
There are a few steps I can’t stress enough. They apply to all steak, not just wagyu, and they could be the difference between a good steak and a great steak. I’m pretty sure I know which you’d prefer to achieve.
- Rest, rest, rest your steak before cooking it! It has to be at room temperate.
- Rest, rest, rest your steak after you’ve finished cooking it. This allows the juices to redistribute inside the steak before cutting into it. If you cut into it as soon as it comes off the pan or grill, you’ll lose those juices and your steak will become dry.
- Use a quick-read meat thermometer. Seasoned cooks and chefs who cook steak for a living know when steak is ready just by poking it. Less resistance means less done, and more resistance means more well done. Most people don’t have that kind of training or experience, however. The easy solution is to use a thermometer. Simply poke the thermometer into the centre of the steak and read the temperature. Cook it it to between two and five degrees under the final temperature you’re looking for. The steak will continue to cook a touch while it’s resting (see the previous bullet). I stopped at 130 ºF for a scrumptious medium-rare.
Is wagyu beef expensive?
Absolutely! You’re paying a lot for this type of meat, but you get what you pay for. These animals are raised with a lot of care and effort. I’ve even heard that some farmers of high-end cattle actually play music to the cattle to relax them.
For most of us, this is a real treat–a rare and occasional luxury.
The way I looked at it was that if we went to a quality steak house, we would pay just about the same or more for a decent steak dinner. By cooking this steak at home, I removed the cost of someone doing the work for me (and serving me and cleaning up after me). Think of it as a nice outing, but with one of the best cuts of meat on earth.
It was a real treat for us. I only bought one wagyu steak and when it was done, and done resting, the kids, Liz and I literally stood around the cutting board in the kitchen, after she’d taken the photo, and we ate it up from there while it was still warm. We savoured and appreciated every bite and it was all we could talk about after that. Our little guy actually described it as being smooth like butter. I was happy our kids got to experience something so special with us.
It’s not an experience most of us get to have very often, but I think it’ll be one that you’ll remember for a long time. It’s certainly the case for us.
I hope you get to treat yourself to something unique and special, like this, and that you make today yummy!
Australian Wagyu steak seared on cast iron… freaking amazing!
- 12 oz Australian wagyu steak 1 inch thick
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- Finishing or flaked salt
- Heat your cast iron pan on the BBQ or stove top. Make sure it’s really hot!
- Let the steak rest at room temperature between 45 and 60 minutes.
- Just before you’re ready to cook the steak, season the steak with the kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Make sure to season both sides.
- Place the steak on the pan. You don’t need to add any oil or butter at this stage. The fat in the steak will start to render onto the pan.
- Wait about 3.5 to 4 minutes and turn over the steak.
- After about a minute on the second side, add the butter, garlic and thyme to the pan.
- As soon as the butter starts melting, tilt the pan (protect your hand from the heat) and baste the butter over the steak with a spoon. Do this for about 1 minute.
- Cook the steak for a total of 3 to 4 minutes on the second side. Use a quick read meat thermometer to make sure it’s your favourite doneness. We cooked ours to 130 ºF.
- Place the steak on a cutting board, tent it with some tinfoil and let it rest between 5 and 10 minutes.
- Cut into the steak and enjoy one of the best steaks on earth!