What Sets Wagyu Steak Apart?
Translated from Japanese, Wagyu means “black cow.” But it’s not your ordinary black cow. Wagyu is a specific breed of Japanese cattle known for its genetic disposition to grow intramuscular fat. This marbling of fat within the muscles translates to unparalleled tenderness and juiciness, earning Wagyu beef the reputation of being the caviar of the meat world.
A History of Wagyu Beef and the Kansas City Cattle Company
Wagyu beef has a fascinating history. It was brought to Japan from China in the second century AD, primarily used for transportation and as a source of fertilizer. The consumption of beef was initially prohibited by Buddhist leaders. However, in the early 20th century, the Japanese government implemented registration and selection of “improved Japanese Cattle.” The Tajima strain, raised in the Hy?go Prefecture, is the only Japanese beef cattle classified as Kobe beef.
In America, one farmer is making American Wagyu beef accessible to the world. Patrick Montgomery, a former member of the 1st Ranger Battalion and the owner of the Kansas City Cattle Company, took a gamble when he entered the cattle auction after leaving the military. His passion, combined with an Animal Science degree, led him to establish the KCCC Full Blood 100% Wagyu herd.
The Distinction Between Japanese and American Wagyu Beef
Japanese Wagyu beef has a long-standing reputation for being incredibly rich. Derived from full-blood Wagyu cattle, it features an abundance of fat that melts in your mouth and is typically consumed in small amounts. However, the cost of raising Japanese Wagyu beef is astronomical. In the 1970s, American farmers began exporting their purebred Wagyu steaks to Japan. However, in 2003, Japan stopped importing beef from America due to the discovery of Mad Cow Disease.
To address this, American beef farmers started cross-breeding Angus and Wagyu breeds to create American Wagyu beef. This high-quality steak boasts exceptional marbling and is scientifically proven to contain higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and omega-3 fatty acids.
Understanding the Grades of Wagyu Beef
The Beef Marbling Standard (BMS) rating determines the quality of Wagyu beef. An A5 grade represents the pinnacle of Wagyu excellence, surpassing even the USDA prime grade. You won’t find a higher grading than A5, and surprisingly, you can even find A5 grade Wagyu ribeye steaks at Costco.
Cooking Tips for Wagyu Beef
When it comes to cooking Wagyu beef, improper preparation can ruin the experience. Avoid grilling it at high temperatures, as the high fat content makes it susceptible to disaster. Instead, opt for a piping hot cast iron skillet and cook the steak quickly, aiming for a rare to medium-rare doneness. This method brings out the best buttery flavors of Wagyu beef.
Where to Buy Wagyu Steak
Fortunately, there are numerous options for purchasing this gourmet delicacy. One of our top recommendations is the Kansas City Cattle Company, where you can find an array of Wagyu beef products, including bratwursts, ground beef, and beef chorizo, all made from their farm-raised American Wagyu beef.
Other reputable sources for Wagyu beef include Costco, Holy Grail Steak Co., and Crowd Cow.
Now that you have a deeper understanding of the world of Wagyu beef, it’s time to indulge in its unmatched flavor and tenderness. Treat yourself to the ultimate steak experience with Hook’d Up Bar and Grill’s Wagyu selection.