How To Wow With Your Wagyu
So you’ve finally taken the plunge and purchased some A5 Wagyu beef. Perhaps your numbers came in on the Euros? Maybe an unexpected Transylvanian inheritance came in? Or maybe you just could not resist the temptation anymore and finally decided to tick it off the bucket list.
You’ve paid a good amount of money and now have an incredible piece of meat in front of you but what's the next step? You can't just eat it as is unless you’re a fan of tartare, so you’re going to have to get it cooked. Before your mind starts racing with horrendous images of overcooked, ruined Wagyu with an opportunity lost and money wasted, we’ve got some tips on how to get the perfect finish on your perfect piece of meat.
Luckily, the odds are in your favour on this one. Wagyu is very forgiving so don’t be intimidated.
Grass-fed Wagyu is peppered with intramuscular fat which gives it the legendary appearance. When the fat is fully cooked and rendered throughout, the meat is incredibly tender and juicy.
Of course, we’d recommend cooking your Wagyu medium or medium-rare but it’s your steak so it’s your choice. Just make sure that if you are going to cook your A5 Wagyu “well done” and then smother it in ketchup, absolutely do not post any images of it on the internet.
We’re going to go back on a few things we’ve stated in previous articles. Previously we said that you should wait for your steak to come up to room temperature before cooking and we also said that there is no need to rest your meat after it has cooked.
Now, to be clear, we stand by these points factually and the science states that you don’t need to do these things to save time in the kitchen but cooking a piece of Wagyu is more of a ceremony, a sometimes once in a lifetime event, something to be savoured at every step of the way.
So by all means cook your flank steak from cold and tuck in right away but take the extra time and enjoy the process with your Wagyu.
Cook From Warm.
About an hour before cooking, you’re going to want to remove the Wagyu from the fridge and leave it on the side to slowly come up to room temperature. Chefs believe this allows the meat to cook more evenly, the science says this process makes no difference. Take the time to admire the Wagyu on the kitchen counter for that hour even if not for the cooking benefit, worst-case scenario is you’ve got everybody in the house excited for dinner.
Salt It Out
Wagyu is an incredibly fatty and delicate meat that lends itself excellently to a good, hearty pinch of your top shelf salt. We would recommend flaky kosher salt as a standard, but we also offer a variety of specialist steak salts on www.thesteakshop.co.uk which are also worth a look!
Balance Your Heat
If your Wagyu is over an inch thick then you’re going to want to get a healthy sear on there. Add your steak to a preheated, searing hot pan for up to 2 minutes per side. Once you’ve developed a dark and robust sear, you can either drop the pan heat down or transfer it to an oven to finish cooking the inside. It’s important to get the heat right and we would recommend finishing in the oven, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, check out our post on the “reverse sear”.
Invest In A Thermometer
If you are a reader of our blogs, you’ll often hear us shouting from the rooftops about how fantastic an internal temperature probe is and how they are absolutely critical in achieving the perfect finish on your steak.
They are inexpensive, easy to use, and small enough to tuck into any drawer. You’ve just spent a solid amount on meat, you may as well spend another couple of quid on a quality thermometer.
Let It Rest
Again, previously we’ve stated that this is not a necessary step and we absolutely stand by the science that letting a steak rest after cooking does not produce a noticeable affect on the meat. However… this is no ordinary meat, this is Wagyu. Once you’ve rescued the meat from the pan or oven and it’s ready to slice, you may want to let it sit for a little minute if only just to enjoy the aroma and sensory stimulation that it provides. Not to mention the ample Instagram opportunities.
Cooking Wagyu is not at all dissimilar to cooking a “regular” steak but its sense of prestige almost demands that you take extra care with it. Take your time, remember the basics, and take your time again. Take the plunge and splurge on a piece of A5 Wagyu, you can do it, we believe in you!