Wagyu Beef

Where to get it, how to cook it

Heat the oils together in a small saucepan until very hot but not smoking. Pour an equal amount of hot oil over the meat slices on each plate to lightly sear. Serve immediately with chopsticks.

Serves six.

Pan-Cooked Wagyu Strip Steaks

Grilling is not the best idea for Wagyu steaks. First of all, Kobe-style meat seems to stick to the grill, which can tear your steaks apart. And second, you aren't trying to get rid of the fat, you're trying to retain it. Try this pan-cooking method instead. Don't overcook it. Kobe-style steak is eaten rare, like sushi.

1 Wagyu strip steak
1 clove garlic, minced
Freshly ground pepper
Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Heat a skillet over high heat on the range. Rub the steak with the garlic and fresh-ground pepper. Put the steak in the skillet for a few minutes until the meat is seared. Turn the steak and put it in the oven. Allow to cook for another five to eight minutes or until the meat is slightly cooked on the outside and red in the center. Slice and season with salt to taste.

Barbecued Wagyu Brisket

Be sure you are using an untrimmed brisket with the deckle and fat cap still attached if you are going to make barbecued brisket. The Kobe Beef America brisket sold by Arrowhead Game Meats is perfect for this purpose.

8- to 11-pound untrimmed Wagyu brisket
2 tablespoons sea salt
2 tablespoons fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon ground chile powder or paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Barbecue sauce of your choice (optional)

Thirty-six hours before you intend to eat, rinse the brisket and pat dry. Combine the spices. Sprinkle all surfaces of the meat with the dry rub and work it in. Cover the meat with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Twelve hours before you intend to eat, light some charcoal in a starter chimney. Pour the hot coals into your fire box and add wood. Put the brisket in the smoker, fat side up and thick end toward the fire. Control the intensity of the fire to maintain a temperature between 250 and 300 degrees F. Add charcoal and/or wood every hour or so to keep the fire burning evenly. After five or six hours, the brisket should register an internal temperature of around 150 degrees F.

Wrap the brisket in heavy-duty aluminum foil and allow to cook on the smoker wrapped in the foil for two more hours. (Or move to a 300-degree oven.) The meat is done when a thermometer reads 185 degrees F at the thick end or when a probe goes through with little resistance. Slice the meat at the last possible moment and do not remove the fat cap until you are ready to slice and serve the meat.

May be eaten with or without barbecue sauce.

Texas Wagyu Chili

You can cut a chunk off a brisket or use Wagyu hamburger patties to make this deluxe Texas chili, but either way you will be in chili heaven.

2 dried ancho chiles, seeded and stemmed
1 dried guajillo, pasilla or red chile, seeded and stemmed
One and a half pounds Wagyu brisket or hamburger meat
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
Salt to taste
2 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons flour

In a saucepan, bring three cups of water to a boil. Turn off the heat. Put the chiles in the hot water. Place a plate on top of the chilems to submerge them, and allow them to soak for one hour. Discard the soaking liquid. Remove the chiles and place them in a blender with one cup of fresh water and process on high for a few minutes. Pour the puree through a strainer into a mixing bowl or large measuring cup, using a spatula or a wooden spoon to push it through. Extract as much puree as possible and discard the skin left in the strainer. Reserve the puree.

If you're using unground meat, cut the beef into quarter-inch dice or put it through a meat grinder with a half-inch chili plate. In a Dutch oven on medium-high flame, heat the vegetable oil. Sauté the onions until soft, about three minutes, then add the meat. Brown the meat for five minutes or until no longer pink and add the garlic and spices, cook another minute and season with salt to taste.

Add the reserved chile puree and one cup of beef broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Simmer for two hours or until the meat is extremely tender, adding beef broth to maintain a soupy consistency.

When the meat is tender, combine the flour with water in a cup, mixing to form a slurry with no lumps. Pour the flour mixture into the chili, stirring vigorously to mix throughout. Simmer a few more minutes to thicken. Serve immediately. Excellent over tamales, with beans or in Wagyu Frito Pie avec Chèvre (see recipe below).

Wagyu Frito Pie avec Chèvre

You will wake up in the middle of the night craving one more bite of this ultimate Frito pie.

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