To all Wagyu!

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Curiosity and advice on how to best make one of the finest meats on the planet

The Wagyu beef is one of the finest meats and expensive of the world’s culinary landscape, famous for its delicate taste and its accentuatissima marbling which gives it a unique tenderness envied by many breeders. Originally from the Rising Sun, the name is composed of the words “Wa” which means Japan and “Gyu” literally: beef . The element that is taken into consideration for cataloging the quality of Wagyu meat is marbling. The popular Japanese meat, in fact, is divided into 12 categories based on the marbling present inside the fabric;the more the meat will present fatty infiltrations the more it will be considered precious and delicious to the taste. One of the peculiarities of this excellence is to be found in the fact that the fat begins to melt at very low temperatures, between 27 and 30 degrees, softening the meat and giving it a unique flavor on the palate. The most famous Wagyu beef is from Kobe , a small town located in Hyogo prefecture . However, only Wagyu can be registered with the “Beef of Kobe” trademark , as well as being born and bred in Hyogo prefecture, they have a marbling range between 6 and 12.Steers who do not meet the latter requirement cannot claim the title “Kobe Beef”, but will be certified as “Tajima Beef” . Although it has enjoyed great fame for years, the arrival of Wagyu meat in Europe is recent because of the restrictive laws on the export of this product beyond Japanese borders. Outside Japan, Wagyu meat also has farms in Italy, Australia and the United States , but not all animals are purebred, many are in fact the result of crossbreeding between the Japanese cattle and native breeds (such as Angus in the USA). Personally I consider Wagyu meat to be the most suitable for my cooking style:soft, juicy, tasty and suitable for extreme contrasts, such as combinations with sea urchins and caviar.

The best way to cook and serve this type of meat is the “Yakiniku” , a typical Asian style of cooking which consists of a grill placed in the center of the table and at the complete disposal of the customer. On March 18th 2019 , during the Gran Gala organized by So Wine So Food magazine , I had the honor of cooking a dish based on Wagyu, coming from “Wagyu Suedtirol” , a small farm in Renon (Bz), next to stars Enrico Cerea , chef patron of the restaurant “Da Vittorio”.

For the evening I decided to take advantage of all the good things that Wagyu offers, from meat to bone and fat ; the dish was, in fact, a tribute to this amazing raw material and to my friend Stefan Rottensteiner, owner of the company mentioned above.

The course consisted of a sirloin tataki, a mayonnaise whipped with Wagyu fat and flavored with Wasabi, a base with red wine and bones, and finally an onion cooked in vinegar to counterbalance the marked fatness of the dish.

Just for you readers of So Wine So Food I have created a menu entirely dedicated to this famous beef:

-Entree: Battuta di Wagyu, marinated quail yolk and Ponzu.

– Appetizer: Tataki sirloin, mayonnaise whipped with Wagyu fat and flavored with Wasabi, bone and red wine base, onion cooked in vinegar.

-First: Paccheri, Wagyu stew with myrtle, goat fondue.

-Second: Shabu Shabu with tongue, mandarin dashi and peanut sauce.

-Dessert: Wagyu fat shortcrust pastry , yuzu cream, canned kumquats.

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