Know Your Meat: Rich, Delicate Wagyu Beef

While cows are not native to Japan, the strains of cattle that have grown in Japan’s remote pastures are unlike any others in the world.


The result is beef that the rest of the world can’t seem to get enough of. The Japanese call their domestic breeds of cattle “Wagyu,” and Wagyu beef has exploded in popularity in the last few decades—for good reason.

Wagyu beef is known for its delicate texture, thorough marbling, and rich flavor. By far the most famous type is the Kobe Beef produced exclusively in Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture. You may have heard rumours of how well Kobe cows are treated: that they are fed beer and sake, and given massages.

Unfortunately, Japan hardly exports any of its beef to the outside world. (That means that it’s still impossible to get genuine Kobe beef in Canada, sad to say.) But today you don’t have to go any farther than an Edmonton meat market to taste the unique qualities of Wagyu beef.

Enterprising ranchers have imported Wagyu cattle to North America and Australia, and have been producing delicious Wagyu beef for decades. Some ranchers have preserved the Japanese strains and reproduced Japanese feeding methods to create a product as close as possible to the domestic beef enjoyed in Japan. Other ranchers have cross-bred Wagyu with Angus cattle, producing a darker beef that is more tender than Angus beef and has a bolder flavor than pure Wagyu beef. The Wagyu beef that D’Arcy’s offers comes from this more robust Wagyu-Angus hybrid.
Wagyu beef is tender and rich—it can be almost buttery, with more fat marbled through the muscle than almost any other kind of meat. In fact, you will need to cook it carefully to preserve its texture. The marbled fat melts at only 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius). You want the fat to just begin to melt, but not to liquefy and run out, leaving the meat dry. It’s best to cook a Wagyu steak rare, and quickly. First, bring your steak all the way up to room temperature. To cook it, sear the outside on a hot pan, at a slightly lower heat than you would use to sear a typical steak. Doing this properly will give you a flavorful steak that melts in your mouth. You’ll want to slice it very thin (like the Japanese serve it) to fully appreciate its rich and delicate texture.

D’Arcy’s is proud to carry this exquisite flavor. Wagyu beef is in high demand whenever it’s available and supplies are limited, so we won’t be able to guarantee stock in-store. Call first if you like! You’ll want to come by quickly to try it for yourself and find out why so many people are excited

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