The Popularity Of Surf N’ Turf

Surf N’ Turf Montreal

Surf and Turf is one of the most popular items on any steakhouse menu. The finest cut of aged beef served alongside fresh seafood.

History of Surf N’ Turf

Surf and Turf has been on menus for a long time now – since the mid 1960s when it first made its debut. Some culinary historians will tell you that this dish had its start in the state of Washington in the city of Seattle. The first dish could have been served in 1962 in the restaurant at the very top of the Seattle Space Needle during the World’s Fair.

But then the battle with East Coast food historians begins, with that side of the country claiming that this classic menu item was first served in a restaurant in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1966 after an ad in the local paper advertised it as a “Continental Original”.

Either way, Surf and Turf has been delighting both steak and seafood lovers for over fifty years, giving them the best of both culinary tastes.

Surf N’ Turf Around The World

Other countries have their own style of serving seafood and steak. When you ordered Surf and Turf off the menu in Dublin, Ireland it wasn’t just one serving for each person that appeared at your table. What was presented was a large tray that was filled with fresh fish that had been caught that very day, such as lobster, sole, and prawns. Another tray held different cuts of steak, all the way from porterhouse to fillet mignon.

Depending on where you dine today, restaurants are going to have their own versions of Surf and Turf. The favorite combination of steak and seafood is a grilled filet mignon served with a lobster tail. Or a grilled sirloin with butterfly shrimp. But these isn’t the only combinations available, not by a long short.

Getting Inventive With Steak And Seafood

Chefs around the world are getting inventive with what two duos they serve together. And it’s no longer just a grilled steak side by side with seafood – there are some unique versions of Surf and Turf making their appearance.

One Thai restaurant is serving its version by pairing briny uni with a dry-aged porterhouse steak. Still other chefs are serving beef burgers with a side of shrimp, grilled scallops with lamb ravioli, and seafood dumplings with a grilled sirloin.

Surf N’ Turf At Home

The next time you’re getting ready to grill up a steak at home, come up with your own versions of the classic. The sky is the limit when it comes to seafood – blackened sockeye salmon, grilled sea bass, or breaded shrimp. And for the steak, why not try a juicy sirloin or even a skirt steak.

It doesn’t matter what variation of Surf and Turf you make, so long as you’re getting a juicy, tender cut of steak with fresh seafood.

Exploring New Tastes In Cigars

Cigar Lounge in Montreal

Cigars. They’re made all around the world, each unique with their own tasting flavors and characteristics. We all have our favorite, the one we always reach for at the end of a good meal. Or the one that we can kick back with at the end of a long day, relaxing as we smoke in silence.

Why not step out of your comfort zone and explore some new tastes and flavors in your cigar at the best cigar lounge in Montreal?

What Taste Is All About

In order to fully taste a cigar and recognize what makes it unique, you need to know a little about what the taste is all about. Because there are lot of little complex things that make up the taste, such as the climate where the tobacco is grown, the variety of tobacco, and the soil its grown in. Those are the first variables that go into the makings of taste.

Then there’s the aging process of the tobacco and where the cigar is manufactured. So many distinctions that can ultimately alter the taste based on even the smallest conditions that sometimes even manufacturers aren’t able to distinguish. Until it comes to the wrapper.

It’s All In The Wrapper

Yes, it’s the wrapper that is your biggest clue about that new taste in cigars you’re about to explore. Wrappers are all different, unique to where the tobacco was grown, but you’ll still be able to get a good indication of the quality. For instance, if there’s oil in the wrapper you’ll know that the cigar has good humidity and will give you a nice cool smoke.

The Age Of Tobacco

Still another way that taste differs from one cigar to the next is the age of the tobacco. The more aged the leaf is, the richer and smoother the cigar is going to be. Cigars that are too freshly rolled aren’t going to give you that full rounded taste – instead what you’re getting is a sharper taste. Which isn’t always a bad thing, just different.

The Finishing Aftertaste

Once you start exploring new cigars, the finish is your deciding factor of whether you’ve found a new favorite or are ready to move on to the next cigar. The finish, or aftertaste, is that enjoyment of flavor that lasts long after the taste and smell of a cigar have passed…it’s that lingering of complex flavors, and the longer it lingers the better you’ll be able to enjoy.

Tips For Cigar Tasting

If you’re going to be tasting more than one cigar at a time, you’ll want to smoke the mildest first so that you build up to stronger tastes. Another suggestion – don’t always reach for those strongest cigars when you’re trying new tastes. Otherwise you’ll overpower your palate, making it more difficult for you to taste the nuances and complexities of mild and medium cigars.

No matter what cigars you decide to try next, enjoy the process from start to finish, relishing the aftertaste of new flavors from different tobacco regions of the world.

Don’t Waste That Leftover Steak!

Best Steakhouse in Montreal

Whether you have leftover steak that you couldn’t finish when you dined out last night at your favorite steakhouse, or you grilled steak on the BBQ at home, you never want to waste a great steak! Get creative and you can make some great meals with any cut of steak that’s already been cooked to perfection.

Beef Stroganoff

Nothing is easier that cooking up beef stroganoff for a quick meal. This classic dish is great with leftover steak. Sauté up some onions and mushrooms, add the beef and make a rustic sauce. Then serve over broad noodles along with a green salad and garlic bread. Don’t forget to pair with glass of red wine. Great cuts of steak for stroganoff are a rib eye or skirt.

Steak Pizza

Think outside the box and make homemade pizza with a steak topping. Top pizza dough with marinara tomato sauce, sliced steak, and any other toppings that catch your eye. Top with a combination of cheese – cheddar, mozzarella, and jalapeno Monterey Jack. Any leftover cut of steak will work well in this dish. Serve this one with a nice cold beer.

Hash And Eggs For Breakfast

Don’t forget breakfast, the most important meal of the day that’s even better with leftover steak. Replace the classic corned beef with steak in this dish. Grill up onions, red peppers, and diced tomatoes. Add finely chopped leftover steak. Then top with poached eggs, serving with a side of salsa. Leftover skirt steak is a good choice for this dish. And a Bloody Mary of course. Perfect for a weekend brunch.

Steak Sandwiches With Jus

This classic French dip sandwich is easy to make when you’ve got a nice cut of leftover steak. Making the jus takes just a few minutes; then thinly slice the steak and slowly heat in the jus before layering onto toasted French bread. Serve with jus and horseradish on the side for an added kick. A glass of Merlot will do nicely with this easy to prepare lunch.

Beef Stir Fry

You can’t go wrong with a stir fry…and you can use any vegetables that you happen to have in the kitchen. Consider broccoli and beef, adding oyster sauce and plenty of garlic. Thinly slice and add the steak last so you don’t overcook and lose the tenderness of the beef. A light red wine is a good choice for a stir fry. Or a Pinot Grigio if you’re a white wine drinker.

Fajitas

Go Mexican and use up that leftover steak in a fajita. Grill onions, green and red peppers, and garlic in a skillet. Add the thinly sliced steak and cook just to warm. Pile onto a wrap and top with homemade guacamole, salsa, and sour cream. Serve with a cold Mexican beer…then kick back and watch a movie.

With these tasty ways to use up steak, you’ll be tempted to make sure you have leftovers the next time you dine out or grill a juicy steak at home.

The History of Cigars

History of cigars

You thoroughly enjoy your cigar after a good meal, taking part in what has long been a tradition around the world. There’s a lot of history behind the cigar, with many famous smokers known for their obsession to this relaxing pastime.

Early History

If the artifacts have it right, the earliest sign of cigars can be found in Guatemala in the 10th century. A ceramic pot from this era shows the image of an ancient Mayan smoking a bundle of tobacco leaves. Jump to 1492 when Columbus sailed to the Americas and discovered tobacco, taking it back with him on his return to Spain.

The Spanish quickly learned how to wrap dried tobacco in specialized paper – smoking became a refined art not only in Spain but very quickly around Europe.

In 1560 tobacco was introduced to the rest of Europe by Jean Nicot of France – his name is where we get the word “nicotine”. The pleasure of smoking quickly moved to the UK and other countries in Europe. However, smoking tobacco was not seen as acceptable by some. Both King James I of England and King Phillip II of Spain considered smoking to be an evil pastime. Despite their protests, smoking tobacco increased in popularity, with more and more companies forming to grow the product for commercial use.

Ideal Growing Conditions of Cuba

Cigars were first manufactured in Spain, but it didn’t take them long to find out that Cuba had the ideal growing conditions for tobacco. And it didn’t take long for Cuban cigars to become coveted around the world, which they still are today. Meanwhile Spain pushed back, wanting to remain the leader in the cigar industry. This forced some cigar manufacturers to relocate their business to the state of Florida, where growing conditions were also superior. By the mid 20th century Tampa Florida was well known as “Cigar City”.

Notorious Cigar Aficionados

Throughout the United States cigar smoking became more and more popular. The famous author, Mark Twain, was known to have said, “If smoking is not allowed in heaven, I shall not go”. Twain supposedly smoked 22 stogies each day.

Al Capone, the famous gangster from the 1920s, was another well-known cigar smoker. After being picked up for bootlegging, gambling, and tax evasion in the 1930s, Capone enjoyed one last cigar before heading off to jail.

Cigar Types

Even in its early history, there were several different types of cigars. One of the most popular in the 1800s was the Figurado. They had an irregular shape that made them unusual and unique. They were also very expensive to produce and even more expensive to buy. You can still find Figurado cigars if you’re collecting memorabilia. Look for Presidente, Toscano, and Torpedo.

Another popular cigar from the 1800s was the Parejo. Its long cylinder shape was similar to what the Mayan Indians created. There are several different types of Parejo – Carlota, Corona, and the Toro. There are also some that are named after important men who were avid cigar smokers – Lonsdale, Churchill, and Rothschild.

Next time you enjoy your after-dinner cigar, remember there’s a lot of history to this longstanding ritual.

Best Knives for Your Steak Dinner

Steak Knife

One steak knife is not like the other. When you have a serious cut of steak in front of you, you need a steak knife that will cut the meat correctly without shredding it to pieces. Most of us have a good kitchen knife or two, the one you turn to when you need to cut food with ease and precision. The same goes for a steak knife – it needs to be sharp and easy to handle.

Types of Steak Knives

There are a few different types of knives to choose from: serrated, micro-serrated, straight-edge, or hollow-edge.

Serrated Steak Knives

Serrated knives cut your steak into perfect bite-sized pieces with a little bit of a ragged edge.

Micro-Serrated Knives

A knife with a micro-serrated edge is similar to a straight-edge knife – they cut meat with a clean edge but the knife itself has small microscopic serrations in the blade, so it doesn’t get dull as quickly as the straight-edge.

Straight-Edged Steak Knives

Cutting your steak with a straight-edge leaves a clean and smooth edge on the meat. You’ll need to sharpen the blade frequently to keep the cut straight and the edge sharp.

Hollow-Edge Knives

Knives with a hollow edge have indentations set into the edge of the blade. The cut is smooth with just a slight ridge from the indents, which are there to prevent your steak from sticking to the edge of the blade. These knives are good for cutting thinner slices of meat.

Knife Handles

A steak knife should be easy and comfortable to hold. Some knife brands have handles that are more for appearance than they are for functionality. Choose a steak knife for how it feels in your hand and not how it looks. There are several different types of handles available – stainless steel, chrome, hardwood, and polyoxymethylene.

Blade Material

Steak knives are made with different materials. Carbon steel is a common material for knives – it’s tough and long-lasting, and the blades are easy to sharpen. Stainless steel is also a popular material – it resists rust, is durable, and known for its longevity. Another type of stainless steel is the high-carbon steel blade. These knives have a nicely balanced edge. Becoming more popular these days are ceramic steak knives. The blade is typically coated with zirconium dioxide and needs less sharpening than stainless or carbon steel.

No matter what material your steak knives are made from, keep them out of the dishwasher. Handwashing will keep knives sharper for a longer period of time.

Best Steak Knife?

While micro-serrated, straight-edge, and hollow-edge knives are all good for cutting steak, the best choice is a serrated knife. The light serrations on the blade ensure an easy cut through the meat, keeping the steak tender and juicy.

A cheap knife can make a great cut of steak seem chewy and hard to eat. A good steak knife should cut through the meat like butter, smoothly and evenly. Your favorite steakhouse invests in a good set of steak knives…do the same at home so you can enjoy steak like a pro.

Steak and Cigar – The Perfect Pairing

Steak and Cigars

What’s not to love about a steakhouse and cigar lounge – where you can enjoy a perfectly cooked rare steak and a fine cigar. Over the past few years, cigar lounges have become more and more sought after. But just what is a cigar lounge and why is it even more enjoyable when paired with steak and fine dining?

The popularity of cigar lounges

Cigar lounges are a great way for anyone who loves cigars to enjoy them in the company of others who appreciate the same relaxing and satisfying experience. There are a few different kinds of cigar lounges.

Restaurants with a cigar lounge

These types of lounges are perfect – you can enjoy the experience of sampling different types of cigars while having a great meal. You can sit back and savor two of the things you love – food and cigars.

Lounges in cigar shops

You’ll find a few of these types of lounges in North America – a lounge within a cigar shop. Expand on your knowledge of cigars – then purchase your favorite and enjoy in the lounge.

Public cigar lounges

The main purpose of these cigar lounges is to socialise with others who love a fine cigar as much as you do. These lounges are great when you want to polish your knowledge about cigars with other cigar smokers.

Lounges for members only

Only registered members and their guests allowed for these cigar lounges. Don’t let that deter you…become a member.

Choosing the right cigar

If you’re a cigar aficionado, you know that a fine cigar is a satisfying way to end a great meal. But not just any cigar will do. Just like different wines are paired with food, so are cigars.

When you’re deciding on what cigar to pair with your meal try to keep one thing in mind – the cigar should complement the food so the flavors work together in perfect harmony.

Follow some of the same guidelines for cigars and food as you do when choosing the perfect wine or whisky with your meal. For wine, red wine brings out the flavors of heavier foods. And white wine enhances the flavors of lighter dishes. The same guidelines can be applied to cigars and food. Cigars have just as many complex tastes and subtle tones as any glass of wine.

Pairing food and cigars

Coronas pair well with appetizers of cheeses and olives. Coronas have a light smoke and won’t over-power your meal. This cigar also goes well with a simple fish dish, a nice mellowness to a fresh meal.

If you’re dining on steak and potatoes look for a cigar that’s more full-bodied, such as an Oscuro or Maduro. Both have a deep and rich flavor, making them robust enough to be enjoyed with a perfectly grilled steak.

The satisfaction of a good cigar before or after a steak

Very few things in life beat a good cigar before or after eating a delicious rib eye steak and a baked potato. There’s something satisfying and fulfilling about sitting back after a great meal and lighting up.

Some people enjoy a cigar before a meal as it sensitizes their taste buds and make the meal taste that much better. After ordering your meal, sit back with your glass of wine or glass of whiskey and cleanse your palate in preparation for a perfectly cooked filet mignon.

Others prefer to enjoy a cigar after they’ve eaten, rounding out the flavors of a great meal.

There are no hard and fast rules – before or after – pairing your cigar with a steak is what life is all about.

Smoking a finely rolled cigar continues to grow in popularity. Being able to enjoy the taste and aroma in the comfort and style of a steakhouse is one of the great pleasures in life!

It’s Healthy! So…Steak Anytime of the Day

Montreal Steak

There’s no doubt about it, lingering at the dinner table enjoying a delicious meal of steak is a great way to end your busy day. But this healthy protein option isn’t just for dinner – it’s for breakfast and lunch as well.

Steak for breakfast

The concept of having steak for breakfast isn’t a new one – steak has been on the breakfast menu for years. What is new is actually enjoying your breakfast with a great cut and cook of steak instead of just a basic cut of meat that’s been thrown in the pan and overcooked until it’s too tough to eat.

What’s the best cut for breakfast steak?

There isn’t a right or wrong answer – any cut of steak will taste good in the morning. There are however some reasons for choosing one over another. Tender steaks, such as a ribeye, are best if you’re grilling them alone and then just serving alongside eggs and potatoes.

If you’re having steak cooked into hash or putting it inside a burrito with other ingredients, a flat iron steak is ideal.

Why steak is a healthy breakfast choice

Steak is a healthy choice for breakfast – it’s full of healthy protein, it can fill you up for the next few hours until lunch, and it’s fast and easy to make. Add eggs and grilled tomatoes to the dish and you’ve got a well-rounded breakfast that you can quickly get used to eating every morning.

Other reasons why steak is great breakfast choice: there are a lot of nutrients and vitamins in red meat. When you eat red meat in moderation, it provides your body with an excellent source of protein. Some of the main nutrients in steak include iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamins B12 and B6, and zinc.

When it comes to a healthy steak breakfast, don’t overcook your meat. A steak that is grilled to medium or medium rare has more Vitamins B6 and A than a steak that’s too well done.

Little known breakfast trivia

The next time you’re doubting having a steak breakfast just remember that it’s the choice of astronauts. Eating steak for breakfast before heading off to space became a custom on May 5th, 1961. Before his flight on the Freedom 7, Al Shepard ate a breakfast of eggs, tea, orange juice….and a filet mignon steak. Since that first NASA steak breakfast, eating steak before being launched into space has been become a tradition among astronauts.

Steak for lunch

Most people shy away from eating at steak at lunch – they think it’s too heavy a protein to enjoy in the middle of the day and that they’ll be sleepy after eating a steak meal. Not true at all. If you dine on a steak with light side dishes at lunch, you’ll be energized and ready for the afternoon. And if your steak is a little on the big side, you have all afternoon to wear off those extra calories.

Steak and your heart

Many people avoid eating steak – they’ve been told that red meat is bad for the heart and that you should avoid it altogether. This is far from the truth. Steak contains fat, but it’s a healthy, saturated fat that’s used by your body for multiple functions. It may help to improve your cholesterol levels, which can help to reduce your risk of heart disease.

Best cuts of steak for health

Some cuts of meat are leaner than others. Top sirloin has more protein that other lean cuts. Although it has up to 10 grams of fat for each serving, 6 of those grams are unsaturated fat…and good for you. A top round is lean and tender, with lots of flavor. The same for steaks from the bottom round roast – steak from this cut of beef is lean but can be tough so it’s usually marinated for a few hours before grilling.

The next time you’re in the mood for steak, don’t limit yourself to dinner…it’s a healthy and lean choice of protein that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The Irresistible Blackened Steak

Steakhouse in Montreal

You’ve seen it on the menu a thousand times – a blackened steak. Yet for some reason you always pass by this menu item, choosing instead the filet mignon wrapped in bacon or the ribeye that’s been grilled to perfection. While there are many choices at the best steakhouse in Montreal, it’s time to give the blackened steak the chance is deserves – next time you see it on the menu be sure to give it a try.

What is a blackened steak?

Not all steakhouse menus have a blackened steak. Traditionally, the method of blackening a steak has been used more in the south than in the north. In the south, many dishes are influenced by the Cajun cuisine. The blackened steak falls into this category.

Blackening is a cooking technique that is used on more than just steak. In many southern restaurants, chefs use the process for chicken, fish, game, and even for some vegetarian dishes such as blackened and grilled vegetables. Blackening on steak is an exceptional way to seal in the juiciness of the steak and make your mouth water.

There’s really only one way to get blackened steak, and that’s to use a cast iron skillet. The technique is all about searing the steak in the pan over very high heat. You want an almost-burnt crust to develop on the steak while keeping the inside tender and at just the right temperature.

What cuts of steak are best?

At first, blackened steak might not sound very appealing, but if it’s on the menu you can be assured the chef has gotten it right. Chefs will use some of the most popular cuts of meat when using the blackening technique, such as a ribeye or a New York strip. The reason these cuts are used is because they don’t have a lot of extra fat and they can be cooked evenly all over. Once they’ve been blackened and have a crust, they’re still tender and juicy inside.

It’s all about the seasoning

Blackened steak isn’t just about the seared crust on the meat, it’s also about the seasoning. It’s this spice blend that’s going to make the steak smell enticing and taste exciting. The seasoning needs to be intense and deep…and most often these seasonings have a Cajun influence to them.

Many chefs adjust the spices according to their own preference, using a combination of different spices, taking them from a basic blackening spice to Creole all the way to authentic Cajun.

The difference in spicy seasonings

A really good blackening spice provides just enough heat, a deepness of flavor, and some undertones of combined spices. All blends of blackening spices are made with some basic ingredients that can include pepper, paprika, onion powder, and garlic. Using just these base ingredients makes a delicious spice mix for blackening any steak.

There are a few other ingredients that chefs add to spice things up even more. An authentic Cajun seasoning is usually the spiciest, getting a lot of heat with the addition of cayenne pepper. Creole seasonings often have a few herbs thrown into the mix, such as basil and oregano.

Unique seasoning blends

You don’t need to stick with the Cajun influenced blackened spice blend. If you’re making your own blackened steak at home, dare to be a little adventurous. Use this unique blend that adds a different flavor to the steak, no matter what cut you decide to use: black pepper, black salt, smoked paprika, black garlic powder, and Porcini mushroom powder. You may have to visit a specialty spice shop to find some of these spices…but the trip will be well worth it.

What to eat with blackened steak

You don’t want the side dishes to overwhelm and take away from the great taste of your blackened steak. Stick with subtle side dishes that are going to enhance the flavor. Grilled onions, zucchini, and green beans are a nice choice.

Another great side dish option is a simple green salad and grilled tomatoes. Be sure to grill the tomatoes in the same skillet you blackened the steak in.

The next time blackened steak is a menu option, be sure to order it!

The Best Pairing for Cigars, Food, and Drink

Cigar Lounge Montreal

There’s not much better than enjoying a great cigar before, during, or after a meal. Is there an art to pairing your cigar with the right food or drink? You can never go wrong with any cigar. But there are some foods and alcoholic drinks that go better with some cigars than with others.

Cigars and seafood

Seafood, no matter how full of flavor it is, tends to be quite light in taste. The cigar you smoke during or after a meal of salmon, lobster, or mussels should also be on the light side. If you choose a cigar that’s full of flavor and body, you’re quickly going to cover up the taste of the seafood. Pick a cigar that has at most a medium body so that the aroma of the cigar stands out and blends with your meal.

Cigars that complement pasta

Many pasta dishes have a red tomato based sauce, as well as meats that are seasoned with herbs such as basil and oregano. The sauces are often on the sweeter side because of these herbs and spices. A full-bodied cigar can quickly overpower the taste and flavor of pasta dishes, so the taste of the sauce is lost. Choose a smoke that’s medium and has a bit of sweetness so that it works with your meal rather than against it.

Barbecued foods and cigars

Foods that are barbecued have often been grilled or baked with a rub or a barbecue sauce that’s spicy, sweet, and tangy. Your cigar needs to be able to stand up to these bold flavors. Choose full-bodied cigars, such as Cubans and Hondurans. The complexity of these cigars can easily match the flavor of smoky, barbecued foods.

Steak and cigar

A delicious steak that’s been grilled to perfection needs a cigar that’s going to balance out that meaty flavor. And if your steak has been grilled with onions and mushrooms, you’ll need a rich and bold cigar, such as a Maduro, which is crisp and strong.

Beyond whiskey and cigars

It’s not just food that needs to be correctly paired with your cigar – alcohol always needs to carefully paired with your cigar as well, so that you get the best of both tastes. Cocktails are a good choice as an after drink, especially if you’re smoking a full-bodied cigar. Cocktails made with vodka or gin can be light and cool when they’re blended with refreshing ingredients such as basil, lemon, and fresh ginger – Mojitos, Cuba Libre, and gin with a splash of lime – these are light drinks that cleanse the palate. When drinking these cocktails, choose a light cigar to that’s made with a mixture of tobacco that’s been grown in Mexico and/or Ecuador.

Craft beers

Forget the wine, spirits, or cocktails and reach for that craft beer. The popularity for craft beers is at an all time high in North America. Even the smallest towns are brewing their own beer. Cigars can be perfectly paired with beer. You just need to match the body of the beer to the cigar. An ale or malted beer need a full-bodied cigar that match its acidity. And a lighter beer, such a wheat beer, pair best with medium-bodied cigars.

Dessert and cigars?

Just because you enjoy a good cigar at the end of a meal doesn’t mean you have to give up dessert. It’s definitely not a “one or the other” situation. You can have your dessert and smoke your cigar too. No matter what type of dessert you have, there’s a good cigar to go with it. Lighter tasting cigars go well with light desserts that are fruit based – this way the flavor and taste of one won’t overpower the other. Chocolate desserts are usually more rich and flavorful. Choose a bolder cigar with these desserts, such as one with a Dominican blend.

You be the final judge

Follow the guidelines here to pair your food or drink to the right cigar. Just remember that these rules aren’t written in stone. You’re the final judge when it comes to deciding what works and what doesn’t. Have fun finding your own perfect cigar pairing.

Your Guide to Wagyu Beef

Wagyu beef

You find a Wagyu steak on the menu…with a hefty price tag beside it. And you wonder – what’s all the hype about a Wagyu steak!? Let’s find out.

What is Wagyu beef?

Wagyu when translated in Japanese means “Japanese cow”. So, there’s your first clue to what Wagyu is. Beef that originates in Japan. In the 1880s, cattle from Europe were introduced to Japan, where they were crossbred with Japanese cattle. Out of this crossbreeding, there are four types of Wagyu cattle: Black, Brown, Shorthorn, and Polled.

Japanese Black – Wagyu Black is deliciously tender and almost melts in your mouth. The reason for this is the wonderful marbling of fat throughout the meat.

Japanese Brown – Also known as Akaushi beef, if you’re looking for a milder taste with less fat throughout your steak, Wagyu Brown delivers.

Japanese Shorthorn – Wagyu Shorthorn is lean and a little on the savory side.

Japanese Polled – A Wagyu Polled steak is gamier than other Wagyu, with a meaty rich flavor.

Most strains of Wagyu come from the Japanese Black, with it’s superior marbling and smooth taste.

Extraordinary Wagyu Marbling

The marbling found in Wagyu beef is extraordinarily superior to other meat. If you need a reminder, marbling is all about those little lines of fat throughout the meat. Not just on the outside of the meat, but inside within the muscle as well.

The marbled fat melts at a lower temperature than other beef. This means your steak has a buttery and rich flavor that almost melts on your tongue. Another bonus is that Wagyu meat is considered to be more healthy than other beef – the fat in the meat is high in Omega fatty acids and unsaturated fat.

So, it’s this marbling of fat that makes a Wagyu steak so superior and pricy.

Wagyu and Kobe beef aren’t the same

There’s a misconception that Wagyu and Kobe are the same thing. Kobe beef is considered to be the best of the best. It’s the most expensive meat you can buy – and probably the tastiest you’ll ever eat. Kobe is everything that Wagyu beef is, and then some.

There are different strains of the Wagyu Japanese Black cattle, such as the Tajima-Gyu. These varieties are the most popular and sought after, and from here we get Kobe beef.

Kobe needs to meet several criteria before it’s sold as authentic Kobe beef. Not only does it need to come from the Tajima-Gyu lineage, it needs to have a superior rating. The marbling rating needs to be 6 or higher on a scale of 12. And the meat quality must be 4 or higher on a scale of 5. That’s a lot to live up to in the world of beef.

And it all adds up to an expensive steak, with a price per pound of over $200.00.

Enjoy your Wagyu!

The first tip when eating a Wagyu steak is to take your time, savoring each delicious bite. This is a dining experience you don’t want to rush through!

Choose wisely when pairing Wagyu with other foods. You want the Wagyu to be the main highlight of your meal. Lightly sautéed root vegetables are a good choice. As is a crisp green salad that’s lightly dressed with just olive oil. Heavier side dishes, such as your classic serving of fries, can weigh down the Wagyu and deter from its buttery flavor.

When it comes to your alcoholic choice a deep red wine, such a Merlot, will pair nicely with the beef. Sake and beer are other options, complementing the Wagyu and making this a meal you’re not likely to forget anytime soon!