Sorry for the long absence. We moved within Stuttgart and didn’t have internet for a long time (thanks, Alice!), and I didn’t feel like blogging from an obnoxiously expensive internet café. But food vagabond has been eating and cooking all the time!
We didn’t have this Wagyu dinner exactly on food vagabond’s 1st birthday (which was August 7th), but it sure was fine enough for the occasion.
Our friend A. and I had been discussing Wagyu for a long time. She had her first bite of Wagyu a couple of months ago in SE Asia and had been pestering me with the idea of cooking it at home ever since. Yes, we have very annoying friends. Finally I surrendered and she ordered this most expensive piece of meat I have ever eaten on the internet, which was delivered to her office the day before we had planned to cook it. Of course we had prepared a deserving dinner around the core-piece, the wagyu.
K. prepared this great appetizer (Serrano ham on grissini, with thyme and flower decoration – yes, men can have taste in such things!), which we devoured with some champagne.
I prepared this crème brûlée de foie gras (no, I don’t speak any French either, but that recipe is pretty straightforward) from the newest 3-star female chef in France, Anne-Sophie Pic, without the apple espuma of the original version (I used dried apple slices instead).
We drank a 1979 Sauternes with this. A colleague of T.’s had given him the bottle with the words “I am cleaning out my cellar and I know you are a wine-lover, maybe you will like it, it is lost completely on me”. Like it? We loved it, how often do you get a perfectly kept almost 30 years old bottle that goes perfect with foie gras?
We had two different cuts (striploin and buttheart) which A. and I prepared two ways: simply seared (above), and according to an herb-laden recipe from Stefan Marquard, one of Germany’s “young & wild” chefs (below).
I personally liked the buttheart/simply seared combination most; almost all of us agreed that the striploin was tougher (of course we are fussing on a very high level here, it still was more tender than most other meat); most liked the herb-preparation a lot, too. The buttheart was really melt-in-your-mouth, with a distinct lamb-like, or gamey, taste. While preparing the steaks, A. and I had slow-melted some fat cut from the striploin edges and tasted it as is, which had even more of this lamb-ish taste, which we liked.
J. had thought this fine wine would go well with the delicate steaks… Seriously, please keep clear of this new fad, this wine doesn’t even deserve the name, and life is really too short to drink stuff like this. We actually accompanied the Wagyu with great South African reds from K.’s cellar.
Poor R., who couldn’t eat any of our very rare Wagyu (she is pregnant and we refused to waste any Wagyu by cooking it “done” – she had her own shoe sole “regular” steak), made a lovely cherry-chocolate clafoutis, served with balsamic filled raspberries (a revelation!) on creme patissier, if I am not wrong. This was a worthy end (after some cheese) to a great luxury dinner.
So will I eat Wagyu again? I liked the taste and the texture a lot. The price is rather high, although you could get a buttheart steak for 25 Euros, which is not a lot more than what you would pay for a normal steak in a good steakhouse. So that might be an option. I missed the foie gras-like taste a lot of eaters have reported, and I sure won’t order any Wagyu in a restaurant in Europe or USA, where it costs well over 100 Euros. But I might try it once again if I ever go to Japan, just to see the real thing (As real Kobe Wagyu is not being exported anymore, ours was an American Wagyu). In the meantime, I do prefer to eat a local (Bavarian) bison, where one kilo of locally raised, tender bison fillet costs around 40 Euros.