22 March 2008

I'm baaaack... and beefy!

It's been so long since I posted that I feel like a born again virgi.. I mean blogger. But I have a REALLY good excuse this time. Not only did I move to Singapore, I had baby! I've been having a great time with her, but she's been keeping me extremely busy. Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it ;-).

I've still been eating and cooking lots though. I've had some great experiences in the past year or so and I'll do some posts on them later. But for some immediate gratification, I'll share a recent Wagyu indulgence. I'm sure most of you know about this most luscious food stuff, but for those who have been in a coma, here's a brief blurb.

Wagyu literally means "Japanese (Wa) cow (Gyu)". Also called Kobe beef, this type of meat refers to certain breeds of cattle that are predisposed to having highly marbled flesh (their diet and reputed frequent massages are also helpful to this end). Yup, they're extremely fatty. And we all know that fat = flavour. However, we also know that not all fat is bad (think avocados, olive oil). Wagyu beef has a higher percentage of unsaturated fat than any other breed of cattle known in the world so eating this God's gift to carnivores need not be guilt-stricken. I'm not going to get any more technical than that, there are other sites more knowledgeable than mine by a long shot. Instead, I'll just show you my goodies...

No Pulitzer winning photo here, but you get the idea. This folly happened when, in preparation for my Easter feast, I picked up some meat from Huber's Butchery at the NTUC Fairprice Finest, Bukit Timah Plaza. They were having a promo on Wagyu and as I am one bargain-loving gal, I let them twist my rubber arm. I've had Wagyu before in restaurants, but this is my first home effort and I can recommend it highly.

Like when cooking any good piece of meat, the rule of thumb is “less is more”. In this case, all I did was rub the steaks with a bit of vegetable oil, season them with salt and pepper, heated my pan till smoking and threw the meat in. I wanted a nice seared, crusty exterior quickly as these weren’t very thick steaks (all my budget would allow) and I didn’t want all that lovely fat to melt away. A few minutes on each side did the trick, I removed them to a plate, left them to rest a bit, and served up with some fleur de sel and a wedge of lemon. I did try it first as is, but I think the the salt crystals boosted the whole umaminess of it all and the lemon added a nice twang and helped to cut through the fat a bit, not that I minded it. The meat did all but melt in the mouth and not one scrap went to waste, yes I actually ate every last bit of fat. In fact, I had to slow myself down and was so greedy, I didn’t remember to take a picture of the finished product until I had already had a few satiating bites. Sorry! How did it taste? Think of a cross between meat and butter, a beefy savoury butter, yum.

While this is not an everyday indulgence, I do think we will do it on a semi-regular basis. Yes it is significantly more expensive than a regular steak at home, but not that much more than if you have a mediocre steak in a restaurant. I think it’s worth it and it’s hardly difficult. Try it and I think you’ll agree…

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