Waygu Kobe Beef? Why, Yes Please!
Posted July 12th, 2009 by Chris
Filed under: Boathouse, Citrus Basil, Fleur de Sel, French Herb, Hickory Maple, steak, Traverse City
While eating at The Boathouse in Traverse City (the home of our Salt Chef), I was treated to one of the most delicate and delightful cuts of meat I have had in years. Of course the name “Waygu Kobe beef” is enough to send excited shivers down a dinner guest’s spine and make the wallet tremble in fear. Since I had not been to Traverse City nearly as much as I wanted this summer, I thought recession be damned, and boldly placed my order! I was certain Executive Chef Eric, wouldn’t dare mess around with something sculpted with culinary purpose out of nature by the master Japanese cattle farmers, and so I went “all-in” with the 5 ounce filet.
And indeed, I was rewarded when my plate arrived at our table. We already had a marvelous meal up to this point, but nothing makes such a grand entrance as a perfectly cooked piece of some of the finest steak known. Tender and bursting with flavor, I couldn’t wait to carve into this lovely cut of meat.
We were given knives that would normally have a difficult time carving through a properly seared scallop, let alone beef, but of course the playful point was made. This was no ordinary steak, and the typical cutlery would be unnecessary to enjoy the remarkably tender filet. Chef Eric lightly seasoned the meat with the queen of the unrefined world of salt, fleur de sel, as we wanted to play with different combinations from our Beyond Blends collection. Of course, only the finest salt would do for this premium steak experience, and so we brought Hickory Maple, French Herb, and Citrus Basil out of flavor arsenal (tucked in resealable sample packs, of course).
We knew each of these blends was amazingly scrumptious as a finishing salt on steak we had grilled at home, but the question was if the flavors and textures would match well on one of the world’s finest cuts of beef… and the answer? Well it can be summed up by the fact that over a week later I am still dreaming (and writing) about this dining experience. For the Waygu virgin, this is a very special breed of cattle that is known for its flavor and subtle texture. The meat is heavily marbled which adds to its juicy tenderness. The ‘Kobe’ part of the name is a reference to the area in Japan where the cattle was raised. Waygu ranchers are known for the special care used to raise these incredible animals.
Anyway, all three of the Beyond Blends we tried on our steaks finished them beautifully, highlighting the unmistakable flavor and texture of the Waygu beef. The favorite of the table was Hickory Maple, with Citrus Basil and French Herb not far behind. Regardless, you can’t go wrong with this cut of meat (if your bank account can handle the sizable blow), especially when in the hands of a master artist in the kitchen, like our Salt Chef. Cooked right, Waygu filets are some of the finest culinary experiences around (just don’t forget to pair your steak, or any grilled beef for that matter, with an equally premium gourmet salt)…