While I was off at Show Me the Blog in St. Louis, Neil decided to evacuate town as well. It was homecoming weekend, and if you’re not an avid football watcher, it’s pretty much the most annoying weekend to live in Columbia. Everything is loud, crowded, and full of drunk people. He didn’t feel like being trapped at the house so he and Clive made their way down to Springfield (where his parents live) for a weekend of relaxation. He came back with quite a few goodies for me (coming up later!) and for himself, two Kobe Steaks.
If you’re not familiar with Kobe beef, or in our case American-style Kobe beef, I’ll give you a little back story. Kobe beef actually refers to cuts of beef from the black Tajima-ushi breed of Wagyū cattle. Wagyū cattle are essentially several breeds of cattle that are genetically predisposed to marbling, which means essentially the meat has a high percentage of oleaginous unsaturated fat. This very evenly distributed fat makes the beef more tender and juicy and gives it a better flavor, making it highly prized and more expensive. Because Kobe beef has exploded in popularity over the past few years (mostly before the economic downturn), the US has created their own “Kobe-style” beef, crossbreeding Wagyū with Angus in order to meet demand and create a breed more economically sustainable to our ranching environments. Although we’ve replicated the style in which these animals are raised, American Kobe tends to be darker (like most of our steaks) and bolder in flavor. Still good, but not the real thing.
I myself had a couple of bites, and it is indeed one of the better steaks I’ve ever had. I’ve never really been a fan of steak. My dad, although an excellent cook and amazing father, was never gifted as phenomenally in the art of grilling. Neil on the other hand, is pretty darn good and I’ve enjoyed a great many of the meats I hated as a kid (pork and beef) when he cooks them. Still not my favorite food, but I like it when he’s grilling it, so that’s improvement. As you can see, I managed to squeeze some organic garlic beans on the plate to balance out all that protein.
In case you’re curious, Neil only salt and peppered these before grilling. The beans were cooked for 10 minutes in a pot of lightly boiling water, then tossed with browned butter (1 tbsp) and garlic (2 cloves) and a little red wine vinaigrette (1-2 tbsp).