In the past I always had a very good impression of Aberdeen Angus beef, as it tastes really nice. But for a while I have been hearing about Wagyu beef and how good it was. The fact that Aldi and Asda supermarkets were also selling it, served to whet my appetite to buy it to try. Unfortunately I had not been able to find this locally, that is, until Monday. Whilst shopping in Asda after work, I chanced across some 28 days aged Wagyu sirloin steaks ( I would have preferred Rib-eye, but sirloin will do just as well).
Having seen these steaks, I had to buy them back to cook for my Tuesday dinner. It would definitely work well when cooked the Sous vide (water bath) method.
Wagyu beef means ‘Japanese beef’ and refers to the high quality melt in your mouth beef from Japan. The beef tends to be very marbled with fat running through the meat, which gives it the extra flavour. It is said that Wagyu beef is high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which is good for our health. Now the Asda Wagyu beef is not pure-bred, as it is only the bulls which are Wagyu.
As you can see the steaks do have a fair bit of marbling in the meat. As the steaks are about an inch thick, I cooked it in the waterbath at 56 degrees Celsius for 3 1/2 hours.
After the waterbath, I pan fried the steaks for 45 seconds each side to produce the browning effect. The juice from the cooking is not wasted, as it is added to the peppercorn sauce to improve the flavour. Then it is ready to serve.
As I had National Trust potatoes also bought from Asda, I used these to make mash potatoes. I have to say that these potatoes are some of the best potatoes you can buy, and cost about £2 a bag – similar to the price of other potatoes.
For the wine, I chose Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste 2000, which received a score of 94 points from Robert Parker in 2010. As it is 15 years old and about at its peak, I decided to pair this with the Wagyu beef – good steak deserves to be paired with mature and very good wine.
Grand Puy Lacoste 2000
While eating the beef, it became clear that there was still that soft and tasty fat running through the meat, which did give it more flavour and the melt in your mouth sensation. Both my wife and I enjoyed it immensely. And as it is not as expensive as pure-bred Wagyu beef, being only about 1.5x the price of the steaks I normally buy from Asda, I have to say that the Wagyu beef from Asda is excellent and well worth buying.
And I was very pleased with the wine too. It smelt of leather, chocolate and plums. And being mature, it did not overpower the steak. Instead it complemented it very well. And to think the cork of this 15 year old wine still looked so pristine – made me really chuffed to see that. All that time caring for this bottle has paid fruit, and we were rewarded with an excellent wine to accompany excellent food.
So would I buy Asda Wagyu beef again? Most definitely, especially if it remains this affordable and is available (unlike pure-bred Wagyu which cost over £180/kg). This is particularly so as it costs about the price of Aberdeen Angus steaks, while just tasting that bit better and so tender as well.