A tasting flight to blow people's minds

The other day I had a special house guest, and I wanted to show them how exciting, delicious and easy-to-cook Craft Beef from Crowd Cow is -- better than anything sold anywhere else online, in stores or even in high end steak houses.

So I reached into my freezer and pulled three New York steak cuts from three very different farms and breeds:

  • a spectacularly marbled A5 Kuroge Washu striploin from Japan (raised in Kagoshima which earned the highest average score in Japan's Wagyu Olympics last year)
  • an incredibly lean, yet absurdely tender Piedmontese New York steak from Emtman Brothers Farms of Valleyford Washington, raised entirely on grass and in open pastures (beef that's basically impossible to find because it's production is so limited)
  • a purebred Angus, pasture-raised, grassfed New York steak raised by Hutterian in Reardan and fed out with grass, corn and peas grown on the farm.

A5 Wagyu, Angus, Piedmontese

Though they all came from the New York strip cut and all were raised by artisinal Craft Meat producers dedicated and guided by tradition to care for the animal, the land and their community, and to create the best possible meat, the results distinct differences in flavor profile and visual appearance. Breed and genetics, types of grasses, forage and vegetable diets, as well as terroir, environment and farmer practices lead to differences in how the animals metabolize their food into fat and muscle.

I posted the photo to Instagram and my neighbor texted me, "Joe -- what is that cut on the right? Is Crowd Cow selling venison now??"

"Nope. Piedmontese. A breed that, like Wagyu, exhibits a genetic superpower. The animal produces more muscle than it needs, resulting in a meat that's lean, yet absurdely tender. Everyone who tries it falls in love," I answered.

To be honest, at that moment I felt like some kind of magical beef wizard.

For the Angus and the Piedmontese, I used a reverse-sear method: salt each cut, place in a cold cast-iron pan, put in the oven at 425°F for 8 minutes. Remove from oven, heat another cast iron pan until it's ripping hot, add a touch of grapeseed oil and sear each steak for about 30 seconds per side. The Maillard reaction.

Let it rest. Slice. Blow people's minds.

For the Kagoshima A5 Wagyu, which I served as a sort of professional carnivore's dessert course, I followed the instructions on our how-to-cook-A5-wagyu page.

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