If you're a foodie steak connoisseur or a habitual bargain hunter, you should head down to Aldi (Thursday 26 July) for the return of the supermarket's much-loved, premium Wagyu steaks range.
Aldi has an enviable track record of delivering high quality product at modest cost and this week, the supermarket brings back the world's most luxurious steak at a fraction of the cost you would pay some of its snooty competitors.
Taking their name from the famous Japanese Kobe Wagyu, which can sell for up to £500 a kilo in Japan, the meat is renowned for its distinctive marbling of fat which melts while it cooks, making for a super succulent and tender, melt-in-the-mouth steak.
The Ribeye cut comes from between the rib bones of the bull and is marbled with more fat than most steaks, meaning it offers the boldest flavour. Whilst equally full-of-flavour, the Sirloin cut is slightly denser with a smaller proportion of fat.
Tips for cooking Wagyu beef
The distinctive characteristic of Wagyu is its marbling and in order to release maximum flavour from these fats, it is necessary to take a slightly different approach to how you'd normally cook a steak. If you like rare or blue steaks, you'll have to resist the temptation with Waygu or you'll miss out on the depth of flavour the marbling releases when cooked slowly.
I take the cut out of the fridge about an hour before cooking and season generously with sea salt and a bit of pepper.
- Put the pan (or griddle) on a high heat – dry, no oil
- Add to the pan, searing both sides. This should take between 90 seconds and 2 minutes per side.
- Reduce to a low/medium heat
- The natural fats breaking down in the marbling provide all the oil you'll need for cooking and combined with the salt will help form a delicous caramelised crust on the steak.
- Keep on the heat for three to five minutes and baste with juices as you go along.
- Once you're happy, take out and allow to rest, while you make a simple sauce. Add a knob of butter and and a finely chopped shallot (small onion will do) and cook until slightly browned. Add a glass of red wine and another couple of knobs of butter and simmer for a few minutes or until you have the desired reduction. Simple!
For me, resting the meat is as important as cooking it. You effectively shock the steak when you place it in the pan and it contracts. Allowing five minutes to rest on a warm plate will let it relax and the juices to flow back through the meat.
You're the boss. Wagyu may not be an everyday visitor to your kitchen but the prices at Aldi mean it can be used as part of a dinner party or as comfort food with chunky chips and salad. Just remember not to undercook it or you'll miss its best qualities.
Last modified: April 7, 2021