Saturday, December 29, 2007

How To Make The Best Steak You Can - At Home

Now that the Nativity Fast is over...

From The Dallas Morning News: How to make the best steak you can - at home

FWIW, we tried the skillet steak instructions with some New York Strip steaks. They were good, but not great - and indeed tasted better the second day with a brief reheating in the microwave - so I would go straight for the grill instead. Maybe Ribeyes - said to be the most flavorful steak - would fare better when using the skillet and oven.

Watch the accompanying videos:
  1. Selection and seasoning
  2. On the grill
  3. Is it ready?
From the December 2007 issue of Texas Monthly magazine (the cover story is on the best steakhouses in Texas, and you can read it all here):
How Now Brown Cow

A little over a year ago I started receiving annoying press releases on some kind of unpronounceable Texas-raised cattle called Akaushi. Say what? The stuff was ex-pen-sive, and you had to order it days in advance, even in restaurants. It sounded like a bunch of hype. I thought of the old joke about the difference between ignorance and apathy: I didn’t know and I didn’t care.

Fast-forward to September of this year. Two friends and I walked into Bohanan’s Prime Steaks & Seafood, in San Antonio, and the head waiter started raving about Akaushi beef. Damn. The cheapest cut was $95, for a twelve-ounce filet. Deciding to take one for the team, I ordered it. It arrived. I took a bite. Ohmigod. It was so delicious I almost fainted. My friends noticed and tried to sneak pieces off my plate while I was semiconscious. We were fork-fighting and groaning and carrying on like spotted hyenas. It was that good.

If Akaushi (“Ah-ka-oo-shee”) sounds like what’s called Wagyu, source of notably succulent Japanese beef, it’s because they’re kissing cousins. Actually, “Wagyu” is a general term meaning “Japanese beef.” The correct name for those famous fatties is Kuroushi—“kuro” meaning “black” and “ushi” meaning “cattle.” (In case you’re wondering, Kobe beef is Kuroushi raised near Kobe, Japan.) Akaushi means “red cattle,” though they’re really reddish-brown. In 1994 eleven lone Akaushi were imported by HeartBrand Beef to its South Texas ranch outside Yoakum. From that small pool, they’ve increased to five thousand and are the only breeding herd outside Japan.

If you were to compare Kuroushi with Akaushi, you’d detect little difference. They’re both fabulous. But some Kuroushi in Texas have been crossed with Black Angus, and that meat is generally of a lesser quality. By contrast, all Akaushi are purebred, so they always produce splendidly tender meat with loads of near–microscopically fine fat marbling. On top of this, beef from both Kuroushi and Akaushi is better for you than regular old American beef, because the meat has lots of monounsaturated (good) fatty acids.

But don’t take my word. Try some yourself if you can spare about a hundred bucks. That’s not much for a memory you’ll never forget.
Our new Super Wal-Mart store carries Wagyu beef steaks - $30 a pound!! After we test and master the cooking technique above, we'll try one and see how heavenly it tastes!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cooking With The Bible

I'd been looking for this book, COOKING WITH THE BIBLE: Biblical Food, Feasts, and Lore, by Anthony F. Chiffolo and Rayner W. Hesse, Jr., since it was published in August 2006, but no one around here carries it - probably because it has a $75 price tag, even from That's more than I would gamble sight-unseen, no matter how good the reviews, especially since I am more of an eater than a cook.

Well, today I found that the authors have a Website where they seem to give many (maybe all?) of the recipes in the book, with other information, too.

Enjoy! (And don't forget to invite me to dinner when you cook something from this!)