Are these the most versatile Wagyu cuts?
Some Wagyu cuts, like the ribeye, tenderloin and rump, cook so perfectly as steaks that preparing them another way is culinary taboo. However, the good news for adventurous home chefs, or professional chefs, is that a Wagyu carcass offers roughly 34 different cuts. This means more than enough opportunity to experiment with Wagyu using creative and versatile cooking methods. In part one of “Think outside the steak” we explored some underrated Wagyu cuts and unique ways they could be prepared.
In this installment we reveal some of the most versatile Wagyu cuts. These are the cuts that you can regularly put on the shopping list knowing that whether you’re in the mood for roast, soup or the best beef patties, you have Wagyu to make it happen. If that’s not enough, these cuts also come in as the most economic cuts to regularly incorporate Wagyu into your diet. So, let us introduce you to the chuck eye roll, the shin shank, and the beef knuckle.
Wagyu Chuck Eye Roll
The highly marbled and large chuck eye roll is one of King River’s top picks in terms of value for money. When you first see the chuck eye roll, which is from behind the Wagyu’s neck, you’ll be struck by how stunning it looks, with beautiful marbling throughout the entire cut. This is a large cut combining different muscle groups, so you can use the one chuck eye roll for multiple meals and uses. Some of King River’s favourite ways to use the Chuck Eye Roll are:
Sous vide steaks. You can portion off a section of the chuck eye roll into great steaks and cook these the traditional way on a pan or BBQ. However, for maximum tenderness, we recommend cooking your chuck eye roll steaks sous vide.
Roasts. Slow or medium roasting methods can be used for the chuck eye roll. For a rare roast, we recommend using the medium heat method, and for pulled beef, use ‘low and slow’.
Stews. As you start to portion out your chuck eye roll into steaks and roasts, you’ll have lots of smaller off-cuts. These are great in stews as the marbling fat will add a fantastic, buttery flavour to your dish.
Pies. Nothing beats a Wagyu steak pie. Instead of using off-cuts for a hearty stew, you can turn them into mouth-watering pies. Our favourite is a slow-cooked Wagyu and onion pie.
Wagyu Shin Shank
If there was one way to describe the shin shank, it would be ‘versatile’. This cut comes from the arms and legs of the Wagyu and provides a number of benefits – both culinary and nutritional. The shin shank will often have almost no marbling fat but instead has tendons and ligaments. When cooked slowly, these break down to give the shin shank one of the strongest beefy flavours of any cut. This strong Wagyu flavour has the body to carry heavy sauces and gravies and pairs beautifully with winter beers and red wine. Along with the other health benefits of Wagyu beef, the shin shank bone offers great nutritional value. When the bone is cooked in a broth, stew or soup, the bone marrow integrates into the dish providing a fantastic dose of nutrients and minerals that support the body. The versatility of this cut is that it can be prepared in so many different ways. Traditional winter dishes are our favourite ways to cook a Wagyu shin shank, including:
Ossobuko. An Italian dish, this is the most well-known cooking method for the shin shank.
Soups and broths. This can be done with the bone in or out. Our favourite recipe is this boneless braised soup.
Thor’s hammer. This is a smoked cooking method that is growing in popularity around the world.
Scottish stew. For a heartwarming stew, the Scottish are experts.
Wagyu Beef Knuckle
The Wagyu beef knuckle, also known as the thick flank, is regularly overlooked but has so much potential. This cut, which is quite similar to the outside flat, is a quadricep muscle from the hind quarter. The knuckle is highly marbled but can be a little tough as one of the regularly used muscles of the Wagyu. For this reason, any slow cooking method is perfect for the Wagyu knuckle. At King River, we love using this cut in roasts which gives the meat time to tenderise and soak in the intramuscular marbling fat. But our favourite use for the beef knuckle is making mouth-watering mince and burger patties. Whether it’s an easy recipe for the amazing Wagyu beef patties or rich, nutrient dense bolognese, the Wagyu knuckle is perfect. With a simple home mincer or kitchen aid, this sizable cut can produce large quantities of high-quality mince.
The benefits of homemade Wagyu burger patties include:
That the natural marbling fat eliminates the need for added fats like store-bought patties
The way the beautiful buttery flavour of the marbling fat permeates the patties
Big cost savings thanks to the quantity of mince produced
Full control of all the ingredients so you know the quality of the meat and can rest assure your patties are free of any nasty hidden additives
Gaining all the health benefits of Wagyu beef for a fraction of the cost.
So if you’re looking to incorporate Wagyu into your regular diet and want to get more adventurous than steak, look no further. The chuck eye roll, shin shank and beef knuckle are some of the all-time-favourites for the King River team and we know you’ll love them too.