By now most of the GreenAcres Market chain of stores in three Midwestern states should have sought-after wagyu beef for sale. If it hasn’t quite arrived in the frozen meat coffins in a GreenAcres near you, not to worry it will be there shortly.
GreenAcres has made an exclusive arrangement with a couple that produces this succulent, well marbled meat that even many restaurants can’t get a hold of, just so our customers can buy the best of the best.
Wiens Wagyu is the Meade, Kansas farm that raises Japanese-bred cows, and GreenAcres-Bradley Fair deli will be cooking up a big pot of wagyu beef chili and offering it to customers tomorrow (Friday, January 19) at lunchtime.
We’ll also be talking about and demonstrating our wagyu chili on an upcoming KAKE TV morning show on January 27—but we’ll tell you more about that next week on our GA-Bradley Fair Facebook page.
The word wagyu in Japanese means simply Japanese Cow. Kobe beef, which probably more people are familiar with, is comprised of a particular strain of wagyu called Tajima-Gyu that has been raised to strict standards in the prefecture of Hyogo, the Japanese capital city of which is Kobe, thus the name.
GreenAcres will be carrying the Meade, Kansas wagyu beef first in packages of ground beef and bone marrow bones with a few steaks and roasts to see how our customers like it.
What’s not to love? Anyone who has tasted a perfectly-cooked wagyu steak, seared in a smoking hot pan on both sides before reducing the pan to medium-low, knows just how buttery good it is.
We learn more about this delicious meat from a blog on firstwefeast.com, which tells us the wagyu beef that is advertised in restaurants is the most expensive beef in the world, but wait…apparently, no restaurant in the U.S. was able to get real Japanese wagyu before 2012. All those expensive “Kobe sliders” and that $150 “Wagyu steak” were really just plain old Angus—which is far from a bad steak, but not wagyu.
“Before 2009, the slaughterhouses in Japan where wagyu was processed had not been certified for export by the USDA. Between 2009 and 2012, there was a U.S. ban on the importation of Japanese beef to protect against Foot and Mouth Disease. Even with the ban lifted, the quantities of Japanese wagyu beef being shipped into the U.S. today are still extremely small.”
There are some interesting myths surrounding wagyu beef. For one thing there are the stories about Japanese breeders pampering their prized cows with massages and beer. Some farmers may massage their cows’ muscles during winter when the animals are prone to cramping from the cold, and yes, some farmers have been known to feed their cows beer to increase their appetites and levels of fat, but it’s rare.
The wagyu cows are a working breed, and while the Japanese winters can make their joints swell up like arthritis, ranchers more likely pound their cows so that when they go out to pasture their joints aren’t stiff.
There is another myth that the meat is too “fatty.” Not so, say the experts. “Wagyu cattle are genetically predisposed to have high levels of unsaturated fat. The fat is evenly dispersed throughout the beef and melts at low temperatures which gives the steak a buttery texture.” Still it’s all in the cooking. When it’s seared, paper thin, the fattiness melts on the top of your mouth, and there’s nothing quite like it.
The Wiens actually raise two kinds of wagyu beef: “domestic wagyu,” a cross between black angus and Japanese black wagyu. And purebred wagyu. The taste of domestic wagyu is not quite the same as pure wagyu, but delicious all the same and contains higher amounts of Omega 3s and 6s. It is also less expensive.
(Ranch owners, Rachael and Bradon Wiens are shown at left with their baby son and GreenAcres grocery guy, Dylan.)
GreenAcres Market will be selling pure wagyu beef in all of our stores, and offering it for lunch and dinner in our stores that have delis from time to time. “Like” us on Facebook and you’ll see when our cooks will be using wagyu beef. Tomorrow, at GA-Bradley Fair we’ll have wagyu chili in our hot case.
You be the judge. Take home a pound of ground wagyu beef when it’s available. Let us know how you like it. In the meantime, if you’re in Wichita tomorrow, stop by and have a bowl of our wagyu chili and see if you don’t catch the drift of what we’re talking about.