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American Wagyu - Part 2

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    American Wagyu - Part 2

    In Part 2 of my journey in sourcing the best American Wagyu products both in Texas and across the country, we take a short journey north to Omaha, Nebraska where a group of cattlemen have come together in the last 15 years or so to form a co-op called Imperial Wagyu Beef. They distribute throughout the west and mid west, many of their products can be found in Costco. I picked these ribs up at my local HEB.

    Again relying on the genetics of the Japanese Wagyu cattle and the hardy Angus breed here in American, they have produced a breed of cattle that combine the beefiness of the Angus and the rich, buttery texture of the Wagyu.

    Although I still have my love affair with big, beefy short ribs, there's something about the back ribs that I love almost as much. As you may already know, these are the ribs that are cut off the upper rib cage and separated from the adjacent rib muscles, better known as the Prime Rib or rib eye cuts. Therefore you're getting the rib meat up against the bone with less fat content. Smoked low and slow they are a great little treat.

    The Imperial back ribs jumped out at me due largely to their size. Much larger than most of the back ribs I normally buy, they did have a few shiners poking through, but there seemed to be a lot more meaty, as well as a lot more fatty. Here's they are after an overnight dry brining with Kosher salt;

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    American Wagyu, due to it's fat content, does not need to be cooked as long as conventional beef. And as thin as these are, I didn't want to overdo it so I setup my WSM with the hangar attachment and hung these for about 2 hours. Used a couple of oak chunks and removed the water pan so the dripping fat could contribute to the "fog" and flavorize the meat. Just seasoned with pepper, granulated garlic and onion powders. I tried to keep it low and slow, stayed right around 250* and spritzed with beef bone stock to avoid scorching the meat.

    After the 2 hour smoke I dropped them into a foil pan, threw in a small amount of the left over beef stock I used for spritzing, sealed them with foil and stuck them in my oven at 250* for one additional hour to tenderize. That seemed just about right for these ribs, they certainly didn't need any more cooking time then that.

    So how to describe what these were like? Extremely tender for sure. The inside of the rib bone had this unctuous fatty layer that tasted oh so delicious, but I avoided eating a lot of it. It was like velvety curtains coating the insides of your mouth. The meat itself was simply gushing with intramuscular fat, almost like liquid tallow flowing into your mouth with each bite. Sound a bit too much? Actually it was sort of. I got through about 3 ribs and had to call it quits. One reason I'm not a big lover of the high grade, A5 type true Wagyu is for the same reason, too much of a good thing is, well, too much! They were almost too rich.

    Having said that, I will try these again for sure. It's not something you want to eat everyday but on occasion they are a real treat. Imperial seems to have found the right cross between big, beefy flavor and that true velvety, fatty taste profile. I'd love to try more of their products.

    Next time for Part 3 I'll be cooking an A Bar N American Wagyu full packer brisket sourced here in Texas. Stay tuned for that one !!

    So for now, Troutman is outta here !!!

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    Oh my, those look awesome. I'm ruing the fact that nobody carries Imperial Wagyu in the San Diego area. The closest seems to be a Costco in Dana Point, about an hour north of me, and they only stock the ground beef. No way I'm driving that far for fancy ground beef.


      I was looking up Imperial Waygu Beef and found this article. Don't know anything about JBS but buyouts are not always a good thing.



      • Troutman
        Troutman commented
        Editing a comment
        JBS = Brazilian mega meat processor, maybe the largest in the world.

      Nice looking ribs Troutman! Always nice to see someone who knows what he's doing in action. The difference in "fat flavor" is due to the fact that wagyu contains more unsaturated fat acids. I really like it, but like you say, sometimes it's just too much. Looking forward to your 3rd installment. Thanks for doing this!


        Troutman knocks another one out of the park
        A truly impressive cook.
        I picked up a chunk of brisket the other day I believe may be as close to weygu as I’m going to find. I frozen it before I thought to take and post a pick for your thoughts.
        Planning to cook for Canada Day on Weds



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