Japan’s Kobe Beef: What Makes It Special

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Cows that drink beer, are massaged with rice wine and listen to classical music? For meat lovers, Kobe beef is considered the epitome of fine dining. And at a few hundreds bucks a pop you’d want it to be.

So what exactly is Kobe beef?

Kobe beef comes from the Tajima-gyu breed of cattle found in Japan’s Hy?go Prefecture, of which Kobe is the capital and the meat’s namesake. Introduced as work animals in the rice cultivation industry during the 2nd Century, Tajima-gyu became isolated from other breeds in the small pockets of arable land within Japan’s mountainous landscape. Herd isolation and distinctive feeding techniques are said to have led to unique differences in taste and texture. Kobe beef is renowned for its superior flavor, tenderness and high amount of intramuscular fat, giving the meat a marbled appearance.

To retain maximum flavor, Kobe beef should not be cooked further than medium-rare. In fact, the fat in Kobe beef has a lower melting point than that of other beef so if cooked for too long at too high a heat, it simply melts away. And it is this feeling, of the meat melting in the mouth, that really makes Kobe beef an outstanding culinary experience. When compared with US meat ratings, Kobe beefs ranks at least two grades higher than Prime, in a special category the Japanese call “Platinum.”

Its prized value must also be credited to the mysterious rearing techniques said to aid the meat’s delectable flavor and texture. There are three major stories that crop up time and time again that have achieved somewhat of urban legend status. The first is that the cows are given beer to induce appetite. The second is that they are massaged daily, sometimes with sake (Japanese rice wine), as a proxy for exercise in the tight living quarters and to further

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The All New ZLife German Steel Ktchen Knife

Our friends at ZLife have developed a perfect product that is sure to bring out the professional chef inside all of us. This handsome new High Carbon, German Steel kitchen knife not only looks beautiful at first glance, it feels wonderful in the hand and performs beautifully. Right out of its elegant box the edge is razor sharp. It is sure to cut cleanly and precisely regardless of what you’re preparing. We have put the ZLife knife through some Steaknight Magazine abuse and so far it has held up wonderfully to the punishment. We love our cooking tools in the Steaknight Magazine kitchen. We love them even more when we find out that they are really affordable. The ZLife 8 in. kitchen knife retails at only $49.99 making it the perfect addition to any kitchen without breaking the bank. If you’re in the market for some new steel we strongly suggest you scoop one of these up.

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Honey BBQ Sous Vide Short Ribs

sous_vide_shortribs_glazedLatley we have been trying our hand at Sous Vide cooking (a little late to the game, we get it) and we have put together a few delicious tasting steaks. But it wasn’t until we made these short ribs that we were really sold on Sous Vide. The end result was one of the best tasting ribs dishes ever created at Steaknight Magazine. Unbelievably tender, extremely moist and it had the perfect fat to meat ratio. After some reasearch we decided to cook ours using the Anova Precision Cooker at 158 Degrees Fahrenheit for 18 hours.

Into the bag went our 4 large short ribs about 1.5 lbs, then we added;

• 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
• 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
• 1 Tablespoon chopped pickled ginger and a little of the juice
• 2 Cloves garlic Chopped
• 1 Teaspoon brown sugar
• Salt and Pepper

After the 18 hour bath we removed our short ribs and dried them thoroughly with paper towels, discarding the juices.

sous_vide_shortribs_after18_hours

We put about 2 teaspoons of roasted peanut oil in an iron skillet and cranked it to get it scorching hot. Once you see the pan start to smoke then you are ready. Sear the ribs on all sides about 1 miniute per side. (try not to handle them to much as they are already fall apart tender)  Remove your ribs from the pan and turn your heat down to medium cooling the pan slightly.

Then add the BBQ mixture for your glaze;

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