Theme tune – Elvis Presley: Love Me Tender
Just one look at a piece of Waygū beef and you know you are in for something exceptional. The marbling is so pronounced it is almost as predominant as the meat.
A couple of days ago, purely by chance, I found myself in possession of a large piece of rib eye from this very special cow. This highly coveted cow that lives its life in the lap of luxury – twice daily massages, a diet consisting mainly of beer, its health kept in balance by courses of homeopathy and constant care. If only the poor were able to have a similar quality of life we probably wouldn’t be in the shit we now face.
When it reaches maturity it is slaughtered in such a way that the beast doesn’t even register it is slipping away. This means that even in death it knows no shock, helping its flesh remain incredibly supple.
This beef is exceptional and of course it comes at a price. Jesus, my butcher, explained this to me when he gently let me know it is six times as expensive as the next best rib eye (which is already really very good), weighing in at a hefty 130€ a kilo. Yes, you read it correctly. 130€ per kilo.
But my god, it is worth it. Not the kind of thing one eats everyday of course. A rare treat. If you see it on a menu, trust the restaurant (and in 2010, it seems to be the menu item du jour in many Ibiza restaurants) and if your pocket allows – order it. You can pretty much dispense with any kind of accompaniment and just have it on its own. If you haven’t tried it before you will be transported to a plane of sensory delight you weren’t aware existed until now.
The flesh is sweet, soft and buttery and you will not have bitten through anything like it before. The marbling allows its surface to be seared without having to use any additional fat to cook it in. A good thing, when any other flavour would just distract you from the pure excellence of the meat. When I ate my very own piece of Waygū I did my level best to hold off from chewing it till I had sucked as much goodness out of it as I could. Then I started chewing… savouring the opposing crisp outside and tender, tender, tender inside. There was something distinctly sexual about the experience.
But then again, there often is with beef, isn’t there?