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Searching for Kobe beef to cook

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Does anybody know where to get Kobe or Wagyu steak at any of the grocers or shops in town? Better yet, dry aged Kobe or Wagyu? Central Market used to carry Wagyu, but does not any longer. Does Whole Foods? Coopers?

Thanks!

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  1. I read this yesterday, thinking that I'll try Costco today:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001...

    2 Replies
    1. re: rudeboy

      That is VERY interesting. $10/lbs for prime?!?

      1. re: rudeboy

        Austin CostCo's have had USDA Prime beef for almost 2 years now. Upscale HEB's for close to 5 years (Under the HEB "Prime 1" label). Often under $8/lb.

        -sw

      2. If you want the real stuff, try here:

        http://www.1-800-kobebeef.com/

        1 Reply
        1. re: Chicago Wine Geek

          wow, only $4000/lb! may as well just fly to japan and have it there

        2. According to this article you can't actually get kobe beef in U.S.
          http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryolms...

          1. Kobe beef comes from a region in Japan. If American farmers are using similar techniques they could achieve Kobe Beef "like" quality.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Rptrane

              Well said- and as CWG's link shows, the real thing is very, very expensive. That and the photos tell the tale.

              As for Kobe-like beef here in Austin, slim pickings. When CM carried it routinely, once every month or two they would have awesome finely marbled cuts. The rest of the time it looked very good, but in practice you were not going to get that "eating a stick of butter" effect, as I call it.

              These days, HEB Westlake occasionally gets "Kobe" or "Wagyu" ribeyes and NY Strips. In the 3 months I have been back here, have only once spotted steaks with the marbling I would want to go to the trouble.

              Actually, if you ever get to Houston, the HEB at Bunker Hill and I-10 keeps a pretty steady supply and even more often than used to be the case at CM on Lamar here you will find steaks with excellent marbling that will yield the desired result- or at least as close as you can get locally or without spending hundreds or thousands of dollars per pound to have something shipped in.

              The price here and in Houston over the last couple of years has been reliably $29.99 a pound. A very good deal when the right steaks come along.

            2. Texas' Strube Ranch has Wagyu beef (America's 'Kobe") and sells through this company: https://www.bigpoppasmokers.com/store....

              They don't sell individual steaks except for ground beef patties and franks but have entire strip loins, rib eyes, flat irons, and other cuts. PRICEY but looks great!

              2 Replies
              1. re: chascates

                Unless you really want to pay the price for real Kobe, the next best thing is from these guys:

                www.heartbrandbeef.com

                And they aren't too far from Austin! Seriously, this stuff is amazingly good. They also serve it occasionally at Perry's Steakhouse downtown.

                1. re: Chicago Wine Geek

                  Thank you for this! Did not know about them. Ribeye and short rib pics look great. I will give them a try.

              2. I wanted to refrain from mentioning The Meat House, so there - I just did. When I saw it (a year ago?) it was frozen but was probably sold fresh at one time <ahem>.. It was "Kobe Style Texas Wagyu". One store in Westlake and one soon to open in Avery Ranch (for the Hardhat thread).

                I'm VERY pro-meat and buy large chunks of animals often, but I don't plan on going back there. Once was enough for me. Not even if I win the lottery.

                -sw

                1. Ironically, the fake Kobe beef industry was recently exposed by Larry Olmsted at Forbes and highlighted on NPR. Essentially the US Government doesn't recognize or protect beef trademarks like Kobe and Wagyu. The author claims that since no Kobe beef slaughter house in Japan is approved by the USDA for export to the US, that kobe beef is "not imported into the US at all".

                  The story: http://www.npr.org/2012/04/22/1511535...

                  1. Cut Steakhouse in Beverly Hills offered real Wagyu from Japan, Saga Prefecture, a few years ago, though that may no longer be the case. Roughly $20/oz and maybe A3/A4. Pretty insane marbling. Like Sqwertz, I've seen some domestic stuff at The Meat House before, though it was fresh, not frozen. The counter guy mentioned they received it infrequently. Elpaninaro mentioned the stuff Central Market used to get... I'm guessing they still have access, but the meat guys I've talked to there claim there isn't much demand, considering the price. Snake River Farms does a pretty good job, as does Heart Brand, as CWG mentioned. A friend recently gave me a strip, ribeye, skirt, and a couple other items from HB, and the meat was impressive.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Steven Dilley

                      That matches the story I got from Central Market- it was right about the time of the stock market tumult in fall 2008 when it stopped being a regular item. I do know that they still stock up on special cuts before Christmas and Valentine's Day, but not sure if the Wagyu/Kobe is in the mix.

                      1. re: Steven Dilley

                        The reason that CUT (and every other place) stopped offering real Japanese Wagyu was that the United States banned the import. More than two years ago, Japan suffered an outbreak of foot and mouth disease. This led to the ban. The last I heard, the import ban was still in effect.

                        CUT offered Wagyu from Kagoshima and Saga prefectures (at different times); other restaurants offered these, as well as Omi beef. The quality at CUT was claimed to be A5, with one cook saying the marbling score was 9. Based on comparisons with a couple of other places, I'm guessing they told the truth.