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Meat Digest : The History of Kobe Beef Last Updated: Oct 18, 2010 - 11:53:30 AM


Modern Uses of Kobe Beef - Part 2
By Craig W. Walsh
Jan 30, 2005 - 6:12:00 PM

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A selection of Scottish | Kobe Beef from Lucies Farm

From MLB.com, a website with information about Major League Baseball:

“A little timid about getting out and trying new things, [player Carl] Crawford did not eat much on his first trip to Japan. But with the All-Stars, he got his fill.

"We ate at a few Japanese restaurants," Crawford said. "We had a lot of Kobe beef and white rice. But we ate better this time. We had bigger portions. It was real comfortable this time around."

 

In a review of the China Grill in Chicago from the Sun Times newspaper: 

 

“All I can say is that if you want to take this journey and experience the food at the China Grill, you had better bring a few credit cards or a whole wad of cash. I guess the way to put it is that class demands cash, and there is no denying that the China Grill has a certain sassy kind of class about it.

 

“I would also avoid (at all costs) the Kobe beef tartare appetizer. When was the last time you saw an appetizer priced at $33? So it's Kobe beef. So what? As a wag might put it, "so at this price, you mean you don't even cook the beef?"

 

 

From a review of Jewel Bako Robata in the New York Times:

 

“Jewel Bako Robata . . . looks like a sushi place, with a walnut bar arranged like three sides of a thin, long rectangle around a central area for the cooks. But that central area is not a stage for the making of sushi, and those cooks are feeling some heat. They are working over a Japanese-style robata grill that uses bincho tan charcoal.

 

“Diners may have to spend even more than that if they are in a kobe frame of mind. The final section of the menu is dedicated to kobe beef, which can be ordered for now as a skirt, hanger or strip steak, the last of which is $50. A friend and I tried it and found its flavor to be less expansively deep and rich than the flavor of kobe can be, but we appreciated its accompanying condiments, including huge pebbles of salt and an addictive wasabi butter.”

 

 

More on the Philly Cheesesteak sandwich at Barclay Prime in Philadelphia from the Philadelphia Daily News:

 

The most noticeable thing about the Barclay Prime cheesesteak - a publicity stunt concocted by Starr's chief operating officer - was the buttery, somewhat crumbly brioche roll. The Kobe beef, Taleggio cheese and truffle butter were good - but not worth the surcharge.

“The sandwich was originally made with foie gras but the restaurant caved in to animal-rights protesters. (Come on, it's a steakhouse - the whole place is intrinsically cruel.) It was replaced by butter-poached lobster. The foie gras was probably better.”

(An aside:  when you order a steak, this restaurant gives you “a choice of four beautiful steak knives - two Japanese, one Australian and one French”  with which to cut your steak.  In another article the knives are described as a Global, a Furi, a Chroma Porsche or a Laguiole.)

From a review of the 2005 Sundance Film Festival from Salon.com:

It was starting to rain and I was faint with hunger, so I escaped to Bandits down the street with some friends, where they offer a Kobe Burger described as follows:

"American Kobe beef patty that has been raised on beer and hand-massaged daily to make meat extra tender."

 

“When I ordered the Kobe Burger, though, the waitress informed me that they were all out. "Really? That means there must be a masseuse back there, and a few extra pitchers of beer as well. Can you bring them out here instead?"

 

 

A Los Angeles Daily News story about the Governor’s Ball following the 77th Academy Awards ceremony:

 

"'With a decade of experience under his belt, [Wolfgang] Puck says, "We know what works and doesn't work now. The food must be memorable, delicious and beautiful." Puck pulls out all the stops and doesn't worry about health or diets on Oscar night. "I believe in [eating] everything in moderation."

"Here are some of the details about the food that will be served at the ball:

"'We serve the best food available," says Puck. "We've purchased 25 pounds of black truffles and 20 pounds of Iranian osetra caviar this year."

"The passed hors d'oeuvres selections will feature five items, including Puck's signature smoked salmon pizza with caviar, roasted new potatoes with caviar and creme fraiche, Kobe beef burgers with Gorgonzola and caramelized onion, mini Vietnamese spring rolls, and samosas with tamarind glaze.

 

"Each entree plate will feature two creations -- slow-braised Kobe beef short ribs (from Snake River Ranch in Idaho) atop a kabocha squash puree; and Maine lobster en croute (wrapped in puff pastry marked with a 77 for the 77th year) with black truffles from France, a lobster sauce and a sprinkling of truffle oil."

 

 

A review of Gottleib’s Restaurant in Savannah, Georgia from ajc.com:

 

“Braised Kobe beef short rib over Parmesan risotto with fried onion threads thankfully arrived as an appetizer; I had no qualms about snarfing up every fat-choked bite.”

 

 

On Chef John Besh at Besh Steakhouse in Harrah’s New Orleans Casino (from the Staten Island Advance):

 

“American-raised Kobe beef is on Chef Besh's menu paired with mashed potatoes prepared with Yukon Gold potatoes, goat cheese and heavy cream and napped with a rich brown sauce.

“Although they may not achieve the same robust flavors, home cooks can come close to duplicating the chef's recipe, using more readily available ingredients. In place of the succulent American Kobe beef, a center cut of tenderloin can be substituted. Oxtails in the sauce can be replaced by beef that is not necessarily tender to begin with, but will bring a rich, complex flavor to the sauce.”

Hot Food Trends for 2005, from the Pizza Marketing Quarterly website:

 "Affordable luxuries. Starbucks is often credited with starting the "small indulgence" trend. Other small food splurges are vintage wines, premium vinegar or the Kobe beef and foie gras found these days on more restaurant menus."

 

From the Sports Illustrated website:

 

"Is Sports Illustrated paying tonight?'' Mitchell asked me last Thursday night. We were seated at a new Philadelphia steakhouse, Barclay Prime.

 

"Yes,'' I said.

 

Uh-oh. That's trouble. An NFL player, a former first-round pick with some dough, has a blank check. At least he thinks he does.

 

Mitchell then took the menu out of my hand and said to our waiter, "I'll be ordering for Mr. King."

 

He ordered me Kobe sliders, and the Kobe cheesesteak sandwich, which I'd heard some legendary stories about. The waiter, Matthew, said there was some really fancy cheese, some really interesting imported mustard and even a dollop of lobster thrown in for good measure. Because they're sporty, I guess, the place threw in a half-bottle of champagne with the cheesesteak. Uh-oh.

 

The sliders were White-Castle-sized mini-burgers, only round. Two to an order. Just phenomenal. The meat was terrific -- tender and tasty.

 

Mitchell likes to go to Barclay Prime Saturday nights before home games and he knew quite a few people there. He signed a few autographs, shook a lot of hands, accepted lots of good-lucks. Living large, as they say.

 

And here came the cheesesteak. Very good. What beef. Incredible beef, really. So good and so big that I couldn't finish.

 

A shame, seeing as the cost of said cheesesteak was $105.

 

That is not a misprint.

 

Worst abuse of SI expense account by yours truly since 1991, when Phil Simms ordered a $75 glass of brandy the week before the Scott Norwood Super Bowl in Tampa, and, of course, I had to buck up and have one with him.

 

Please go easy on me, Time-Warner Business Dept. I have been good, really good. But it's the playoffs and Freddie Mitchell had a chance to be a really good hero story this week. I promise I won't ask for anything for Christmas this year.

 

The bill, with tip: $449.

 


From SFGate.com in San Francisco:

 

“If you call Spinali a butcher, he will explain that he isn't one. "A real butcher actually slaughters animals. We are meat cutters," he says. But that doesn't stop Spinali from having some strong opinions about meat and how it's produced.

 

“’I don't like grass-fed beef because the meat is full of water and cooking it is a pain. ... Also, you don't get consistent quality,’ he says. These days he carries Black Angus and Kobe beef.”

 

 

From a review of Middlesex Lounge from Boston.com:

 

“The best morsels were 10 tiny tacos of pulled pork ($8) and the Kobe beef burger ($14), sandwiched between grilled slices of Iggy's sourdough. Cooked to order, this was spectacular beef with only a dab of onion jam and black pepper.”

 

From a story about Kobe, Japan from The Sunday Times of Scotland:

One legacy that the Americans, in particular, left behind was an appetite for steak. Apparently the visitors were so taken by the tenderness of the local beef that they generated the establishment of various grill restaurants across the city. After a hard day’s drinking, we headed to one of them, Misono, to see what all the fuss was about.

Misono dubs itself the “originator” of the teppanyaki restaurant (a kind of upmarket steak house where your table is set around a large grill plate and a chef cooks in front of you) but it’s not the place to come to if you’re expecting antique wooden chairs and silk drapes. Now moved to the seventh floor of a downtown Kobe tower block, the scenery is more Bonfire of the Vanities than Memoirs of a Geisha. If you can take your eye off the huge slabs of beef being wheeled out for your delectation, the view through the floor-to-ceiling windows is like an urban fairground, a whirligig of flashing neon, hurrying pedestrians and futuristic Japanese architecture.

As we sit back in our sleek leather chairs and nonchalantly let the chef, Mr Maehara, get to work with the kind of dinner that costs £25 per 100g, he tries his best to explain the concept.

In beef terms, Kobe is as aristocratic as you can get. The initial distinction to make is whether the meat is Kobe beef (reared in Kobe) or Wagyu (reared elsewhere but fattened in Kobe) — if you’re in doubt, each animal comes with an identity card giving comprehensive information about its bloodline. Then there are the different grades. Four is in my mind the best, but true connoisseurs prefer five — so marbled with fat that, when cooked, it’s hard to tell the difference between melting fat and tender flesh. When you hear how the cattle are raised, you start to understand why. Rumour has it that these pampered beasts are bottle-fed by hand in their infancy and reared with the kind of meticulous attention that includes a daily massage and beer on tap.

More surprising information was to come at the end of the meal though, when Mr Maehara admitted that he has been partial to Aberdeen Angus steak ever since he once went out with a girl from Dalkeith. His dream then, he says, was to set up a Japanese restaurant in Edinburgh. He may have been beaten to that, but how about a sake brewery in Aberfeldy?

From The Prague Post:

It's like some kind of Horatio Alger story: First there was the lowly hamburger, a simple, hardworking meal most commonly spotted in dirty, down-at-heels diners. Then, by dint of sheer luck and the McDonald's corporation, it achieves international renown, is celebrated in books and films, and even earns a walk-on role in Whit Stillman's 1994 film Barcelona. At the end of its rags-to-riches story, the burger is dressed up with fancy buns and expensive condiments to the point where we can't even recognize the humble grilled patty it was just a few chapters earlier.

The culmination of the burger's apotheosis probably took place a couple of years back at New York's DB Bistrot Moderne, which unveiled a $50 burger made with ground sirloin, stuffed with sauteed foie gras and topped with shavings of black truffles. Then a Las Vegas restaurant upped the ante via a $60 version made with Kobe beef -- which comes from coddled, massaged, beer-drinking cows -- and topped with Madeira sauce.

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