I've been noticing restaurant-grade wagyu - the really heavily marbled stuff that's as much fat as meat - in good butcher's shops lately. How can I cook it at home?
I love wagyu. It's expensive, but before you baulk at the price (and the fat content), remember that a little goes a long way. The really great thing about heavily marbled wagyu is that it's more forgiving of overcooking.
Cook it in a quality non-stick pan rather than on the barbecue or anywhere else where you're going to get flare-ups. You want to be able to control your heat source to achieve a nice thick, caramelised crust on each side.
Take your steak out of the fridge 15 minutes before cooking to allow the meat to warm to room temperature; this ensures your steak cooks evenly. Season it with good flaky salt and a touch of freshly ground pepper, and make sure the pan is smoking-hot before you begin cooking.
The natural marbling helps to baste your steak so, in my experience, you won't need to add oil to the pan. I prefer to cook wagyu to the medium end of medium-rare to give the marbling a chance to render down and coat the meat fibres.
I prefer it without sauce; my preference is to eat wagyu steak on its own to savour the unique flavour and texture.
Here are some wagyu recipes to try at home:
Wagyu with horseradish
Illustration Lauren Haire