When a friend recently had an enormous box full of steaks delivered to my doorstep I was at a loss for words. I’m really not much of a red meat eater; in fact, I’m almost exclusively pescatarian, but this thoughtful package from Snake River Farms turned out to be the most delicious thing I’ve tasted in years.
The sampler gift ($169) included various cuts of American wagyu flight beef – two ribeye steaks, two sirloin steaks, and the pièce de résistance: two buttery filet mignons – with a Jacobsen sea salt grinder. We cooked up the supremely juicy and tender steaks with little else and they delighted our dinner party guests – a discerning, carnivorous crowd who declared the Gold filet mignon ($46-50 when sold individually) the hands-down winner. So soft are these steaks that they can be cut with a butter knife, which is why they are sought after by Michelin-starred chefs such as Thomas Keller at the French Laundry.
Snake River Farms’ cattle are raised along the high plain of the Snake River in the beautiful wilds of eastern Idaho. The hormone-free, grass-fed beef is wet-aged for 28 days to enhance flavour before each 6-10oz steak is frozen and individually vacuum-packed. They are then shipped with explicit instructions for thawing, cooking and, most importantly, savouring. I learnt, for example, that thawing the meat slowly in the refrigerator seals in the moisture, and pulling it off the grill five minutes early allows the juices to permeate the flesh.
I followed the cooking instructions to the letter, which yielded perfectly medium-rare steaks. It was a real eye-opener – and one that may well lead to further meat explorations. Perhaps the Double R Ranch English beef burgers ($23) for barbecue season?