I cooked $110 worth of A5 Wagyu steak in the most disrespectful way possible and loved it

pieces of wagyu steak cooking in a cast-iron skillet
I practiced cooking Wagyu steak to find my favorite method.Sarah Hostetler
  • I recently bought $1,000 worth of A5 Wagyu steak and experimented with different ways to prepare it.

  • Instead of working with room-temperature steak, I started preparing it right out of the fridge.

  • I also seared it for longer than recommended to make sure the steak was cooked to well-done.

During a recent trip to Maui, my husband and I came across the most expensive protein I'd ever seen: Japanese A5 Olive Wagyu selling for a whopping $35 an ounce.

We began musing about what kind of sap would pay $140 for a 4-ounce steak. But it wasn't long before that Olive Wagyu was the only thing we could see on the menu, and we decided we had to try it ourselves.

We ordered 3 ounces and could barely finish it. The flavor was unbelievable but almost too rich — the consistency almost felt like a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Since then, I've purchased over $1,000 in A5 Wagyu to cook at home. I tried preparing it in various ways, usually going against the best practices I was finding online.

Here's my favorite method.

In preparation for an upcoming dinner party, I purchased 12 ounces of Wagyu cubes for practice

three raw cubes of wagyu steak on a kitchen counter
The A5 steak is more marbling than meat.Sarah Hostetler

I experimented with a $110 package of Miyazakigyu premium beef before trying my hand at an even more expensive steak.

I'm not a fan of rare steak — or medium-rare, for that matter. If the steak is bloody, I'm not interested.

With A5 Wagyu, there seems to be very little blood, presumably because the steak is marbled with monounsaturated fat — sometimes over 60%.

I worked with cold meat instead of letting it come to room temperature

squashed pieces of wagyu steak on a kitchen counter
I thought the meat would turn to mush if I manipulated it at room temperature.Sarah Hostetler

The generally advised practice (though it seems that the handling of this particular meat is endlessly debated) is to bring the steak to room temperature before you cook it.

But it becomes nearly the consistency of butter because of all the fat marbling, so I began flattening the meat straight out of the fridge.

I used the side of my knife to flatten the pieces while they were still cold and briefly let them sit before tossing them into a cast-iron skillet.

Instead of cooking for the recommended time, I really seared both sides of the meat

spatula pressing down flattened pieces of wagyu steak in a cast-iron skillet
You can see the immense amount of fat from these few pieces of meat pooling along the sides of the pan.Sarah Hostetler

I very lightly seasoned the skillet with olive oil and threw my flatten meat cubes onto an already sizzling pan on high heat. I then sprinkled a bit of sea salt on top.

I think cast iron is ideal for cooking steak because it distributes intense heat evenly.

A5 Wagyu fat renders at just 75 degrees Fahrenheit, so a quick searing on both sides, and they're ready to eat. The meat should be cooked to about 130 F for rare and 170 F for well-done.

I wanted to know how it tasted well-done, with a good sear to add some texture. I kept the flattened pieces in the pan for longer than recommended on each side, pressing them down with a spatula for a smashed effect.

Then I removed my steak cubes from the heat and let them rest for a few minutes — even steak that's well done should rest before serving. That's one of the few tips I followed closely.

Even though it felt like I broke every steak-cooking rule, I loved the results

a piece of cooked wagyu steak on a shard of white cheddar cheese
Eating the meat with cheddar cheese was almost too rich.Sarah Hostetler

I served the steak on pieces of sharp white cheddar and couldn't believe the taste. I loved it, even though it took breaking almost every steak-cooking rule to make it.

I cooked a lot of fat out of these steak cubes, but surprisingly, they were still flavorful.

A5 Wagyu is so heavy that it's hard to eat more than a few bites. But when it was borderline burnt, it actually became a bit lighter. I felt like I could enjoy it for a longer period of time.

Still, with a price tag so astronomical, I can't afford to snack on Wagyu whenever I want. Perhaps it's better to cook the meat less thoroughly so I want less of it.

Read the original article on Insider