Have you ever stared too long at a menu, deciphering the difference between Angus and Wagyu beef? Don't worry. You're not alone. Nowadays, restaurants offer diners options beyond steak cuts and doneness. If you’re confused, you can ask your server to help. Better yet, read this article to guide you in your steak choices.
Whether you plan on dining out or cooking steak for the family, best to understand the basics. Here we discuss Wagyu vs. Angus beef, plus a few suggestions on preparing each type of meat at home.
What to Know About Wagyu Beef
The term Wagyu refers to cattle originating from various parts of Japan. Currently, there are four cow types under the Wagyu category: the Japanese Black, Brown, Polled, and Shorthorn. Wagyu beef comes from cattle raised on a strict diet and stress-free environment. Livestock owners feed their cows premium-grade wheat hay and grains. Additionally, the animals stay under the care of breeders longer than commercial cattle.
The Japanese government monitors farms closely to ensure breeders use genetically qualified cows. Their unique rearing method results in fat marbling inside the cow's muscle tissues. These white lines of fat are the reason behind flavorful and juicy Wagyu steaks.
Due to its breeding methods, Wagyu marbling is unparalleled. Here are three ways to incorporate Wagyu into your weekly menu.
- Pan-fried steak. When cooking Wagyu steak, best keep it simple. Lightly season on both sides with Knorr Liquid Seasoning and cook in a preheated cast-iron pan with butter and olive oil. Pair with Chef's Salad or mashed potatoes.
- Salpicao. This one is for all the Pinoys who like their steak with rice! Make this classic recipe for your baon.
- Pastrami sandwiches. Make pastrami from Wagyu brisket and refrigerate for future palaman needs.
Tips for cooking Wagyu steak
Make the most out of this premium protein with these tips:
- Grilling or reverse-searing Wagyu in a cast-iron skillet is ideal for preparing steak.
- Meat should be at room temperature before cooking. A half hour outside the fridge should do the trick. A room-temp steak makes the cooking more even.
- Choose your cut wisely. Standard cuts like ribeye or fillet are less tricky to prepare. If you are up for the challenge, try flank, roast, or chuck.
- Premium quality Wagyu requires minimal seasoning only.
- Steak doneness is a preference. However, with Wagyu, you do not want it well done. Opt for medium rare instead.
What you Need to Know About Angus Beef
Angus beef comes from a cattle breed of Scottish origin. Most Angus cows are grass-fed, with a select few also consuming grains. Unlike Wagyu producers, Angus breeders don’t spend as much time raising and feeding the cows. There are two known types of Angus cattle in the United States – Black and Red. Of these two, Black is a favorite since Reds are rare.
Although regulations for Angus beef aren’t as stringent, the USDA does assess the beef’s quality. When buying Angus meat, look for grades – Select, Choose, and Prime. The last one flaunts the highest quality of beef. Although not as pampered, the cattle develop a decent amount of marbling. Depending on the cut, some parts can be more flavorsome than others.
Angus meat is no different than any other cattle breed. Go ahead and use it in various beef recipes. These are some crowd faves.
- Grilled steak. If your perfect steak has charr marks, grilling Angus is the way to go. Season the meat and grill on high. Brush both sides with a bit of olive oil to keep it from sticking. Serve with corn on the cob and potato salad.
- Beef stroganoff. Make this creamy pasta dish taste even better by marinating the beef for at least an hour.
- Pinoy bistek. Level up your go-to bistek recipe with Angus meat. Extra sauce is a must for spooning over hot rice.
Tips for cooking Angus steak
You can prepare Angus meat in multiple ways, such as grilling, roasting, pan-frying, or braising. Make the most of your fancy beef with these tips.
- New York strip, fillet, and ribeye are terrific cuts for steak.
- High heat is your friend when cooking with Angus beef.
- Meat thermometers can help you gauge the doneness of thick slabs of beef.
- Season Angus generously! Unlike Wagyu, the flavor of Angus meat becomes more pronounced with over-seasoning.
- Get juicy steaks by letting your steak rest for five to 10 minutes.
The Verdict: Which One Is Better?
Both types of beefcan feature excellent marbling. However, many steak lovers believe Wagyu trumps Angus easily. Wagyu's delicate and distinct flavor sets it apart from the rest of the herd. More importantly, the fat found in Wagyu beef is unsaturated and rich in Omega acids, making it a healthier choice than any other meat.
Getting your hands on authentic Japanese Wagyu is no easy feat. If you are lucky to come across some, expect to pay a hefty price. In contrast, Angus beef is readily available and is not as costly.
Make steak nights extra special. Wagyu beef would make for an amazing treat when cooking steak recipes for the family. However, with the right seasoning and cooking, Angus meat can be just as tasty and tender as Japanese Wagyu.