Washugyu from Japanese Premium Beef

I had the biggest smile when I walked in Japanese Premium Beef yesterday. The space is Thomas Keller-immaculate–just like the type of kitchen I dream of having. The hipster-looking Japanese guy introduced me to the beef on display while the other guy sliced fresh-looking meat in the back on a butcher block.

Washugyu is a crossbred of Wagyu and Black Angus raised in Oregon under the supervision of breeder and feed programmer Tad Yano. The cow not only inherits Tajima blood–one of the black Wagyu cattle breeds in Japan–but is also fed using a genuine Japanese feeding program that doesn’t use antibiotics or any other growth promotants.

All the cuts on display looked fresh and mouth-watering. The ribeye I inquired about, which was as big as my palm, was $24 at $49.99 a pound. A New York striploin goes up to $59.99 a pound. You don’t have to spend so much when you go though. I was able to pick up a row of thinly-sliced beef tongue for $7.50, and ground beef perfect for your high-maintenance burger-loving friends is available at $4.99 a pound.

Back home, I heated some oil on a frying pan and seared the tongue for a few seconds before flipping them over to sear a second more. I immediately removed them to a plate, sprinkled with salt and freshly-squeezed lemon. It was only 1pm but I was already enjoying a very good dish of beef tongue with a glass of 2008 Robert Oatley rosé–sometimes life is very good to me.

I’ll pick up one of those beautiful ribeyes during my next visit, but I’ll also make sure to buy some cheek meat to try and replicate a Babbo dish I love.

Japanese Premium Beef is at 57 Great Jones Street off Bowery. They are open 7 days a week from 10am to 8pm. Call them at 212/260.2333 to ask if they have freshly-sliced beef tongue before you go.