Let’s Get The Party Started
In case you’ve ever wondered, you’re correct. Working for Snake River Farms has the ultimate in fringe benefits. Being able to meet and work with some of the best folks in the business definitely ranks high on that list. We often have informal gatherings with like-minded companies to share tips and tricks with our products. It’s also a great excuse to have some fantastic food with new friends and have a few laughs.
Recently, a crew of SRF employees met with the team at Jacobsen Salt Co., in Portland, Oregon to share our products and to teach attendees 3 great ways to cook our American-Wagyu steaks. If working for Snake River Farms has taught us anything, it’s that the cooking method used greatly influences the flavor of the beef. From a Tomahawk Ribeye to Flank Steak, how you cook it can dramatically change the flavors presented in each steak. We saw this as a great opportunity to showcase our American Wagyu beef with the unique flavors from Jacobsen.
The Perfect Pairing: Snake River Farms and Jacobsen Salt Co.
We met Ben Jacobsen at Feast Portland about five years ago and hit it off. His handcrafted salt was a great match for our beef and we started carrying Jacobsen products on our website. The Black Pepper Infused Salt is now a staple in our kitchen. On a phone call back in March, Ben suggested we join forces to create an event to demonstrate different techniques to cook a steak. It sounded like a great reason to work with Ben and his team, so we booked a date to head up to “The Rose City”.
The Main Event: How To Cook The Perfect Steak
Questions around cooking methods are asked most often in our Customer Care Center, either on the phone or online. So, We decided to highlight some of our most popular cuts at Snake River Farms and feature a signature cooking method that would really bring out the flavor of each steak.
Anyone who has cooked Snake River Farms can tell you that the rich, buttery American Wagyu flavor is fantastic using any of these methods, and that’s true. But each of these styles of cooking adds subtle and unique tastes. Give them a try, they may become your go-to cooking method in preparing the perfect steak.
The More The Merrier
Once we got going, two key partners jumped in to make the event even more awesome. Big Green Egg sent in two of their grills and Durant Vineyards, an Oregon winemaker, brought in some bottles to pair with our steaks.
Cooking Method 1: Sous Vide Method
- Cut Used: SRF American Wagyu Flank Steak
- Flavor Profile: Moderate beef flavor with good marbling with a tender texture when sliced across the strong grain.
- Equipment Needed: Immersion circulator and a heat-proof container
- Why We Like Sous Vide: Perfect for a crowd
The event kicked off with our flank steak cooked using sous vide. Sous vide is the French term for “under vacuum” which refers to sealing the product to be cooked in an airtight bag. The sealed steak is cooked in a temperature-controlled water bath to precisely control its doneness.
Once the steak is in the water bath, there’s nothing to do but wait so it’s a great method to prepare large quantities of steak for a group. It takes about an hour to cook our two-pound flank steaks in the water bath. But, honestly, the beauty of this method is that the steak can’t be overcooked. The immersion circulator keeps the water (and the steak) at the perfect temperature without going over the thermometer setting.
We used a Yeti 45 cooler and a Chef Steps Joule, which has an optional clamp that’s custom-built to fit a slot in the cooler. The plan was to have the flank steaks ready to go soon after our attendees arrived.
Sear, Slice and Serve
Once the steaks reached the desired temp. The crowd started rolling in. They enjoyed a glass of Durant Rose, cheese and charcuterie, then gathered around the grills for a demo. We fired up the Big Green Eggs to about 700 degrees then quickly seared the steaks so they could be sliced and served.
Shun Knives is also located in the Portland area. They’re great partners with Snake River Farms so we invited Matt Matsushima, the Director of Operations to eat some steak with us. Matt saw how busy we were, picked up a Shun and started slicing the flank steaks!
We served the flanks using our Green Dragon Steak recipe with spicy ginger and garlic teriyaki sauce, toasted sesame seeds and green onions. Several aficionados felt putting sauce on American Wagyu beef was heresy and asked for steak with just Jacobsen salt. We applaud their purist sensibilities.
Cooking Method 2: Reverse Seared Method
- Cut Used: SRF American Wagyu Tomahawk Ribeye Steak
- Flavor Profile: Intense marbling creates a rich and juicy steak with the deep beef flavor.
- Equipment Needed: Grill with a 2-zone cooking set-up. Hot grill for the finish.
- Why We Like Reverse Seared: Perfect for thick-cut steaks.
Next up, eight of our American Wagyu tomahawks. These bone-in ribeyes might be the most Instagram-able steaks we make and they’re a serious crowd-pleaser. Each tomahawk is cut 2 inches thick and weighs over two pounds. Griff and Ben demonstrated how to season steaks of this magnitude.
Steaks this large are best reverse-seared – slow-roasted between 225 and 275 degrees, then finished on the grill. Reverse searing the steaks allows the meat to cook to the desired internal temperature (120 degrees for medium-rare) without over-cooking the rest of the steak. This can be an issue when anyone is trying to cook these monsters properly. When the steak emerges from the low temp Big Green Egg, it’s barely brown and begs for a hot surface to create a beautifully seared crust. Nonetheless, our guests admired the giant tomahawks before we performed the finishing step.
The Caveman Steak Sear: Not For The Timid
The steaks were finished “caveman style” directly on the coals. Yes, we were showing off but this is an effective and delicious way to sear the outside of a tomahawk steak. Surprisingly, almost no coals stick to the steak’s surface. The steaks emerge from the Big Green Egg with a beautiful crust.
Safety tip: the caveman method of searing gets HOT.
Use long tongs and a fireproof mitt.
The first two tomahawks were transported to the serving table where we sliced them up so our guests could observe and take some photos.
The dining room is a large open space at Jacobsen’s retail space. The table is a huge flatbed from an old truck. Ben said it took a serious crane to move it into the building.
Cooking Method 3: Steakhouse Method
- Cut Used: SRF American Wagyu Black Grade Filet Mignon
- Flavor Profile: Mild beef flavor with an extremely tender and buttery texture.
- Equipment Needed: Cast iron or carbon steel pan and an oven.
- Why We Like The Steakhouse Method: No special equipment needed.
We finished the day by preparing Snake River Farms Black Grade filet mignons using the steakhouse method. This is our go-to technique for fast and easy steak prep.
Season your steaks (with Jacobsen salt!) and sear them in a smoking hot skillet for 2 minutes on each side.
Put the skillet in a 350-degree oven to finish. These 10 oz. filets took about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven, rest for 10 minutes, then slice and serve.
You know you’re at a good event when dessert is American Wagyu filet mignon. After the dust cleared, there wasn’t a bite of steak to be found. We really appreciate everyone who joined us in Portland. We had a great time and enjoyed meeting so many new folks.
3 Final Thoughts On These 3 Cooking Methods:
- SRF American Wagyu Steaks and their buttery-rich flavor profile can be cooked with any of these great methods.
- Each method can bring out nuance in taste. We love them all, but you might find a favorite.
- Cooking method may go hand-in-hand with the event your hosting. For example, sous vide is great when cooking for a crowd.
If you need any help choosing the perfect cut or cooking method for your next get together, contact our customer care specialists. They’re here for you! You can also browse our recipes and how-tos for other great tips.