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Angel Baker
Angel Baker

Where To Buy Beef Blood

There's nothing like an exquisitely marbled Wagyu steak. Exhibiting abundant fine-grained, intramuscular fat streaks, Wagyu beef is some of the most decadent, tender beef in the entire world, beloved for its savory, buttery flavor. So how does it come to be? It's all about cow DNA.

where to buy beef blood

If you know much about Wagyu, you're aware that authentic Japanese Wagyu essentially must come from Japan. That's because any Wagyu beef in the country is strictly graded by the Japan Meat Grading Association (JMGA) for quality. On top of that, Japanese Wagyu cattle are subject to regulated, mandatory progeny testing to ensure that only high-quality Wagyu DNA is kept for breeding.

Typically, authentic Japanese Wagyu is made from the highly revered Kuroge-washu (Japanese Black) cow with a pure bloodline, but it is not uncommon for the DNA to be mixed with other breeds to produce unique results. There are cattle breeds throughout the world - including in the United States - that have a percentage of Kuroge cattle DNA mixed with other bloodlines, such as the American Angus. This has resulted in a whole new category of Wagyu beef known as American Wagyu.

Typically, American Wagyu is categorized into two subsets: purebred and full-blood. Knowing the difference is important to helping you understand the different Wagyu options so you get the best possible experience with every cut.

Both pureblood and full-blood American Wagyu beef is going to provide you with much of the highly sought-after characteristics of authentic Japanese Wagyu, including a high level of marbling, tenderness and a significant umami flavor. However, the closer you get to 100% Wagyu, the more of these features you will get. With that said, some people actually prefer the more robust steak flavor brought forth from crossbreeding with American cattle, so determining which one is better is often a matter of personal preference.

Visiting the farm was unique, fun and educational. We were very impressed with Sheila and her knowledge. You can readily see she is passionate about what she does. Having never heard of Wagyu beef, I can only say it was delicious and am a fan. Thanks Shiela! We will be back.

Amazing beef and impeccable service! Ordered the beef for a special birthday dinner and they went out of their way to insure it arrived in time. Really appreciate going above and beyond which is the only way I can describe the meat as well. The guests were sooo impressed!

- Better to cook your steak in this than any oil! Rendered down from Full Blood Cattle. This is 100% Wagyu Beef Tallow. Can be used for all types of cooking but a sure way to step up your leaner cuts of steak or if cooking some angus beef & need to add some fat!

rom Austin to Boston to Portland, some of the nations' best-known chefs are embracing an oft-maligned ingredient: blood. What has become, in recent times, the final frontier of all things offal is now a culinary darling. Well, almost. Chefs like Andy Ricker (Pok Pok; Portland, New York, Los Angeles), Jamie Bissonnette (Toro; Boston, New York), Alex Stupak (Empellon; New York) and Paul Qui (Qui; Austin) are using blood in more than a few of their dishes. Although the chefs' styles are all very different, they share one thing in common: Each strives to cook authentic iterations of global cuisines that have all relied on blood as a supporting ingredient for centuries.

"It's definitely an acquired taste," says Andrew Knowlton, BA's restaurant and drinks editor, and big-time blood fan. "Maybe we've just seen too many horror films, but if you can get past that, it's got this intense minerality that I really crave." He cites about-to-reopen Aska's blood cracker, and Estela's blood croquetta (both in Manhattan) as prime examples of how a little blood can add richness and depth to a dish. But that's not the only reason chefs are choosing to cook with blood.

Blood is prized for both pleasure and efficiency. It's a superb thickener, provided it hasn't been frozen and congealed, says Bissonnette, who makes a sausage of roughly 40 percent blood at Toro. Pig's blood is typically favored for its sweeter, lighter flavor. (Beef blood can be gamey, and although gelatinous and mild, chicken blood is hard to source, says Ricker.) Whatever the animal, blood's deep, rich color is not lost on chefs who prize it for its aesthetics: At Sen Yai, Ricker's Thai-influenced noodle shop, they "add a little [blood] to boat noodles to make the broth rich and the color nice." Stupak is experimenting with blood to rehydrate house-made masa harina into crimson tortillas for a potential menu offering later this year. (Masa harina is a dried and powdered form of corn.)

For Qui, who serves a version of the Filipino pork blood stew dinuguan at Qui, it's all about the richness blood adds. "Blood gives you that richness and flavor you want, without being too heavy," he says. "And, I think it's healthier [than butter]." Qui uses both rabbit and duck blood in addition to the more typical pork blood. He notes that the best quality blood is a deep, almost-black color; bright red means it's been oxidized.

Plus, why eat a knockoff when you can eat the real thing? There's plenty of tasty takeout Thai to be found in America, but what sets Ricker apart is his complete immersion into Thailand's culture. When it comes to nuance of flavor, his version of khanom jiin naan ngiaw, for example, is a noodle dish much truer to the food found in northern Thailand than sticky-sweet takeout pad Thai. (Ricker uses pig's blood instead of the typical chicken's blood, but hey, let's not split hairs.)

There's one other, less-touted reason for cooking with blood: It's just plain badass. "Raw blood doesn't taste good," says Bissonnette. It's bland and iron-y, he explains, like a huge bowl of stinging nettles. To take an ingredient like that and turn it into lick-the-plate good food requires a certain skill level that chefs seek and admire. "I can take a ripe avocado, mash it up on toast and season it well, then charge $14 for it at brunch," says Bissonnette. "But so can a lot of people."

Stupak agrees, hitting the example closer to home: "Anyone can season steak and grill it," he says, but to choose off-cuts of meat and organs requires a particular skill and desire to push one's self. Most chefs worth their salt would rather have the satisfaction of tackling a challenging ingredient. In other words, you've got to play big to win big. The way Qui speaks about blood indicates his mastery of the ingredient: He knows, for example, that adding blood to a steaming-hot dish will impart an iron-tinged, "well-cooked liver" taste. That's not something most culinary school students are taught, and it's a nod to his skill level.

"You have to build up diners' trust," says Bissonnette, citing Toro's large menu as a helpful tool. He explains that if a customer's really excited about pan con tomate and chicken empanadas, he or she is admittedly not likely to eagerly dig into smoked beef heart on toast. But the morcilla de cordero, a shepherd's pie with lambs' blood sausage, apples, Brussels sprouts, and topped with bubbling-hot sheep's milk cheese, is a surprisingly user-friendly "gateway drug" into blood consumption. (It's a riff on the first bloody dish Bissonnette cooked, which was a soft blood sausage with onions, apples, and cabbage.) The flavors are all familiar to diners, and unless they're really looking for it, they might not even identify blood as an ingredient. It merely enhances the rich tomato-based sauce that holds it all together. "Just try it," says Bissonnette to wary customers. "It's got that good sloppy joe vibe without the corn syrup and ketchup."

In the case of Ricker's Boat Noodles, the menu doesn't identify blood as an ingredient. They're listed as, "Noodles in a complex rich dark broth with spices, herbs, stewed beef, poached beef, house-made meatballs, water, spinach, dry chilies, herbs, and bean sprouts." Traditional? You bet. Explicitly so? Not in so many words.

Adventurous eaters are eager to try blood-based dishes, but for the majority of Americans, the idea of consuming blood feels inherently taboo. Ricker believes it's a result of generations of supermarket shoppers who have lost touch with the way we used to eat: "Now, we are only interested in prime cuts, we don't eat skin, we can't handle seeing whole parts of the animal on the plate, [and] meat on the bone is not seen as an appetizing thing." Bissonnette agrees, citing years of "TV dinners and canned food" as the primary culprits.

Bissonnette cites a neat-freakish repulsion to blood as partially to blame. "For some reason, people think there's a greater chance they'll get sick from blood," he says. "But it's no less safe than any other meat." And besides, he adds: "If it was bad, you'd know." How would we know? He scrunches up his nose. "Trust me. You'd just know."

"We never ate blood," says Stupak, "because we never had to." The kitchen at Empellón Cocina calls blood-and-offal dishes "red flag" items, because when they're ordered, it's a red flag to the cooks: The diner is likely a food writer or a fellow chef. "If you put blood on a menu, it's still incredibly hard to sell," he says. "And any restaurateur who tells you he or she sells more blood sausage than steak is lying."

Qui, however, might disagree: He's had blood on his menu at Qui continually since a few months after opening. And what's more, he says, last year, his spin on dinuguan was one of the restaurant's top ten sellers. The formal dining room's new menu is a prix fixe, meaning that all diners get blood, whether they want it or not; diners on the patio can choose their own adventure. Are the tides changing? If so, it's a slow turn. Qui's customers are admittedly in the minority when it comes to adventurous dining. "We [as a society] won't even eat chicken thighs," says Stupak. "How can we expect diners in this country to embrace blood?" 041b061a72


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