It’s true! Kobé steers really do guzzle beer and have their bodies massaged daily. And Japanese beef is justly famous—exquisitely marbled, incredibly tender, richly flavorful, and astronomically priced! Here in America, fine fillet of beef is far less costly, affording the opportunity to experiment with new presentations. The following dish resulted from playing with various flavored butters one day, and I think you’ll agree it’s simple, but sumptuous.
Bring the butter to room temperature, but don’t let it melt. With a whisk or fork, beat the butter until it’s fluffy. Gradually beat into the powdered horseradish. Fill a small dish with the butter mixture, smooth the surface with a knife or spatula, and chill until extremely firm. (The butter will keep well, covered, for weeks in the refrigerator.)
Melt the suet over medium heat in a heavy skillet (wrought iron is best). Sprinkle a pinch of salt and a shake of pepper over the steaks on both sides. Raise the heat to high and sear the meat for 1 minute. Flip the steaks and sear the other side for another minute. Reduce the heat to medium, cook for 1 more minute on each side, then add the rice wine and soy sauce and cover the skillet for 1 minute more. Flip the steaks and cook another 30 seconds for rare, or 1 minute for medium-rare, meat. Transfer the steaks to individual preheated plates.
With a decorative butter scraper or a melon bailer, scrape or scoop the chilled wasabi butter and lay some on each steak. Serve immediately with the butter melting naturally on the hot meat to create an aromatic and slightly fiery sauce.
© 1985 Elizabeth Andoh. All rights reserved.