Grilled wagyu beef on horseradish creamed potato with soy buttered shimeji & pickled enoki mushrooms

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Preparation info

  • For

    4

    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

Fusion: A Culinary Journey

Fusion

By Peter Gordon

Published 2010

  • About

Wagyu simply means ‘Japanese cattle’ with wa meaning Japan. It must be one of the most expensive, sustainable luxuries in the foodie larder. It’s expensive for many reasons, the most obvious being that there is a lack of high-quality wagyu cattle on the market. You can buy wagyu from many countries, but the best will be from Japan (Kobe beef being the best of the best) with the wagyu from Hawke’s Bay in New Zealand coming along closely behind. The beasts are fattier at the front, with their omega-3 and -6 rich fat tapering off to the rear, so the joints nearer the head are more marbled, although not necessarily the most tender. As you can see in the photo, wagyu beef is marbled with fat, but this fat has a higher proportion of unsaturated fats than regular beef fat - so don’t worry too much about it. The other animal whose fat isn’t as bad as you might think is the Iberico pig from Spain which eats lots of acorns on the dehesa (the oak fields) in the last 18-24 months of its life. And, just like wagyu, it’s incredibly expensive. Having said all that, this dish works absolutely fine with regular beef, and if using regular beef it makes a great main course if you increase the portions of everything. The combination of soy and butter in the mushrooms has become a firm favourite of mine, two ingredients from completely different cuisines working harmoniously together. Perfect.

Ingredients

  • 100 g shimeji mushrooms
  • 100 g enoki mushrooms
  • 100 g butter
  • 50 ml soy sauce
  • 80 ml rice vinegar (or any white vinegar)
  • 2 Tbsp caster sugar
  • 500 g floury potatoes
  • 150 ml cream
  • 1 Tbsp freshly grated horse radish, or use horseradish from a jar (more or less to taste)
  • 15 ml (1 Tbsp) olive oil or rapeseed oil
  • 4 x 60-g steaks of wagyu sirloin, fillet or rib-eye, trimmed of sinew, at room temperature
  • cress or something pretty to garnish

Method

Cut the base from both types of mushroom then separate each mushroom from the clump - keeping them separate. Heat up a frying-pan and add half the butter and cook until it begins to turn golden. Add the shimeji and cook over a moderate heat, stirring, until they begin to wilt. Add 40 ml of the soy sauce, put a lid on, and turn the heat quite low. Leave them to cook/steam for 5 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time, and keep warm.

Put the vinegar and sugar into a pan with 150 ml water and 1 teaspoon flaky salt. Bring to the boil, add the enoki and take off the heat. Leave to cool in the liquid then decant into a bowl.

Peel the potatoes and halve them, then boil in lightly salted water until cooked. Drain the potato into a colander and put the pan back on the heat with the remaining butter and the cream. Bring to the boil, return the potato to the pan and mash it all together with the horseradish. Season with salt and keep covered and warm.

Heat up a heavy-based pan or skillet over a moderate-high heat.

Rub the oil over the wagyu steaks and season generously with black pepper and salt. When the pan is hot, place the steaks in and cook until well coloured, then turn them over and cook the same on the other side. Sear all sides of the wagyu so it’s brown and caramelised. Take from the heat, but keep warm and covered. Rest for 5 minutes. Don’t overcook them or all their lovely flavour will be lost.

To Serve

Divide the mash amongst four warmed plates. Slice the steaks in half and rest on the mash, tuck the shimeji in and then place some of the drained enoki on top. Add the wagyu cooking juices, remaining soy sauce and a little of the enoki pickling liquid to the shimeji pan juices, and use this to sauce the dish. Garnish with cress.