Briskets are interesting and ours are pretty awesome. All of our briskets are very well reviewed because we source best in class. We get pitches from vendors all the time and we are usually very hesitant of adding anything new.
However, this Intoku Brisket is pretty different. The first sample we received was a 24 lb packers brisket, it required A LOT of trimming because older cows are fattier and there was just too much fat... it was fun to trim it and once cooked it was pretty awesome... but we could not sell something that had so much fat to trim... so we decided to trim them.
The result is a nice (and small) brisket that makes for a great smoke, you can feel a bit of the dry aged (30 day, whole carcass) flavor and the tenderness of the Wagyu. Although I find it chewier than our regular Wagyu brisket, but that is because of the feed (more info below). It is different and cool enough for Meat N' Bone to sell.
WHY WEIGHT RANGES?
Brisket is not a steak.. meaning, we don't get to trim it and cut it to an exact weight (we could, but it would just drive price up). Each steer will be different and its Brisket will be of a size... because we sell online at pre-determined prices we have divided the Briskets in weight ranges. We price them to the lower end of the weight range... so if its a 10-13 lb, we are pricing it at 10 lbs. So while you may be getting the smaller end of the weight, range... you are still getting what you paid for.
We are always looking for new and interesting products, and this is where we met the guys from INTOKU. A small cattle farm in Texas that is raising Akaushi Wagyu, but more interestingly... they are grabbing their older cows (8-12 years old), dry aging them for 30 days and then processing them. So effectively, you have a Dry Aged Vaca vieja.
This process allows you to retain that flavor of vaca vieja, but it makes it REALLY tender. On top of that you have a bit of that dry aged flavor that we all love so much.
So you get a cool mix of three cultures: Japanese (Breed), American (feed), Spanish (Vaca Vieja).
If you have read our blog then you know that the word "Wagyu" translates to "Japanese Cow" ("Wa" means Japanese and "gyu" means cow). So, Wagyu does not really mean a lot as a term. That said the term groups up the four top cattle breeds in Japan:
- Wagyu: Kuroge Washu (Japanese Black)
- Mukaku Washu (Japanese Polled)
- Akage Washu (Japanese Brown)
- Nihon Tankaku Washu (Japanese Shorthorn).
Typically most Wagyu beef comes from Tajima Kuroge Wagyu, at-least most of the Wagyu we sell does. Which is one of the reasons we like this INTOKU product as it allows us to try a different type of Wagyu: Akaushi (Japanese Brown) which is typically from the prefecture of Kumamoto.