Discover the Best Side Dishes for Flank of Wagyu Beef
Flank of Wagyu beef is a cut of meat that is revered by top chefs and food enthusiasts alike. Its tender texture and rich flavor make it a delicacy that is perfect for special occasions or indulgent meals. However, to truly experience the flavors of this exquisite meat, it is essential to pair it with the right side dishes. In this article, we will explore some of the best options for enhancing the taste of your prized cut of flank of Wagyu beef.
Understanding Flank of Wagyu Beef
Before we dive into the side dishes, let's take a moment to understand what makes flank of Wagyu beef so unique. Wagyu is a breed of cattle originating from Japan that is known for its high fat marbling, which results in a supremely tender and juicy meat when cooked. Flank steak is a cut from the lower chest or abdomen region of the cow, known for its deep beefy flavor and slightly grainy texture.
What Makes Wagyu Beef Unique
The secret to Wagyu beef's unique flavor and texture lies in its genetic makeup. Wagyu cattle are raised under strict guidelines that prioritize their care and comfort, resulting in meat that is exceptionally tender and flavorful. The cattle are fed a special diet consisting of high-quality grains and grasses, which contribute to the meat's rich flavor. Additionally, the high fat content of Wagyu beef means that the meat retains moisture during cooking, resulting in a juicy and succulent cut. The marbling of the fat also adds a buttery texture to the meat that is unmatched by other beef cuts.
Wagyu beef is also known for its health benefits. The high levels of monounsaturated fats in the meat make it a healthier option than other beef cuts. These fats can help to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
How to Cook Flank of Wagyu Beef
When it comes to cooking flank of Wagyu beef, the key is to keep it simple. The meat's natural flavor and tenderness need no extra fuss, so a simple seasoning of salt and pepper is all that's required. Searing the meat on high heat for a short time on each side, followed by a brief rest, will result in a perfect medium-rare cut. However, the best way to cook flank of Wagyu beef is on a grill, giving it a perfect smoky flavor that pairs well with all of our recommended side dishes.
It's important to note that because of the high fat content of Wagyu beef, it cooks faster than other beef cuts. It's best to keep a close eye on the meat while cooking to avoid overcooking and drying it out. Resting the meat after cooking is also crucial to allow the juices to redistribute, resulting in a moist and tender cut.
Another tip for cooking flank of Wagyu beef is to let it come to room temperature before cooking. This will ensure that the meat cooks evenly and results in a more tender cut. It's also important to slice the meat against the grain to ensure maximum tenderness.
Classic Side Dishes for Wagyu Beef
If you're looking for classic side dishes to pair with your flank of Wagyu beef, the following options are always a hit:
Creamy Mashed Potatoes
There's something about the creamy texture of mashed potatoes that perfectly complements the rich flavors of Wagyu beef. For a classic take on this side dish, boil potatoes until they are soft, mash them with butter and cream, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
But if you want to add a little twist to your mashed potatoes, try adding roasted garlic. Simply roast a head of garlic until it's soft and caramelized, then mash it together with the potatoes. The sweet and nutty flavor of roasted garlic will elevate your mashed potatoes to a whole new level.
When cooked to perfection, grilled asparagus brings a smoky, crunchy texture to your plate that pairs well with Wagyu beef's rich flavors. Lightly brush the asparagus with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill on high heat until tender and slightly charred.
If you want to add a little more flavor to your grilled asparagus, try topping it with shaved parmesan cheese and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. The tangy and sweet flavors of the cheese and glaze will perfectly balance the smoky and savory flavors of the asparagus and beef.
Mushrooms are a classic side dish for steak, and they pair just as well with flank of Wagyu beef. Heat butter in a pan, add sliced mushrooms, salt, and pepper, and cook on medium-high heat until the mushrooms are tender and juicy.
If you want to take your sautéed mushrooms to the next level, try adding a splash of red wine and some fresh thyme. The wine will add a rich and deep flavor to the mushrooms, while the thyme will provide a fresh and herbaceous note that will complement the beef perfectly.
With these classic side dishes, your Wagyu beef will be elevated to a whole new level of deliciousness. Bon appétit!
Asian-Inspired Side Dishes
If you're in the mood for something a little different, these Asian-inspired side dishes are sure to impress:
Steamed Jasmine Rice
Steamed jasmine rice is a classic side dish in Southeast Asian cuisine and pairs wonderfully with Wagyu beef. Rinse one cup of jasmine rice and place it in a pot with two cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and let simmer for about 18 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed.
Jasmine rice is a fragrant, long-grain rice that originates from Thailand. It has a delicate, slightly sweet flavor and a soft, sticky texture that makes it perfect for soaking up sauces and gravies. In Southeast Asian countries, rice is often served at every meal and is considered a staple food.
When cooking jasmine rice, it's important to rinse it thoroughly before cooking to remove any excess starch. This will prevent the rice from becoming too sticky or clumpy. Once cooked, fluff the rice with a fork and let it sit for a few minutes to cool before serving.
Stir-Fried Bok Choy
Bok choy is a leafy green vegetable often used in Chinese cuisine that pairs well with the rich flavors of Wagyu beef. Heat oil in a wok on high heat, add garlic and ginger, then toss in chopped bok choy and stir-fry until the leaves are slightly wilted and the stems are tender.
Bok choy is a type of Chinese cabbage that has a mild, slightly sweet flavor and a crisp texture. It's a great source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as calcium and potassium. When stir-frying bok choy, it's important to cook it quickly over high heat to retain its crispness and prevent it from becoming too wilted.
In Chinese cuisine, bok choy is often used in stir-fries, soups, and stews. It's a versatile vegetable that can be cooked in a variety of ways and pairs well with a wide range of flavors.
Sesame-Ginger Green Beans
If you're looking for a simple yet flavorful side dish, try sesame-ginger green beans. Blanch the green beans for a minute in boiling water, then transfer them to a pan with sesame oil, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Cook for a few minutes until all the flavors meld together.
Green beans are a nutritious and versatile vegetable that can be prepared in a variety of ways. They're a great source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as fiber and folate. When blanching green beans, it's important to cook them just until they're tender-crisp to retain their bright green color and crisp texture.
The combination of sesame oil, ginger, and garlic gives these green beans a rich, savory flavor that pairs well with the umami flavors of Wagyu beef. Sesame seeds add a nutty crunch and a touch of sweetness to the dish.
Next time you're looking for a side dish to serve with your Wagyu beef, try one of these Asian-inspired dishes for a delicious and flavorful meal.
Hearty Vegetable Sides
Vegetables can be just as satisfying as any carb-heavy side dish. These hearty vegetable sides pair well with the rich flavor of Wagyu beef.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Roasted Brussels sprouts are a simple yet satisfying side dish. Toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper in a baking dish, then roast in a preheated oven at 400°F for 20-30 minutes until they are golden brown and crispy.
Garlic-Rosemary Baby Potatoes
Garlic-rosemary baby potatoes are a classic side dish that's perfect for any steak. Roast baby potatoes in a baking dish with garlic, rosemary, and olive oil at 400°F for 25-30 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender and golden brown.
Honey-glazed carrots are a perfect balance of sweet and savory that pairs perfectly with the rich flavors of Wagyu beef. Toss baby carrots with honey, butter, salt, and pepper, and roast in a baking dish at 375°F for 25-30 minutes until the carrots are tender and caramelized.
Flank of Wagyu beef is a truly exceptional cut of meat that deserves to be paired with winning side dishes. Whether you prefer classic dishes like mashed potatoes and asparagus or more exotic options like sesame-ginger green beans or stir-fried bok choy, there's a perfect side dish for everyone. So grill up a succulent piece of Wagyu beef, choose your favorite side dish, and savor all the flavors that this exceptional beef has to offer.