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Photo by Jason Janik.

A Cut Above: Texas Wagyu Beef Makes its Big Debut

Big hats, blinding belt buckles, rugged cowboy boots and tucked-in flannel were the fashion statements of the night, but the star of the show was Wagyu beef. Monday night’s launch event at Mansion Restaurant hosted by some of DFW’s top chefs was nothing less than a party. Caroline Hunt, chef Bruno Davaillon, chef Nick Badovinus, chef Dean Fearing, chef Kent Rathbun and chef Richard Chamberlain came together to debut the release of Rosewood Ranches and Jack Rose Cattle Company’s latest beef product: Rosewood Texas Raised Wagyu Beef.

The story behind this specialty beef begins when Mark Hoegh and Justin Jackman of Jackman Wagyu Beef Company approached Rosewood, a subsidiary of the Caroline Hunt Trust Estate, and Kenneth Braddock to purchase their Wagyu calf crop. Over the course of a year, a new company was formed to create Jack Rose Cattle Company LLC, a collaboration owned 50% by Rosewood and 50% by Jackman Wagyu Beef, which was looking to bring together the Texan roots and holistic ranching style of Rosewood with the Wagyu beef industry experience of Jack Rose Cattle Company. To date, the beef has been featured in Nick & Sam’s, Fearing’s, Neighborhood Services, Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House, Yutaka’s and several other Dallas restaurants.

Photo by Jason Janik.
Photo by Jason Janik.

But, what is Wagyu beef? It sounds fancy and delivers a rich flavor with a tender bite, but do you really understand what you just ordered? Maybe I’m just a little behind on my beef terms since I hail from Florida, but just in case you’re a little embarrassed to admit it, I’ll lay out the facts. Wagyu beef, which originates from several regions in Japan, is known for its intense marbling, softer fat and higher percentages of monosaturated fats, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. This delivers lower cholesterol than commodity beef. Some Americans use the terms Kobe and Wagyu interchangeably thinking it refers to the same imported Japanese beef, but that’s incorrect.

Texans are known for their large appetites for country cooking, especially when it comes to meat. We want the finest cuts, top-of-the-line grade and perfect marbling. Customers require grass-fed, grain-fed, all-natural, antibiotic-free and hormone-free, but I question whether they actually know what these terms mean or just think it sounds nice. Either way, Rosewood Wagyu Beef delivers all the above.

Photo by Lauryn Bodden.
Photo by Lauryn Bodden.
Slabs of New York strip and rib eye, trays of beef filet tartare, skewered sticks of beef filet and heavy globs of smoked mashed potatoes made for full stomachs and a meaty hangover. The drinks were flowing and restaurant industry leaders poured in to sample this new contender for cuts of beef. Personally, I like my meat medium rare with limited seasoning and no frilly sauce so I can actually taste each bite, and Jack Rose Cattle Company set out to do just that. Except for a cucumber kimchi served with the rib eye carving (which one could easily forgo or push to the side), samples came simple and done right in my eyes. My favorite goes out to the beef filet tartare, which was light with a hint of herbs.

Last night’s guests received a real taste of what to expect from restaurant menus in months to come, and I believe a great impression was made. Rosewood Texas Raised Wagyu Beef can deliver a quality product, but it is really up to local chefs in how they choose to cook and serve this grade of beef that will showcase its flavor.

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