Special Night at Vino&co | Wagyu Tasting & Sake Pairing
IT HAPPENED AT VINO & CO IBIZA
ON AUGUST 7TH 2019
GREASE IS THE WORD
CHEF: LUCA ROSSI
WRITER: JEROEN HAMERSMA
PHOTOS: VINO & CO
Vino&Co Ibiza united Jochem Diekerhof of Zagt Vlees, high end meat wholesaler (NL), Luca Rossi, Private Chef (IT) and Rosa Hamersma, Sake Sommelier (NL) for an evening of Wagyu tasting and Sake pairing.
“Can it be a bit more?” is probably one of the most heard phrases in the artisan butcher shop where you can’t find all meat pre cut and packaged ready to take away. But we are not referring to weight or quantity here, but to the amount of fat! Fat on the meat, fat through the meat, yes, fat is allowed again! When not long ago everything had to be as lean as possible, fat has made a comeback. And rightly so, as often the rim of fat is what gives taste to the meat. A meatball without any fat is dry and a stew made of meat without any fat will turn out as a disappointment.
“Fat on the meat, fat through the meat, yes, fat is allowed again! “
That’s why I became hugely enthusiastic when I saw my friend (and butcher) Jochem (Zagt Amsterdam) posting on Facebook about the introduction of his new product Hidagyu from the Gifu prefecture in central Japan.
Hidagyu is of such quality and such marbling that it belongs in the category of the best Wagyu of Japan. It’s produced by the oldest blackbreed stock breeder in Japan and the best one can lay their hands on worldwide (only allowed to be exported since 2016).
Butcher Jochem and his company Zagt have accomplished that this meat, that’s normally only available in Japan, is now on the market in Europe too. As a joke, I commented on his post if he could bring me a piece when he was coming for his yearly family holiday.
Fastforward a few weeks later, and he’s unpacking a coolbox on the bar in our wine shop. To my surprise, not only beautifully marbled pieces of Hidagyu but also Holsteiner from Holland and Spanish Black Angus from Salamanca. Once a butcher, always a butcher; can it be a little more? Too much to just taste, so we organised a small event around it. At a tasting of high quality meats there should be some connoisseurs present, so some foodie friends and quality butchers from the island were invited too. Luca Rossi, a friend, wine lover and top chef on the island, was given the lead in preparing these exclusive pieces of meat. “Keep it simple” was the only instruction. After a few small appetisers with meat and a whole bunch of homemade pickles it was time for some more serious cuts. One of the Hidagyu was cut thinly to make Shabu Shabu, cooked by dipping it shortly in a dashi broth. The Holstein Veal and Black Angus were shortly grilled and the tenderness and flavour intensity of dry ageing pleasantly surprised the Spanish butchers.
All went quiet whilst tasting, until Rosa opened a few bottles of sake to pair it with.
First up, a Sparkling Nigori (cloudy) Junmai Daiginjo from Kyoto, with a beautiful freshness and effervescence which matched the lighter dishes. After, a magnum bottle of Tamagawa Yamahai 2017, with a great intensity and body to match the grilled steaks served just with a little salt and a hollandaise of shiitake vinegar on the side.
Everybody was so impressed, it’s only a question of time before all of these cuts will be available on the island. But be aware, they’ll ask you if it can be a little more….!