Battle of the Beef Round 2: NY Strip Smackdown
Yesterday I posted about Round 1 of my Battle of the Beef, which was all about the rib eye steak. Today I'm posting about Round 2, NY strips. I added a third steak to the taste test, not for comparison but as a stand alone, an SRF petit tenderloin.
This taste test took place yesterday evening, after my body had a week of eating fish and chicken to recover from all the cholesterol in those supremely marbled rib eyes. And this time I would have help finishing the beef…Janet invited our son Chris over for a Father’s Day eve dinner. He brought along my grandson Owen who decided to pass on the steak...that won't last...unfortunately our Daughter-in-Law Kelly had to work. Not to worry...I kept an SRF steak in the freezer with her name on it.
For round 2 of my Battle of the Beef I once again went with SRF’s American Wagyu Gold Grade and put it up against Roseda’s Wagus branded beef, the best both farms offer consumers. SRF labels their NY strip cuts as striploin and Roseda labels theirs as NY strip whic is mostly a “tomato tomahto” thing, except SRF packaged it bone-in. To make it a fair taste test since the Roseda Wagus NY strip was boneless, I removed the bone from the SRF striploin.
After the steaks were cooked, reverse sear in my sous vide to the upper end of medium rare and finished on the grill for a minute per side, I cut out 1.5-ounce portions from all three to use for my taste test. That would give me just about as much steak as my stomach can handle, and I divided the rest between Chris and Janet. Chris got the striploin, which even after I cut out my test sample was still over a pound of beef, and Janet got the rest of the Roseda NY strip. The tenderloin was a petit cut so I set aside the rest of it for steak and eggs, which I enjoyed this morning for my Father's Day breakfast.
This taste test was not blind…I knew from the rib eye challenge that even blindfolded I would be able to taste the difference, so I didn’t see any point complicating things. This was a much cleaner win for SRF than the rib eye challenge was. The SRF striploin was the hands down winner, no caveats, and no question that as a special occasion steak it was worth every penny of the $100 price tag (actually it was $99 but you have to factor in that pesky shipping cost somewhere). The Roseda NY strip was good, but it couldn't hold a candle to the Gold Grade striploin. The only disappointment was the SRF tenderloin. It was nothing special, and in my view was not worth the money I paid for it. It was certainly tender enough, but no more so than the tenderloins I get from Roseda. And as is typical of tenderloins, it was nearly devoid of any beef flavor...not even Wagyu genetics could change that.
The SRF striploin came out every bit as tender as the rib eye I cooked up last weekend in spite of having a tad less intramuscular fat just by nature of the cut. And of course, it lacked the spinalis dorsi muscle (the rib cap) that the rib eye has. With the layer of fat exposed on the NY strips rather than sandwiched between layers of muscle as it is on the rib eye, any far that rendered out was mostly cooked off rather than juicing the meat. With the rich intramuscular fat SRF’s Wagyu genetics brought to the cut, it didn’t need a fat side car. The SRF striploin had a great chew factor, more so than the rib eye but without losing any tenderness, and I absolutely loved the flavor. It was straight up beef with just enough fat to give it a nice, buttery mouthfeel but without oversaturating my tastebuds.
The SRF striploin was just about the most perfect steak I’ve ever eaten, at least among the steaks I’ve cooked myself. I do enjoy the more complex flavor that Roseda gets in their beef, but in this case the SRF striploin had so much going on that I didn’t miss it. I only took one bite of the Roseda steak, but I kept going back for more of the striploin. Not because I didn’t like the Roseda steak, but because the SRF striploin was just that much better. I ate all of my tasting sample of the SRF striploin and even snuck an extra bite or two from Chris’s portion when he wasn’t looking. The only reason I didn’t steal more from him was that I was stuffed. But I sure wanted more.
I like Roseda steaks, and I can afford to have them more than once or twice a year, butI absolutely loved SRF’s striploin steak. And even though I can't afford them very often, the next time I want a steak for a special occasion it’ll be the SRF striploin. And I won’t gripe about having to pay for shipping!