Originally posted by BT
Modern genuine Kobe beef is still fed that, as I understand it, but also penned so as not to allow it a lot of muscle-toughening exercise and massaged frequently and otherwise pampered so as to produce fat, lazy, limp but tasty animals. It is quite rare and expensive. I have eaten it in Japan years ago and, as steak, it was wonderful. But I simply don't believe that most of what is advertised and sold as "Kobe" beef in the US is the real thing. Before I'd buy it at Trader Joe's (which I otherwise love and respect), I'd put the package under a microscope and look for the tiny "style" as in "Kobe-style" beef. Anyway, since one of the hallmarks of genuine Kobe beef is its buttery tenderness (maybe best appreciated RAW as in carpaccio), it hardly makes sense to grind it into burger meat. What's the point? All ground beef is tender and you can adjust the fat in the grind to suit your preference.
Good observation. I just dug some Trader Joe's "American Style Kobe Beef" Gourmet Hamburger Patties out of the freezer. The package says they -- The Snake River Farms -- brought the Wagyu "Kobe beef breed" cattle to USA. All Natural. Well fed. Etc.
So ... I cooked one (on the griddle, on my restaurant range in my kitchen). I just put a little of the very mild cajun spray (http://www.cajuncrawfish.com//item-detail.cfm?ID=9005) on the outside.
At this point, I agree with everyone. It was really good. I cooked it from thawed and "rare" was disappointing -- still gray in the middle ... the griddle wasn’t quite hot enough ... so, I nibbled away as it cooked, got it to “medium” ... it was very good (good in a tasted wholesome, unadulterated, really juicy level) ... now that the grill was hot, I figured it was my duty to try again ... it browned up fine ... I cooked it just to medium and I still had the juiciest burger I can remember and ate it.
Next time I’ll try to organize buns (fresh), condiments (including heirloom tomatoes), etc. to see how it works overall – the way it should be.
Meanwhile, I pretty much ate a pound of hamburger, meaning I’ve had 208% daily allowed fat; 252% of my daily saturated fat; 220mg of cholesterol; 1500 calories (only 1220 from fat though) ...
Considering all of the above, I think I’ll do steak next time – but when I have my next hankerin’ for a frozen burger, TJ’s Kobe is gonna be my choice.