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Exploring the World of Craft Meat


How to make A5 Wagyu Tallow and unlock hero chef status

February 12th by Joe Heitzeberg • Read 697 times • 2 min read

A5 Wagyu beef fat, when melted, is a clear oil, packed with heart-healthy oleic acid. By making this A5 Wagyu tallow at home and sharing it with your friends and family, your ordinary home cook status will instantly sky rocket to magical wizard hero chef status. Add a little to a pan, scramble in a couple of eggs with a pinch of salt and you're likely to blow people's minds. It's that good. By carefully cutting the exterior fat off of your A5...

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Why I no longer pay attention to labels like “organic”

February 5th by Joe Heitzeberg • Read 640 times • 3 min read

It may shock some people, but I no longer pay attention to labels on meat products. For years, I’ve traveled the country meeting with chefs and farmers in search of the world’s best craft meat, and over and over I hear that labels and certifications aren't meaningful or helpful, and can be abused to misrepresent the truth. The “organic” label is a good example. Thanks to the rising popularity of “grass-fed, grass-finished” and “organic” beef,...

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What's written on the Olive Wagyu seal?

January 31st by Joe Heitzeberg • Read 680 times • 1 min read

Olive-fed Wagyu from Kagawa Prefecture is the world's rarest and most exquisite beef. Only 2200 cattle of the kuroge washyu breed are raised in Kagawa using the unique olive-based feed, and only a small fraction achieve the ratings necessary to officially qualify them as Olive Wagyu. It's certainly true that Kobe Beef is far more famous, but it's also true that it is far from "rare". Kobe Beef is backed by a quite mature industry association...

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How to make Shabu Shabu everyone will love

January 27th by Joe Heitzeberg • Read 472 times • 2 min read

Shabu Shabu is an easy, inexpensive and nutritious Japanese dish where beef is the star of the show. Long ago, as a homestay student living on a farm in Japan, my host parents used to take me to Shabu Shabu restaurants a lot. I loved the taste, but also how it brought everyone together around the table to cook. It's east to make Shabu Shabu at home (and everyone will love it), you just have to have the right ingredients and the right...

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Why All Meat Delivery Services Aren’t Created Equal (Here’s How We Do It)

January 20th by Joe Heitzeberg • Read 991 times • 3 min read

These days, you’ll find a few choices of online meat sellers, but only one that provides quality, variety and 100% direct access to individual farms that raised the meat. Crowd Cow is a true, scaled alternative to the commodity meat regime that supplies everyone else ― and we do things better. Here’s how: The highest quality and greatest selection We have scoured the country for years, selecting only the very best independent and family-run...

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How to Sous Vide A5 Wagyu (& Is That Even a Good Idea?)

January 15th by Joe Heitzeberg • Read 2,592 times • less than one min read

Wait... you can sous vide A5 Wagyu?! Yes, you can absolutely sous vide A5 Wagyu. Think sous vide will make the fat melt away... nope. It won’t. Is it a good idea? Well, when I traveled to Japan and ate my body weight in A5 Wagyu with former Alinea Executive Chef Mike Bagale, I asked him about it and he said that yes, he always sous vides A5 Wagyu. Here’s the procedure that he recommends: Sous vide at 58° Celcius (135° Fahrenheit) for 45-60...

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What Is Tajima Wagyu?

January 7th by Joe Heitzeberg • Read 1,828 times • 1 min read

When it comes to Wagyu, there's a lot of confusion and misinformation online. Luckily, through our extensive work directly with producers in Japan, and my background in Japanese language, we've learned a lot and have been able to bring some of the rarest and best Japanese Wagyu to the USA for the first time. Today's post is about a very detailed aspect of Japanese Wagyu, the bloodline known as Tajima (但馬). To explain what Tajima is, it is...

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How to cook A5 Wagyu for a large group of people

December 17th, 2018 by Joe Heitzeberg • Read 4,686 times • 1 min read

If you're new to the Wagyu game, start with the Ultimate Guide to Wagyu or have a look at our Japanese Wagyu Infographic. But if you're becoming a connoisseur and experiencing its melts-in-your-mouth splendor on a regular basis and are looking to level up your game, read on. In this post, I'll explain how to share A5 Wagyu with larger groups of people, including how to save a bit of money when purchasing it, how to prepare it and how to cook...

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Help break the cycle of food recalls by knowing the source of your meat

December 9th, 2018 by Joe Heitzeberg • Read 545 times • 1 min read

Meat recalls have become as routine as trips to the grocery store. Since November, the U.S. is averaging a recall every two days and there are still 50 active cases. What is more concerning than a recall’s frequency is the scope. The latest JBS raw beef salmonella recall spanned across more than 30 states and recent recalls have impacted big names like Kroger, Walmart and Whole Foods. Consumers understand that foodborne illness can happen, but...

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Why you should pay attention to A4 Wagyu

December 9th, 2018 by Joe Heitzeberg • Read 1,521 times • 2 min read

In American culture we tend to have an obsession with extremes. We want our lattes to be venti-sized with a quad-shot of espresso. We want the digitial camera with the highest megapixel count. We want the house with the most square feet. So when when it comes to Wagyu from Japan, we want the one with the most marbled fat content and the highest rating – A5. But if you haven't already, you should pick up some A4 rated Wagyu – and I'll tell you...

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