Those who have tried this marvellous steak can attest to its world-class taste and texture and our butcher can confirm. It has been gaining international popularity over recent years and Malta is no exception. Sashi Beef is a rising star, having been crowned the ‘World’s Best Beef’ in the World Steak Challenge competition two years in a row.
What is the World Steak Challenge Competition?
The annual competition is first judged by international experts across the beef industry to find the best steak from around the world. After that, the highest-ranking steaks are blindly judged by consumers, who pay to participate in the event. Finally, the overall top scoring steaks win prizes in their categories.
Every year hundreds of entries from over 20 countries enter the event to compete for the honour of being named the ‘world’s best beef’. Each steak is presented raw and cooked, with no means of identification. The criteria on which the steaks are ranked included marbling, taste, and tenderness.
In the 2018 and 2019 World Steak Challenge competitions, Sashi Beef was awarded the highest rating to qualify as the resounding winner of the gold medal.
We’ve compiled 4 reasons why Sashi has been climbing the ranks in recent years.
Keep reading to find out what makes this cut so special.
1. The Origin of the Sashi Beef
The founder of Sashi, John ‘Sashi’ Nielsen, is regarded as the European King of Beef. Since launching his company in Denmark back in 1980 and winning the notorious title two years in succession, he has become one of the most popular beef producers in the world.
Sashi Beef is truly a European product; Produced by a Danish company from Scottish Ayrshire cattle that is raised on grass in Finland. The Ayrshire cattle are raised in Finland because of the clear air and water content in the grass, which significantly enhances the quality.
However, the prestigious Sashi name doesn’t actually refer to the brand or the breed but is achieved after careful assessment of the steaks’ quality. The secret to Nielsen’s winning beef is the selection of the right cow, breed, and environment.
2. Superior Quality Beef
Sashi Beef is fast becoming a renowned delicacy around the world among meat-lovers and chefs alike. In fact, at La Boucherie, our butcher marked it with his ‘Butcher’s Choice’ stamp of approval.
But what makes this beef so exceptional?
The top-level nurturing of the Scottish Ayrshire cattle and the climate conditions in Finland result in superior quality beef. Since the cattle are also naturally raised with no antibiotics or hormones, this also contributes to the class of the beef.
Moreover, only the best marbled pieces are selected by hand by John Sashi Nielsen himself so you can rest assured you are getting the best value for your money.
If you value beef that is both tender and full of flavour, Sashi rewards you with a feeling of relish.
3. High Grade of Marbling
The word ‘Sashi’ is a Japanese word that directly translates to ‘marbling’. Marbling refers to the intramuscular fat within a steak which boosts flavour and texture. You can spot a well-marbled steak by looking out for thin white flecks and lines running through the steak.
As its namesake, Sashi has a high grade of marbling, equal to grade 7-8 Wagyu beef. This means it has some beautiful marbling, resulting in a silky-smooth experience. Characterized by its marbling, it is graded in 3 scales:
- SASHI – Grade of marbling: according to the Kobe-scale: 2-5.
- SASHI-AAA – Grade of marbling: according to the Kobe-scale: 6-10.
- SASHI-SAIKO – Grade of marbling: according to the Kobe-scale: 11-12 (only whole loins).
Only a small number of cattle have the potential to achieve a Sashi grading. You can find an exclusive selection of premium SASHI-AAA grade beef at La Boucherie, Malta’s best butcher.
4. Lower Price Point vs. Wagyu
All meat aficionados have heard of the Japanese Wagyu beef, widely considered to be the star of the show. If you’ve tried Wagyu beef before, you’d know that the taste is extremely flavourful, mainly due to Wagyu’s rich marbling.
Sashi beef offers a comparable tender and tasty experience to the Wagyu at a lower price point, which makes this cut even more attractive to consumers. Its impressive amount of marbling and eating experience gives Wagyu a run for its money.
La Boucherie are importers of premium quality Wagyu beef. Our selections of Wagyu include the A5 & A4 Miyazaki Wagyu from Japan and WX Rangers Valley Wagyu from Australia. We recommend trying both sources of beef to decide which one is for you.
Still not sure which beef to opt for? Our butcher is always happy to give you our suggestions for your needs. Simply use our live chat-box, which you can see at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
Bonus: How to Cook Sashi Beef to Perfection
If you’ve managed to get your hands on a Sashi cut, the next step is cooking it to perfection. Due to the high level of marbling, it must be handled with more care than other meats.
Before cooking, we recommend taking the steaks out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Pan-fry the steaks on medium-high heat or barbecue each side for only a few minutes until rare or medium. Let the steaks rest for 2 minutes then serve. Season with only a generous sprinkle of premium Swedish Falksalt. Enjoy the incredible eating experience that Sashi offers!
Our Sashi Selection at La Boucherie
We guarantee that the Sashi steak is worthy of its title! Avid meat-lovers must add this cut to their list – The notorious beef of the North might just be your new favourite.
In the words of John Sashi Nielsen himself, “Sashi beef is what all other beef wishes it could be”.
Exclusively available at La Boucherie, our selection of Sashi Beef includes Ribeye AAA, Côte de Boeuf, T Bone AAA, Choco Chuck Roll, Knuckle, Rump, Striploin AAA, Prime Rib, Pichania, and Burgers.
As a niche product, Sashi Beef sells out quick so move fast if you would like the chance to try it out for yourself.
For other fine quality cuts of beef that are less expensive than Wagyu and Sashi, we recommend trying out our USDA Beef. We promise that all our cuts of beef deliver an outstanding experience!