Wagyu Teres Majors
The teres major (aka teras major, shoulder tender) is a relatively unheard of but highly desirable cut. Believe it or not, this short tenderloin-shaped muscle is the second most tender cut on the entire cow after the tenderloin!
The reason why the teres major is a comparatively “new” cut is that until recently it required a high level of butchery skill and experience to extract from the tougher shoulder muscles around it. Now that a better process has been discovered, it is rapidly gaining in popularity as people learn about it because provides a delicious alternative to the prized (and expensive) tenderloin.
Not only does it have taste and texture similar to the tenderloin, but the teres major is similarly easy to cook. You can either roast it whole or slice it into medallions for sautéing or pan roasting.
Wagyu beef (commonly known as "Kobe beef", aka American Kobe beef or Kobe-style beef) is from a breed of cattle (the descendents of Japanese herds) specially raised in the US to increase its percentage of fat marbling to consistently high levels. More marbling leads to more flavor, tenderness, and moisture as the fat melts during the cooking process. Thus wagyu teres majors are more tender and delicious than those from conventional beef.
RECIPES & TIPS
Trim off any surface silverskin before cooking (how to remove silverskin).
Treat teres majors as you would (much smaller) kobe tenderloins. They can be roasted whole, grilled whole, used to make little Beef Wellingtons, or sliced into individual medallions.
Try marinating teres majors before cooking them for additional flavor & moisture.
If Slicing into Wagyu Medallions:
Many Kobe beef aficionados believe that the best way to prepare wagyu is to quickly sear it on a grill or hot preheated cast-iron skillet until a crust develops on the outside, leaving the center soft and barely cooked.
Teres majors, like tenderloins, are a good cut for pairing with sauces. Try serving your Kobe medallions with a pan sauce made by deglazing the pan you cooked them in with red wine, then simmering some finely sliced shallots in the resulting broth until softened. Once the sauce has thickened to your liking, taste it for seasoning and serve with your steak.
Recommended Internal Cooking Temps:
Rare - 120°-125°
Medium Rare - 130°-135°
Medium - 140°-145°
Medium Well - 150°-155°
Well Done - 160° and above