Braised Zabuton with Coffee Beans
The small flap of meat between the chuck and the rib eye in Wagyu is called the zabuton, meaning “cushion” in Japanese. Nicely marbled with intramuscular fat, the little-known cut—sometimes dubbed a Denver steak—is buttery and rich. Try it in this satisfying, spicy braise with coffee beans, star anise, jalapeños, and cilantro, from Oliver Ridgeway of Grange Restaurant & Bar, in Sacramento, California.
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 6 (1lb.) pieces zabuton or boneless chuck flap, room temperature ($94 for 3 lb.; debragga.com)
- 1⁄4 cup Cajun seasoning
- 3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
- 1 carrot, roughly chopped
- 1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 1 cup tomato paste
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1⁄2 cup whole coffee beans
- 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 star anise
- Zest of 3 oranges (using a vegetable peeler)
- 3 shallots, thinly sliced
- 3⁄4 cup champagne vinegar
- 1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp. kosher salt
- 1 cup cilantro leaves
- 6 red radishes, thinly sliced
- 2 jalapeños, thinly sliced
- 2 red Fresno chiles, seeded and thinly sliced
- Heat oven to 300°. Heat oil in an 8-qt. saucepan over medium-high. Rub beef with Cajun seasoning. Working in batches, cook beef, turning as needed, until browned, 10–12 minutes. Transfer beef to a plate; set aside. Add celery, carrot, and onion to pan; cook until golden, 10–12 minutes. Stir in wine and tomato paste; cook 5 minutes. Add reserved beef and the stock; boil. Reduce heat to medium; add coffee beans, peppercorns, bay leaves, star anise, and orange zest. Cover and bake until beef is very tender, 2 1⁄2–3 hours. Transfer beef to a cutting board; keep warm. Simmer sauce, skimming fat as needed, until thickened, about 40 minutes; strain.
- Place shallots in a bowl. Boil vinegar, sugar, salt, and 1⁄4 cup water in a 2-qt. saucepan; pour over shallots and let cool to room temperature. Chill at least 1 hour before serving.
- Slice beef crosswise about 1⁄4” thick and transfer to a serving platter; drizzle about 1⁄2 cup sauce over the top and serve remaining sauce on the side. Drain shallots and sprinkle over beef with cilantro, radishes, jalapeños, and Fresnos.