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 ( 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.