Is Yak Yummy?

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enilorac's picture
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Is Yak Yummy?

The Farmer's Market was, as usual, spectacular today. For the first time I've noticed this year, the yak vendor was there, along with a study proclaiming that in blind side-by-side taste tests people prefer yak to beef, bison, and venison (which always makes me wonder which cuts of each, and how they were prepared...).

I'll probably try the yak one of these days, but I thought I'd ask Stella's gurus first: have you cooked or eaten yak? Is it as wonderful as the yak vendor says? Do you have a favorite yak recipe?

When I search for info on cooking yak online, most of what I find comes from yak ranchers and yak promoters. I do gather that removing connective tissue is crucial, since yak connective tissue is extra-strong. They also say the meat finishes very quickly, so you have to take care not to overcook. They also all warn against microwaving the sweet, delicate yak.

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Sounds like a perfect meat for braising low and slow. Not something I can get here in Montreal, but damn I'd love to try it. I wonder if it's anything like ox, which is also wonderful.

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My buddy is going to China next week to finish up his field research and is all hyped up on eating yak. Apparently it is the staple meat of Tibet and other parts of China, which wold make me think its probably something stir-fried and served with rice.  The rice supposedly is something strange too but I can't remember what my friend told me about it (yak-milk maybe?).  I am also most likely totally wrong about all of this.  Either way, I'd give Yak a try anytime.

Eddy Sanders

I am certainly biased as one of those yak promoters but I can tell you, Yak is Yummy. There  certainly can be a lot of hype coming from folks like us. I personally have never seen the blind taste test you mentioned. 

 

Cooking yak steaks requires the same care that is generally afforded to game, bison and grassfed beef. The short ribs and chuck roast are perfect for braising. We always recommend "Tender Grassfed Meat" by Stanley Fishman for folks who have not cooked these types of meats before.

 

An episode of "Chopped" featured New Yak Strips from our ranch and chef Vinson Petrillo knocked it outta the park! It has been in reruns lately.  

 

Let me know if I can answer any questions. 

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Thanks, Eddy. I will have to try the yak - but it's too hot now for long braising! I'll chat with the yak ranchers next Saturday and report back to Stella later.

 

For this week I picked up a little flat iron steak from local grass-fed beef to go with my stir-fry veggies. The little bit of a steak had amazing, full flavor and was tender as could be. Truly delicious! I don't eat much meat, so I love it when a little portion provides so much flavor - really satisfied my beef craving.

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My yak experiment has been delayed. The yak vendor wasn't at the Market when I went this week. The bison guy had yak, but the first time around I'd prefer to buy yak directly from the yak guy. Meanwhile, I am happily distracted by plums, apricots, and 4 different kinds of cherries. When I achieve yak, I will report back.

Eddy Sanders