PULLMAN, Wash. - Cougar cheese and Ferdinand's ice cream are celebrated as Washington State University's culinary specialties. Now add T-bone steak to the list.
And rib eye and sirloin, for that matter.
WSU has launched its own beef brand for sale to the public. Harvested from cattle locally born, raised and "respectfully cared for" by staff and animal-science students, WSU Premium Beef is healthy and flavorful, said cattle operations manager Tom Cummings.
"We give our cattle lots of attention," he said. "Not only that, but it's a local food system. Consumers know where the beef comes from and that's important to a lot of people these days.
Two kinds of beef are for sale: Angus choice, which at roughly $5 a pound is "comparable to what you'd get in a high-end restaurant," said Cummings, and Wagyu, which originated in Japan and is famously known as beef so tender that you don't need a knife to cut through it.
The Wagyu runs about $9 a pound. If that seems pricey, consider that sensory fireworks go off with each bite, said Jamie Callison, an executive chef and instructor with WSU's School of Hospitality Business Management.
"Believe me, it's worth every penny," said Callison, who's writing a cookbook featuring foods of the Palouse and often prepares WSU Premium Wagyu Beef for the sold-out Feast of the Arts fall dinner series. "It's rich and has a melt-in-your-mouth quality. There's nothing else like it."
Callison fixes a popular pot roast with Angus or Wagyu beef that's rich and tender. What's more, "You don't need a shelf full of ingredients to make it," he said.
Find the recipe here.
WSU Premium Beef is available in whole, half and quarter sizes and in boxed cuts. To order, contact Tom Cummings, WSU Cattle Operations, at 509-335-2280 or firstname.lastname@example.org.