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Bought a $300 hunk of meat. Did I get screwed?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Newbie here so take it easy on me.

On a spontaneous splurge I bought a 8lb rib roast from Costco online that was advertised as Australian wagyu with a mailing grade of 8+. (please leave comments out regarding how dumb this purchase may be).


Ok, so I got my beef today, and I'm a bit skeptical that I got what I paid for. The package came from a company in New Jersey called "D'Artagnan". The rib roast is stamped "AUSTRALIA INSPECTED".


I went to D'Artagnan's website and they sell quite a few different products, including several beef selections in their "gourmet meat" section. They sell a 9-10 lb rib roast that is Australian grass fed beef imported from Australia. They make no claims that it is wagyu or anything, and this roast sells for $128.99. They also have a "Kobe-style" rib roast that they sell that is a 16lb roast for $479.99, that they say is raised in Texas. Nowhere on their site does it say that they sell Australian wagyu.


I got the roast and I am afraid that they shipped me a $128.99 piece of Australian grass fed beef for $300. Is there any way I can tell if I got duped? Is this meat supposed to be stamped "wagyu" or anything? The meat looks nicely marbled but I have never purchased or eaten wagyu so I don't really know what I am looking for. I emailed Costco and am waiting to hear back from them.


Any advice would be much appreciated!
post #2 of 12

Well, wagyu is a breed of cattle, not a grading, so all the stamp means is that the cattle was a wagyu breed and was inspected to wholesomeness to eat. In other words, the government looked at the carcass and determined that it wasn't defective or unsafe in any way and passed it for human consumption. I'm assuming anyways, I'm not familiar with Australia. But, wagyu is generally believed to provide great beef and superior marbling, but there is no "guarantee" that I am aware of for quality, other than reputation. I'm not familiar with Australian grading practices, but it seems that if your beef isn't stamped with a grade, it wasn't graded. 

 

Again, Wagyu are the breed of cattle responsible for the famous Kobe beef of Japan, so the breed is known for quality marbling. It is obviously not "Kobe" beef because true Kobe beef must come from Kobe Japan and meet certain guidelines. 

 

Now, D'Artagnan is a well known gourmet purveyor for the restaurant business, as well as running online retail. They also run a wholesale business and ship to a variety of outlets across the country. It is likely that D'Artagnan is the supplier who provided Costco with the cut of beef you bought. 

 

Now, just because you didn't find your particular product on the website of D'Artagnan doesn't mean anything. They likely have a variety of wholesale products that they don't sell retail, so just because it isn't offered as a purchasable product online doesn't mean it doesn't exist for D'Artagnan to ship to Costo. Its also doubtful that Costco shipped you something other than what you ordered. In fact, I think it might be criminal to do so and would be very irresponsible of them. 

 

Now, what does the meat look like? What are the reasons you are dubious other than the stamp? Does the meat look inferior? What are you basing your suspicions on? 

post #3 of 12

I would imagine they were referring to the Japanese grading with the "8+", Which would be out of a possible 12. 

 

Dan

post #4 of 12

I think you got shafted. On the other hand D'Artagnan is a quality house out of Jersey that has a good rep in the trade. I have never purchased anything inferior from them. The meat must be inspected by the US in order to be sold at retail in this country.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #5 of 12

Interesting that D'Artagnon is selling through Costco. 

cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #6 of 12

Chefedb, what are you basing your thought that the OP got shafted? 

 

D'Artagnan is most likely not "selling through Costco" but rather, Costco is ordering product from D'Artagnan wholesale and reselling it. I'm assuming Costco didn't take it out of the wholesale packaging simply because they sold the entire cut. 

 

D'Artagnan will sell to anyone I assume, so why not Costco? 

 

I think we don't have enough information yet to see if the OP got shafted or not. 

post #7 of 12

If its marbling is anything like the picture on Costco's website then I'd say you got a very rare cut of beef, or at least rare for us here in the US.  That's a ribeye marbled like a USDA prime strip which I've never seen before, not even in a USDA Prime graded ribeye.

post #8 of 12

I have worked and watched inspectors grade meat with the old grape juice. Sometimes its based on how they made out the night before with their girlfriends in their grading process. If they are grumpy, there is no prime if their happy there might be , And so it goes. Rib eyes are not graded only the Primal rib is, and its based not only on marbeling, but color of fat, thickness of fat, measurement of eye down and across. WeightMany factors considered.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #9 of 12

What does USDA rolling have to do with anything?  I fear we're wandering from the point. 

 

That said, just for context, I can get very good Prime, bone-in rib steaks for around $15/lb and boned for around $17 (How's Market); excellent, dry-aged, Prime, bone-in rib steaks for around $20 a pound and boned for around $22 (Alexander's, located in Howie's).  Standing ribs go for a little less around the holidays.

 

Have you heard from Costco?  What did they say?

 

Have you tried the "wagyu" beef yet?  How was it?

 

BDL

post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post

I have worked and watched inspectors grade meat with the old grape juice. Sometimes its based on how they made out the night before with their girlfriends in their grading process. If they are grumpy, there is no prime if their happy there might be , And so it goes. Rib eyes are not graded only the Primal rib is, and its based not only on marbeling, but color of fat, thickness of fat, measurement of eye down and across. WeightMany factors considered.



I don't understand your point. From what I can glean from the original post, the meat wasn't graded just inspected. Since it comes from Australia I suspect the USDA had little to nothing to do with beyond inspecting it for wholsomeness...so again, what is your point? What information from the OP makes you think they got screwed? 

post #11 of 12

BDL, if that picture is a rib then it's way better than prime don't you think?

post #12 of 12

While I agree with the other posters (all except for the general "you got shafted" one), I don't really think there is enough info for any of us to go on. Mostly because we aren't there to see this infamous cut of meat.

 

The fact that the meat was delivered in it's "original" packaging, I would say is a good thing. I wouldn't expect Costco to repackage it before sending it to you. Whether or not it is actually wagyu beef is debatable, but I also agree that D'Artagnan likely has cuts of meat available to their wholesalers, at a different price point, that aren't available to the general customer. This practice is not at all uncommon. Furthermore, I would think it highly unlikely that Costco or D'Artagnan would sell you one product and then ship you another. They both have a good reputation, and would probably be in hot water legally if they were pulling that kind of stuff.

 

However, all of that aside, when you cooked the meat, how was it? Did you eat it and say "wow, this is good, it was totally worth that $300" or did you think "oh geez, what a waste". If you thought the former, than congrats, your money was well-spent. If not, I'm sorry you made such a horrible mistake, but live and learn.

 

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