Snake River Farms Kobe Ribeye Roast and a Food Gal Giveaway

A prime rib to end all prime ribs. From Snake River Farms.

A prime rib to end all prime ribs. From Snake River Farms.


Consider this the Maserati of meat.

Luxurious, extravagant and a work of art in its own right.

This is the Snake River Farms American Kobe Gold Grade Eye of Ribeye Roast.

At nearly $400 for a 6 1/2- to 7-pounder, it’s meat that makes an entrance. Especially on an important holiday.

I actually had a chance to try a sample of the roast recently. I don’t think I’ve ever cooked a cut of meat worth this much. My kitchen almost felt unworthy.

What accounts for its sky-high price tag? First, it’s American Kobe, which is Japanese Wagyu crossed with American Angus. Second, it’s gold grade, meaning it’s more marbled than than any other roast the Idaho-based company sells. Third, it’s aged, hand-trimmed and limited in quantity.

Those who like to gnaw on prime rib bones may regret this ribeye roast is boneless. It comes already tied with butcher’s twine to help keep its shape. It’s not a uniform shape, though, as the ends are narrower than the middle, which makes it a little more challenging to cook, especially if you are trying to achieve a medium-rare throughout.

We cooked ours in our Big Green Egg. After letting it rest for a few minutes, the end slices verged more on medium, while the interior was nicely medium-rare.

Salt and pepper is all you need to season the exterior before cooking.

Salt and pepper is all you need to season the exterior before cooking.

But because this is American Wagyu, even the more done slices were still incredibly juicy and tender. That’s because of the high fat content throughout the meat. Indeed, if you look closely at the photo above, you can even see the intramuscular globules of fat throughout the cooked meat. When you take a bite of this roast, fabulous fatty juice fairly squirts throughout your entire mouth.

It goes without saying that this is an exceedingly rich cut of meat. In fact, even those used to gorging on a giant slab of prime rib will find themselves probably opting for a much smaller slice. For me, half of that slice shown above was enough to render me quite full.

Use this as an excuse to open up that spendy bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon you’ve been saving, too, as meat this lavish calls for a robust red with a good amount of tannins to balance it out.

The roast will serve 8 to 12, if not more.

It’s a splurge. But it’s still cheaper than an Italian sports car.

CONTEST: One lucky Food Gal reader will win a free Snake River Farms American Kobe Gold Grade Ribeye Roast in time for the holidays. Entries, limited to those in the continental United States, will be accepted through midnight PST Dec. 13. The winner will be announced Dec. 15.

How to win?

Tell me about a splurge you made that was well worth the price — and why. Best answer wins the prize.

Here’s my own response:

“I distinctly remember it happened during an El Nino year. With our current three years-plus drought in California, it’s hard to even fathom a time when it rained that hard and that frequently. But that year, it did. And I regularly got sopping wet. I had an umbrella that didn’t quite do the job well enough. I had a bright green Gore-tex parka that was hardly business-looking. I also had an old, flimsy raincoat, bought eons ago that wasn’t even water repellent anymore. My husband suggested we go shopping for a Burberry raincoat, despite my entreaties that it was too expensive. But he figured if you were going to get one trench coat, you ought to get the trench coat. We drove to the Burberry outlet store — in the rain, of course. The outlet happened to be having a sale. As I combed the racks, seeing hardly anything left in my size, a saleswoman came by to ask what I was looking for. She fell silent in thought for a moment, then said, “Let me look in the back.” And off she went behind closed doors. She emerged a few minutes later carrying a classic black trench coat — lined and waterproof. “We had a few more come in that I just didn’t have time to put out yet,” she said, as she helped me slip it on. It fit perfectly. It was the ideal look of business professional crossed with secret agent. Even at outlet prices, it was the most expensive coat I’d ever bought. But that year, as the storms arrived day after day, I wore it pretty much straight through January to June. That was at least a decade ago. It’s since kept me warm and dry on jaunts throughout various countries. And sure enough, it still looks as good as the day I bought it. I’ve since been back to that Burberry outlet, but have yet to see another trench coat for as low of a price. Which surely means this coat was just meant to be.”

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  • I am addicted to decorating sugar cookies. I am self-taught through youtube and other tutorials, although I did take a brief introductory class where I made my first 4 cookies and…became addicted. In 2012, there was a tremendous amount of chatter among the “cookiers” of the world about the first cookie convention ever. It was to be “CookieCon” and I wanted to go so badly I could taste it. However, I didn’t feel I was worthy. Wasn’t where I wanted to be, skill-wise, to be able to join this group of awesome women (and a few men) who made art from sugar cookies and royal icing. So, I passed on it. The next one was scheduled about 18 months later. The first one sold out in less than 24 hours. If I wanted to go, I needed to be prepared to act like a groupie trying to get front row tickets for a Rolling Stones concert in the 70’s. I convinced my friend of 20 years that this would be a great thing for us to do together. In October 2013, we were both online and on the phone with each other. We snagged our entry tickets to CookieCon 2014. We bought airfare, we got our rooms reserved at the venue hotel, we reserved a car, we saved money to shop the vendor ballroom, we planned our entries in the various categories of the cookie decorating contest. March 2014 arrives. We make the journey from Texas to Salt Lake City, Utah. I can’t even begin to describe the awesomeness of the 3 days of cookie decorating immersion. I found my people…and they were cookiers!

    I’m attaching a link to a blog post with a video showing the cookies show entries. It’s pretty darn amazing! Well worth the “over $1000” that I spent for this “experience”. Believe me, I’ll be doing it again in September 2015 when the next CookieCon happens!

  • Ack! follow-up – the link didn’t take you to the blog post so I’ll try inserting it here.

    I sure do like the looks of that meat!!!

  • Carolyn, yours was a rainy weather coat. Mine was a rainy day hat.

    I was walking through Nordstrom’s when I was taken by the hats. Somehow, there it was: A fedora. Not my style. But classic. Timeless. Expen$$$$$ive. But something said it needed to be mine.

    That was 25 years ago. It was made in London and has been back there, twice. It works perfectly with my classic trench coat and together, they have earned me many a compliment. I like rainy days as I get to wear that hat.

    One time, not long after Raiders of the Lost Ark was popular, I showed up and a friend looked up, and loud enough for the while place to hear, bellowed, “Hey, it’s Indiana Schwartz!” I can live with that.

    I read once that the value of clothes should be evaluated not by cost, but by cost per wearing. By that token, my hat was not expen$$$$ive at all. But it is preciou$! I lose a hat or a pair of gloves from time to time but not that one. It’s become an old friend.

  • Wow, I don’t usually eat red meat but that looks amazing. After cooking it for this photo, though, what are you going to make for Christmas dinner that will compare? 😉

    Just a quick note about splurging, my example is a bit self-indulgent really. But it’s made me feel good through the years. But when I moved to New York and my employer gave me a signing bonus, I went shopping with a friend and walked into the Calvin Klein store on Madison Avenue. And I fell in love with a shirt and bought it without even looking at the price tag. I have worn it many times on special occasions and still have it. It just reminds me of a time when price wasn’t a factor, and when I could do something like that. Of course, that’s probably the only time in my life that’s happened and it hasn’t happened since. ha!

  • Ben: I don’t think I can top this ribeye roast. But on Christmas, we will feast on grilled leg of lamb, which ain’t too shabby, right? 🙂

  • I was backpacking in Europe on a very limited budget and I wanted to see the Isle of Skye. On the boat there, I met a fellow American who planned to rent a car and invited me to come along. We spent the day exploring the island; different vistas around every curve. The people were great. A farmer handed us a newborn lamb, and I held it close to my chest; I could feel it trembling as it baaahed. We had so much fun that we didn’t stop for lunch, as there was only one main town and we went on a loop around the island, returning at night. Only one pub was open when we got back, and they had only one bag of crisps and one chocolate bar, which we split. I wished Marc well, but I hadn’t enough money for the only hotel in town, so I got out my sleeping bag and crouched in a doorway. It’s Scotland; a beautiful starry night turned to a downpour sometime in the middle of the night, and I crouched further back, wet, hungry and miserable. In the morning I could see that the luxury hotel had a buffet breakfast for 25 pounds — very expensive, about 5 times what I was usually paying per night to stay in youth hostels. The boat back to the mainland wasn’t for several hours, and if I waited long enough I could get bread and cheese from a store, but I was shivering as I watched them set up the buffet through the window, and it looked terrific. I went for it: I folded up my sleeping bag and went in, my clothes rather wrinkled and grubby from a full day of tramping AND a night sleeping outside. I had a massive plate of smoked salmon, quiche, charcuterie, salads, fruit, brown bread, and I set to it. A man in uniform came over to ask if there was anything I needed. My mouth full of salmon, I said, “Does this buffet come with kippers?” I’d never had kippers. He said, “You can have kippers.” They brought me a plate of two smoked kippers, which I devoured with fried eggs. Then I had another massive plate of fruit, pastries, more smoked salmon, potatoes. Finally my consumption slowed and stopped, and I felt embarrassed. I walked up to the register to pay, feeling how disheveled I looked. The same uniformed man said, “Did you get enough to eat?” I thought he was mocking but I said, “Yes, thank you.” He smiled, and so did two women behind him. “Oh good. We saw you sleeping outside when we came in this morning and we were worried about you.” They gave me some brown bread and smoked salmon for the boat. That was perhaps the best 25 pounds I ever spent.

  • I forgot to say WHY that was the best 25 pounds I ever spent. It wasn’t just the delicious food when I was extremely hungry, or the warm, dry room when I was wet and cold. It was also the human kindness I felt that still sustains me.

  • That looks like an amazing cut of meat! Good luck to your readers. Perhaps I’ll get to try it one day when I am in the US 🙂

  • I am lucky enough to say that I have found the girl with whom I’d like to spend the rest of my life. So what does a guy do when he is sure of this? He goes to find a rock, and a ring to put it in.

    Well, in my case, just the rock for now. Didn’t want to spoil the surprise by asking her about her preferences in rings. We’ll tackle that one later. So I go to a little store in Japantown San Jose. Bear in mind that I am completely clueless as to diamonds and rings and such.

    So I don’t know anything but I think I know what I want to spend. I sit through a 2 hr session learning about diamonds at this store. And my ignorance in matters such as this is evident early on when I realize that my intended budget doesn’t buy a rock I think is worthy of my wonderful girlfriend.

    So I walked in expecting to spend “X” amount, and it ends up being “X x 2”. Sometimes it hurts writing checks as large as that one. But the folks at this jewelry store are super helpful and patient, and they make me feel good about it.

    Having said that – I haven’t actually yet presented her with said diamond. But I will very very soon. And every time I see her smiling face, be it coming home from work or waking up in the morning, I have not a single doubt that it will absolutely be worth every penny and then some, because it’s not every day that you meet someone you deem worthy (and vice versa of course) of spending the rest of your life with.

  • The year 2000 changed my life forever, for that was the year my beloved father was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Our family was devastated and did the best to deal with the inevitability of his death. He handled his diagnosis with grace and as much humor as he could muster.

    Dad was a real foodie and there was nothing he liked better than fresh Maine lobster which was hard to find in the back wood location of his retirement farm in south central Texas.

    For Dad’s birthday that first year after his diagnosis, my husband and I threw down our Visa card and had a box full of lobster sent to dad. To go with it we ordered his favorite carrot cake from my favorite restaurant in Austin and washed it all down with a couple of bottles of Veuve Clicquot. It was a wonderful celebration of my dad, our family and good food. The best money I’ve ever spent. Period.

  • I took a trip to South Africa a few years ago that was a splurge in every sense of the word, but absolutely worth it! It was seriously a trip to last a lifetime!

  • When my old car was ready to be sent to the junkyard, it was a pretty emotional time – even more so because that car had been one of the most trusted and dependable things in my life. It was completely paid off and had served me well for more than a decade.

    The most logical choice for a new vehicle would be a used car, much like the one I was used to. Lower payments, reliability and great gas mileage; however, I test drove a truck and started weighing the pros and cons.

    I drove a slightly used, limited edition truck that feels like a luxury SUV when I’m sitting inside it. I decided to step outside my comfort zone and take a more expensive vehicle.

    That truck has been home to some of my favorite memories over the past year and a half. Since purchasing the truck, I have been able to go places my car would not have been able to safely go, and my family and I have made priceless memories. My fondest memories are when I am sleeping in the passenger seat while my fiancee drives us on a remote camping excursion. I wake up once we hit the winding dirt roads (though some of them probably don’t even qualify as “roads”). The happiest dog is a muddy dog who had the time of her life running through forests, swimming in mountain lakes and jumping into the bed of the truck because she’s too dirty to be allowed in the cab.

    That truck has allowed us to make priceless memories that we would not have if I had just bought another junker car. We have already planned longer road trips to make more memories. Additionally, when we decide to have children in a couple years, that truck will be home to even better memories as a young family with the whole world at our fingertips.

  • The best splurge I made was season tickets to a playhouse one year for my mom. I had realized that while we both always say we don’t need anything for Christmas, that what we really enjoy most is time spent together. We went to those shows together all year long and it was wonderful.

  • The beef looks awesome! Best splurge would be our house we bought many years ago. So happy with it 🙂

  • My best splurge was a trip to China that I took with my mother. It was her only trip back to her homeland after immigrating to the US and before her death. We were able to visit my Father’s village in Toishan as part of this trip. Mother had a great time reminiscing with relatives still living there. Roaming around village itself was fascinating, the house that my father grew up in was still standing although dilapidated. This was my most memorable and priceless vacation.

  • There’s nothing like a nice steak. It’s the consummate carnivore delight. It’s the highest form of bovine reverence; the sacrament of succulence; the culinary expression of opulence and indulgence; refined, yet rugged; savory and rich.

    Everyone has their favorite cut, and they can be zealous in their devotion to it. Be it tri tip, sirloin, T-bone, or tenderloin, steak-lovers know what they like. But no matter which cut one prefers, there is a common thread: you get what you pay for.

    When I reached for a Snake River Farms cut a while back, there was a moment of trepidation. “What if I screw it up? This is the Holy Grail of meat. If I don’t do this right, I’ll have to retire from cooking.” Thankfully, I stopped myself from overdoing it. I kept it simple and was rewarded with a sublime meal. I could write a couple pages of “yum-yum” sounds and that would pretty much sum it up, but it would be a pretty boring read. Instead, I’ll share my favorite way to eat steak.

    Now, I’m a rib eye guy. It’s a fantastic cut of beef. It has just the right fat content, it’s tender and flavorful, and it cooks beautifully when cut correctly. In this case, a handsome 1” thick cut for the preparation I’d planned.

    Because of its supreme quality, this SRF rib eye would have been fine by itself, but a truly beautiful steak deserves better than such a lonely existence. It deserves happiness, to be untied with its soul mate. The mighty Portobello mushroom is the closest thing to steak the vegetable world will ever produce, and it pairs beautifully with any cut. One could say they were made for one another.

    Added to a white wine and cream reduction, seasoned by the pan drippings and draped over a perfectly-cooked SRF Ranch rib eye, the Portobello is in its element, and the steak becomes something transcendent. It’s no longer just a cooked piece of meat; it’s an event – a future memory to be treasured; a bucket-list on a fork.

    It’s also making me hungry for another one…

    SRF Rib Eye with Portobello Beurre Blanc

    SRF Rib Eye (or your favorite cut)
    1 Portobello mushroom, sliced
    Half stick salted butter
    Sea salt
    Cracked black pepper
    White wine
    ¼ cup finely chopped shallots

    1. Season SRF Rib Eye on both sides with sea salt and black pepper.
    2. Slice Portobello mushroom as seen in the photo.
    3. Heat cast-iron skillet* to medium-high.
    4. Add half a stick of butter to the skillet.
    5. Once butter is melted, add steak to the skillet.*
    6. Sear on each side for approximately 2 minutes.
    7. Place skillet in oven – center rack – at 350F for 12 – 15 minutes (depending on the oven, and how well you want it cooked).
    8. Once finished, remove skillet from the oven, and set aside the steak to rest on your serving plate.
    9. Return skillet to burner. Add shallots and sauté until clear.
    10. Add white wine and cream (1/4 cup each).
    11. Add Portobello and allow sauce to reduce. Season to taste.
    12. Plate, serve and eat. Enjoy.

    *There is no substitute for a cast iron skillet.

  • My father, the sixth child of immigrant Chinese parents was raised in Chinatown and later North Beach. He had an affinity for the works of Italian immigrant artist, Benny Bufano, known for several San Francisco works of art. Dad passed on his love of Bufano works – the simple clean lines and the connection to San Francisco to me, a self-proclaimed “Daddy’s girl”.

    As an adult, I visited the Italian American museum in Fort Mason. There, in a small case, was an original Bufano mold which used as a basis to form larger pieces. In the display was the name of the art gallery that owned the piece. Having absolutely no experience in buying art, I nervously called the gallery, made arrangements to visit and was able to purchase the $300 piece for my father. I asked the gallery to hold the piece and keep it on display. On his birthday, I brought my Dad to the gallery, and showed him the piece. It brought such joy to my heart to tell him that the piece now belonged to him.

    To paraphrase a recent commercial, Bufano piece $300, the sentimental value – priceless.

  • On my families first international trip to Japan which was a splurge within it itself, we eagerly anticipated going to the Tsukiji Fish market that everyone raves about. After spending hours ogling at the fresh seafood, my wife insisted we find the less often visited vegetable and fruit market. The produce market was just as impressive with fresh wasabi roots, the infamous square watermelons, and cantaloupes from another world. However, one fruit caught our eye like no other, Japanese Kyoho grapes and their large glistening globes. After watching other customers buy these grapes, we knew we had to have some for ourselves. After some hand gesturing and communication by calculator one small bunch of grapes was going to be a couple thousand yen, or around 20 US dollars. Both of us were in shock that a small bunch of grapes at a wholesale market would be $20 dollars; we hesitated tremendously about the purchase but finally decided to splurge thinking we we’re on vacation and we’ll never be able to try these grapes again. We bought the grapes and scurried out the market in eager anticipating to try them. On the sidewalk outside we admired each gigantic grape, savored the sweet juicy flavor and marveled at the jelly like texture. We sat there debating whether to devour them all right now in ecstasy at once, or ration them throughout our trip. Let me tell you, there is no other grape in the world like this, and they did not last long. We have never experienced any fruit like this before and never have again, they were worth every penny and then some.

  • Best splurge by far has been my 10″ Henkel chef’s knife. I got it at the beginning of my “really learning to cook” phase. I have used it everyday for over 10 years. I still get a rush of joy when I pull it out of the knife rack and it makes that beautiful “zziiinnnng” sound. I’m a lucky cook!

  • When I was in college I didn’t have much money. I won a ticket on a radio show to an Eric Clapton concert. I discovered that a girl who worked at the doughnut shop across the street from the liquor store where I worked was a huge fan. I offered her the ticket, but she had to work that night. At the show, I went to the souvenir stand and spent $2 on a button for her. I know $2 doesn’t seem like much, but my weekly food budget then was $10. And it was only a button. And we weren’t dating or anything. She was kind of out of my league for someone who worked at a doughnut shop. She had enormous, perfect breasts, and it was a challenge not to stare. She said guys would order a single doughnut and coffee and tip her $20, which was easy to believe. $2 was a splurge for me, but a $2 Eric Clapton button from a show she couldn’t attend, what could it mean to her? Well in fact, she was surprised that someone who knew her so little would buy her such a thing. She came over to my apartment and we had sex. And it was terrible. She was a giggler, super sensitive to touch, and practically anything I did, she would go into a giggling fit, which I didn’t find very erotic. We had sex on another night and it wasn’t any better, and that was the end of our physical relationship, though we still said hi at our jobs. My roommate, having seen her in my bathrobe, wondered for years why I would ever let such a hot woman get away. But I learned a valuable lesson, that perfect breasts do not make a perfect lover; that beauty is subjective, not objective. That it’s more important to find a woman I find beautiful than one that would impress my roommate. And that giggling during sex is a real turnoff. That’s a lot of learning for $2.

  • I cooked a dinner for my parents about three years after I had graduated from an apprenticeship program. I ordered a whole tenderloin from Snake River and a lobe of Foie Gras from Hudson Valley Foie Gras. They actually sent two of their whole duck breast with the order! I had gone truffle shopping at Dean & Dulca The dinner went off with out a hitch. The next day I had some of the duck breast left over along with scrap pieces from the foie gras. We didn’t cook the whole tenderloin the night before. The next day we went to the bakery around the corner and got some sourdough loaves of bread. I seared the tenderloin and buck breast off along with the scraps of foi gras. Toasted the bread and then assembled the most amazing sandwich using everything that we had spent all of our money on to do the dinner! These were amazing!

  • The best splurge I ever had, was the 7 course wine and dine meal at Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck in Dallas Texas. The view is fantastic and the dinner and wine paring was wonderful. The whole night was so much fun for my wife and I.

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