Smoked wagyu with horseradish mayonnaise and pickled radish

Smoked wagyu with horseradish mayonnaise and pickled radish

Nuovo Mondo
Alan Benson

Full-blood wagyu is perfect for this dish; the marbling gives a depth of flavour that is hard to beat. In the restaurant, we use blackmore wagyu from Alexandria in Victoria’s high country. The blackmores’ passion for their product is unparalleled and the meat never disappoints. A good-quality grain-fed beef is a great substitute. The meat takes a few days to cure, so start at least three days in advance. You can use a smaller cut of meat, but it will not be as good; my advice is to make more than you’ll need and keep it for another use.


Quantity Ingredient
100g wood smoking chips
2-3kg piece wagyu girello, trimmed of sinew
100g freshly ground black pepper
2 rosemary, roughly chopped
630g caster sugar
1.4kg salt
horseradish mayonnaise, see note, to serve
wild mustard leaves, to garnish
2 tbsp lilliput capers, rinsed and drained, to garnish
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Pickled radish

Quantity Ingredient
1 radishes, stems trimmed to 1 cm
310g caster sugar
600ml white vinegar
1 bay leaf
4 whole black peppercorns


  1. Put the smoking chips in a deep roasting tray. Place the beef in a perforated baking tray that will fit inside the roasting tray with the chips. Stack the trays, cover with foil and place over high heat until the chips are smoking furiously. You can use a stovetop but this may smoke out your house, so an outdoor barbecue is the best option. Turn off the heat and leave for 20 minutes for the smoke to infuse. Turn the beef over and repeat this smoking step three or four times until the beef smells very smoky.
  2. Coat the beef with the pepper and rosemary. Combine the sugar and salt in a large plastic container, then bury the beef in the mixture. Cover and place in the refrigerator to cure for 2 days.
  3. Rinse the beef under cold water. Place on a tray and leave it unwrapped in the refrigerator for a further 2 days. It can be eaten immediately, but the air-drying improves the texture of the beef.
  4. To make the pickled radish, place the radishes in a deep bowl. Put the remaining ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil, then pour the hot liquid over the radishes and set aside to pickle for 2 hours.
  5. To serve, very thinly slice the meat and arrange on a platter. Top with the horseradish mayonnaise and pickled radish, and garnish with wild mustard leaves and a sprinkling of capers. Drizzle with loads of good olive oil.


  • To make horseradish mayonnaise, combine 100 g of the mayonnaise with 2∕3 cup freshly grated horseradish in a bowl, adding a little extra, to taste, if desired.
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