The 19 Most Expensive Meat Cuts and Where to Find Them

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When it comes to the world of gourmet dining, certain cuts of meat stand out for their exceptional quality and price. These top-tier meats are renowned for their unique flavors, tender textures, and meticulous production processes. From the luxurious Wagyu beef in Japan to the celebrated Iberico ham in Spain, these cuts are sought after by chefs and food enthusiasts alike. Let’s explore some of the most expensive meat cuts available and discover what makes them so special.

Wagyu Beef Tenderloin 

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Found predominantly in Japan, Wagyu beef tenderloin is renowned for its incredible marbling, which contributes to its unparalleled flavor and tenderness. This prized cut, with its buttery texture and rich taste, can cost upwards of $200 per pound. Often available in high-end Japanese restaurants and specialty meat markets, Wagyu beef tenderloin is a true delicacy.

Kobe Beef 

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Originating from the Hyogo Prefecture in Japan, Kobe beef is famed for its rich, buttery texture and exceptional flavor, owing to its extensive marbling. Priced at around $300 per pound, this exclusive meat is often found in high-end restaurants and specialty markets worldwide. The cattle are raised under strict guidelines to ensure quality, making Kobe beef a luxurious and rare treat.

Spanish Iberico Ham (Jamón Ibérico) 

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Hailing from Spain, Iberico ham comes from black Iberian pigs fed on acorns, resulting in a distinctive, nutty flavor. This gourmet delicacy can reach prices of $150 per pound, with top-quality cuts such as Jamón Ibérico de Bellota being particularly sought after. Found in specialty stores and high-end Spanish restaurants, this ham is known for its intense flavor and delicate texture.

Japanese Matsusaka Beef 

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Matsusaka beef, considered one of Japan’s finest Wagyu varieties, is characterized by its intense marbling and succulent taste. Prices for this premium cut can soar to $500 per pound, making it a rare and exquisite find. Often available in exclusive Japanese steakhouses, Matsusaka beef is highly prized for its luxurious eating experience.

Italian Prosciutto di Parma 

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Prosciutto di Parma, an Italian dry-cured ham, is celebrated for its delicate, sweet flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture. Typically costing around $50 per pound, this meat is a staple in gourmet Italian cuisine and available in specialty stores. The ham is cured for at least 12 months, resulting in its characteristic flavor and tenderness.

American Wagyu Ribeye 

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Combining the marbling of Japanese Wagyu with the robust flavor of American beef, American Wagyu ribeye offers a unique and luxurious eating experience. Priced at about $100 per pound, it can be found in upscale steakhouses and specialty meat markets. This cut is known for its rich, juicy flavor and tender texture, making it a favorite among steak enthusiasts.

A5 Japanese Wagyu Striploin 

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A5 Wagyu is the highest grade awarded to Japanese beef, signifying exceptional quality. The striploin cut, with its rich marbling and tender texture, can cost up to $350 per pound, available primarily through specialty purveyors and exclusive dining establishments. This cut is highly regarded for its melt-in-your-mouth experience and exquisite flavor.

Pata Negra Ham 

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Another Spanish delicacy, Pata Negra ham, comes from black Iberian pigs and is known for its deep, complex flavor. Prices for this exquisite meat can reach $150 per pound, often found in gourmet Spanish restaurants and high-end markets. The ham is cured for over two years, enhancing its rich taste and delicate texture.

Italian Chianina Beef

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Chianina beef, originating from Italy’s Tuscany region, is famous for its lean yet flavorful meat. This premium beef, often used for the traditional bistecca alla fiorentina, can cost around $60 per pound and is available in select Italian restaurants and specialty butchers. The Chianina breed is one of the oldest and largest in the world, known for its quality meat.

Japanese Sendai Beef 

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Sendai beef, a top-grade Wagyu from the Miyagi Prefecture, offers a perfect balance of marbling and flavor. This luxurious meat can cost up to $200 per pound and is typically found in exclusive Japanese steakhouses and specialty markets. The cattle are raised on a diet that includes locally grown rice straw, contributing to their high-quality meat.

Spanish Cecina de León 

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Cecina de León, a dry-cured beef from Spain, is noted for its rich, smoky flavor and tender texture. This delicacy can cost approximately $45 per pound and is available in specialty Spanish food stores and high-end restaurants. Made from the hind legs of beef, it undergoes a lengthy curing process, resulting in its unique taste.

Scottish Highland Beef 

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Known for its robust flavor and tenderness, Scottish Highland beef comes from a heritage breed raised in the Scottish Highlands. This premium beef can cost around $40 per pound and is available at specialty butchers and select restaurants. The cattle are known for their resilience and ability to thrive in harsh conditions, producing high-quality meat.

Australian Wagyu Tenderloin 

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Combining Japanese Wagyu genetics with Australian cattle-raising practices, Australian Wagyu tenderloin is prized for its marbling and flavor. This top-tier meat can cost up to $150 per pound and is found in high-end steakhouses and specialty meat shops. The meat is known for its rich, buttery texture and exceptional taste.

New Zealand Venison 

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New Zealand venison is celebrated for its lean, tender meat and mild flavor. This gourmet meat, often used in fine dining, can cost around $50 per pound and is available through specialty purveyors and select restaurants. The deer are raised in natural, free-range environments, contributing to the meat’s quality.

Irish Hereford Prime Rib 

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Irish Hereford beef is known for its exceptional quality and flavor, particularly the prime rib cut. This premium meat can cost around $35 per pound and is available in specialty butchers and gourmet markets. The Hereford cattle are grass-fed, which enhances the meat’s flavor and tenderness.

American Bison Tenderloin 

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Bison meat, known for its rich flavor and lean texture, is a sought-after delicacy in North America. The tenderloin cut can cost approximately $30 per pound and is found in specialty meat markets and upscale restaurants. Bison are raised in natural, free-range environments, producing high-quality meat.

French Limousin Beef 

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Limousin beef, originating from France, is prized for its lean, tender meat and deep flavor. This high-quality beef can cost around $40 per pound and is available at specialty butchers and gourmet food stores. The Limousin breed is known for its superior meat quality and is often used in fine dining.

Argentinian Angus Beef 

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Known for its exceptional flavor and tenderness, Argentinian Angus beef is a favorite among meat connoisseurs. This premium beef can cost around $30 per pound and is available in specialty butchers and gourmet markets. The cattle are grass-fed, enhancing the meat’s flavor and texture.

Japanese Hida Beef 

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Hida beef, a top-grade Wagyu from Japan’s Gifu Prefecture, is renowned for its beautiful marbling and exquisite flavor. This luxurious meat can cost up to $300 per pound and is found in exclusive Japanese restaurants and specialty meat markets. The cattle are raised under strict conditions to ensure the highest quality meat.

This article originally appeared on Rarest.org.

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