When we tell you that our butcher has dry-aged beef, you probably know that this is very good news.
But do you know what dry-aged beef is, how it’s made, and why its flavour is so highly revered?
HOW IS DRY-AGED BEEF MADE?
Dry-ageing is the process of resting large cuts of meat in a controlled, open-air environment for an extended period of time. This allows for enzymes in the meat to break down the proteins, lose 20 percent of water weight, and thus concentrate the flavours. Many butchers balk at losing 20-30 percent of the weight of the high-quality strips, ribeyes, and porterhouse – plus the process takes about 30 days. It’s worth it to us, though!
WHAT DOES DRY-AGED BEEF TASTE LIKE?
Dry-aged beef is extremely tender and has a unique, complex of flavour. Many describe the taste as nutty and aromatic. Since the meat loses water during the dry-ageing process the “beef” taste is much more concentrated. The longer a piece of beef has been dry-aged, the more flavourful and tender it will be.
HOW SHOULD YOU COOK DRY-AGED BEEF?
Because dry-aged beef has such an intense, unique flavour, it’s best to cook it simply.
1. Start by pulling it out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you’re ready to cook it to allow the steak to come up to room temperature.
2. Season simply. Hold off on the marinades and sauces – they’ll likely overpower the prized flavour of the meat itself. Instead, season each steak with a little bit of kosher salt. Freshly ground black pepper will work here, too.
3. Fire it up! Heat your grill or skillet on high heat. Wait a few minutes for everything to warm up. You can test a skillet by flicking a few drops of water in the pan.
4. Throw it on. Add the steaks to the skillet or the grill. Let them sear on each side until a nice brown crust forms. Cook until preferred doneness.
5. Let ’em rest. After you remove the steaks from the pan or grill, let them rest on a cutting board for at least 5 minutes. This will allow the juices to seep back into the meat.