Saturday, October 18, 2008

One step closer to dry aged beef

As I posted awhile back, I really want to try my hand at dry aging a beef loin primal this winter.

It's tricky business; dry aging. No one really wants to talk about instructions on line, for much the same reasons you won't find too many discussions on building your own parachute - it's a hell of a liability. When you get down to it, you're doing a controlled rot. You need the right temperature and humidity levels. You need to be careful for insects. You have to try not to give yourself food poisoning.

So why even try? For the same reason the world's best steakhouses do it; the resulting beef is amazingly tender and flavorful. Tender because enzymes have started breaking it down, flavorful because it loses so much water. And of course, to say I've done it.

I asked my beef guy, told him this wouldn't be a regular thing, just a one time deal. He was completely confused and began showing me some large roasts from his cooler. I had to stop him and explain that they wouldn't work; that I needed something at least 10 pounds and fresh - not frozen. I explained that I would meet him at the processor with my cooler full of ice.

He pondered it for awhile; thought about the ways he might get in trouble, and then said he could do it, as a one time thing for me.

I said that it would probably be in February, and that I would be in touch.

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