Gastronomes and chefs all around the world are raving about dry aged beef. Rib n Reef steakhouse is known in Montreal for it’s quality dry aged beef and more and more steakhouses are adding dry aged steak to their menu…and diners are ordering despite the price of a plate. But why all the interest in a piece of meat that’s been hung up and left to dry? The answer is a simple one. Dry aging beef naturally dries out the meat, concentrating and enhancing its beef flavor.
The more popular the trend for aged beef becomes, the more available and affordable it is for you to enjoy – grilling steak yourself at home or dining out at your favorite steakhouse.
Foodies are more educated then ever before about what tastes good. They want to know all about the latest and greatest ingredients and products in the culinary world. And these days it’s all about seeing aged steak on the menu. But is that aged steak worth the price you’re going to be paying for it?
Why eat dry age beef?
When you really think about it, eating meat that’s been aged doesn’t sound very appealing. When you open a pack of meat at home and leave it in the fridge for even a day, the smell isn’t at all appetizing. Dry aged beef is nothing at all like that. The meat goes through a meticulous process of aging that improves both the taste and texture of the beef. When dried correctly, dry aged steaks have an amazing, concentrated flavor that can’t be duplicated.
From meat to dry aged steak
There’s a bit of a scientific formula to aging meat. It’s not as simple as just hanging beef to dry in a dark room. There’s a specific process that needs to happen. Larger cuts of meat are put into humidity and temperature-controlled coolers before being cut into steaks and other cuts of meat. The reason for this is that the aging process causes a loss of volume in the meat when the outer layers are cut away. These outer layers have a growth of mold on the surface, making this portion of the meat inedible. But inside, underneath that outer layer, that’s where all the magic happens – a flavorful and tender steak just waiting to be grilled to perfection.
Ideal aging time
Meat is dry aged for anywhere from 28 to 120 days, with 30 to 40 days being the ideal aging time for steak. At this point there’s an agreement among chefs and foodies that the beef has reached its optimum drying time, with the perfect combination of concentrated flavors.
The unforgettable taste of dry aged steak?
Before you order that pricey dry aged steak, you’ll want to know what you’re getting. Everyone is raving about this new trend…but are you going to enjoy the dry aged steak better than the Filet Mignon you usually order?
They say the taste is unforgettable. Some common words to describe aged steak are nutty, smoky, and spicy. Another common description is that dry aged steak tastes a little like perfectly buttered popcorn.
The perfect wine for aged steak
Once you’ve decided to splurge and dine on dry aged steak, you’ll want the perfect wine pairing, so you don’t mess up the flavors that you’re spending so much to enjoy. The classic taste of a Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot will bring out the smoky, nutty taste of the beef. Or you could be adventurous and try a rustic red wine, something to handle the marbled fat and concentrated beef flavors, like a bottle of Syrah.
Now that you understand what happens to beef when it’s dry aged, you’re ready to place your order. To sum it up – ordering aged steak is a dining experience you won’t soon forget.