I am pleased to announce, I now have access to a butcher which does dry-aging on Rib-Eye steaks. I have tested it and fully approve of the quality. Need a week in advance to place orders, but able to now provide them for live dinner service and meal prep.
But what is a dry-aged steak? This is probably the most common question I get.
Dry aging is a process, that a large chunk of beef, for example, a full rib roast, sits in a special refrigerator for 20 to 90 days.
This fridge is at a constant lower temperature and circulates air differently than our normal fridges. It also is sterilized from harmful bacteria, usually with UV light or other special processes.
Some butchers also put special “starter bacteria,” kind of like yogurt or sourdough bread into the fridge to help produce certain flavors.
What happens in this special fridge to the beef? Simply, a layer of helpful mold, like on cheese, grows around the beef, which is also trimmed off at the end of the process.
The process helps break down collagen, adding a nuttier and richer flavor to the beef, while also making it more tender and taking away some moisture.
The reduction of moisture actually helps the beef retain its current moisture levels in the cooking process. That might be confusing, but all you need to know is a less dryer raw steak, to a certain threshold, is a more moist cooked steak.
20-30 days you get a milder increase in flavor, 30 to 45 days you get a prime addition of flavor, with each day adding more. After 45 most steaks take on a “funk” as we call it in the industry. Some people love it, and some people don't. It's a very strong meat flavor. If you like gamey things, you might very like 90-day aged steaks.
As more mold has to be trimmed off the steaks, and the longer the steak has to hold in a fridge, the more expensive it usually gets.
The steaks I have access to are held for 20 to 30 days, and although smaller, are not much more from a standard Spencer or Bone-In Rib-eye. If interested in great flavor reach out for a quote!