Some things in this world, we’ve come to realise, are just better with age. Take dry aged beef, for example. Regarded around the world as the crème dela crème of meat styles, dry aged beef is all about that concentrated ‘beefy’ flavour. So how exactly is this unique taste profile achieved? The answer lies in how the beef is processed before it reaches you and your dinner plate. Let’s delve a little deeper…
WHAT IS DRY AGED BEEF?
The Dry Aging Process
Butchers have been dry aging meat for millennia and it’s a process we, along with other meat specialists, continue to practise today. So how does dry aging happen? Once our Gingin Grass Fed beef reaches maturity, it’s taken to the abattoir for processing and the meat is left to hang in a cool room for a few weeks. It’s the next step where dry aging comes into play. We then hang the meat a bit longer, exposing it to a set temperature in a controlled environment.
The combination of temperature, humidity and air quality allows moisture to evaporate from the meat and oxidate fat and other fat-like molecules, while the meat’s natural enzymes break down the connective tissue in the muscle. The result: a high concentration of natural meaty flavour, combined with a tenderness unparalleled to standard beef options.
The Difference Between Dry Aged & Wet Aged Meats
Did you know most of the beef you buy is only aged for a few days before it hits the butchers’ shelves? The aging process allows the meat’s natural enzymes to break down muscle tissue, reducing moisture and locking in flavour.
The main difference between dry aged and wet aged meat is how much moisture the meat you purchase contains. The more moisture, the less concentrated the taste and the more shrinkage you’ll get once your rib eye or scotch fillet is cooked. So, the longer a piece of meat has been air-dried, the less ‘wet’ it’ll be, and you’ll be more pleased, you’ll see!
Rhyming aside, your piece of dry aged beef will retain its weight and flavour a whole lot better than beef that hasn’t had the chance to lose water weight.
Buying Dry Aged Beef
For your everyday supermarket, meat tenderness, flavour and taste probably aren’t on their priority list. Instead, they opt to sell meat that doesn’t take as much time to process and weighs more on the shelf than it might once it’s in the pan. That’s why chefs and true meat devotees head to their local butchers and buy premium dry aged beef.
They know the experts have put the time and effort into producing meat designed for maximum meaty pleasure.