Welcome travelers and foodie lovers to this week’s blog. One of our favorite items the Traveling Foody family orders when available at the restaurant is aged beef. There is just something tasty, buttery and not to mention the ancient process about aged beef. Aging beef and other meats is a process that was used out of necessity in order to preserve it before the invention of refrigeration. I’m sure that even back then the people knew of the wonderful taste and quality of aging meat. The enzymes in the meat attack the structural proteins which naturally tenderized the meat. In addition to tenderizing the meat, enzymes will also break down the proteins which turn them into amino acids, as an effect will intensify the flavors.
The 2 different types of aging beef are to dry-age and wet-age. Both styles are aged at low temperatures between 34 and 38 degrees F. In general, beef can be aged anywhere from a few weeks to 6 months. Dry aging beef is done by hanging the meat, before cutting, in the freezer for a set time. The outcome of drying beef is the loss of meat due to the water evaporating and surface mold. Wet aging beef is performed by storing the meat in a vacuumed sealed bag and stored for the set time. By wet aging the beef you will reduce the loss of the meat but you will not develop the same tastes and texture quality as you would in dry aging.
If you would to age beef at home you can:
- Buy a choice or prime beef or loin roast.
- Unwrap and rinse the beef well, then pat dry with paper towel.
- Wrap the beef loosely in a triple layer of cheesecloth and set on rack that sits on a baking sheet.
- Refrigerate in a 34 – 38 degree F fridge for 5 – 14 days.
- After 1st day unwrap the meat and then rewrap it with the same cheesecloth. This prevents the cloth fibers from sticking.
- Unwrap meat when ready to roast or grill.
- With a sharp knife, shave off and discharge the hard outer layer of the meat.
- Roast it whole or cut into steaks.
-Damien – The Traveling Foody