So…it’s apparently been a year since I posted anything here… WOW. I didn’t think it was that long! Oh well…I’m back with something really fun, and something that will make your beef REALLY REALLY tasty.
What I have for you today, is a device to dry age beef. If you’ve never had dry aged beef…you gotta try it! You don’t even need a rig like this to do it… you can get essentially the same thing with a small rack and a plate, but…it being RAW meat, I want to keep it covered. Remember…like us humans, beef is mainly water… What does dry aging do? …it removes WATER! This will concentrate the flavours. It ALSO starts an irreversible process with enzymes that are already in the meat, starting to break it down… kinda like internal natural tenderizing. This is why the meat doesn’t actually ‘dry out’…and will still be tender when cooked. If it wasn’t tender…no steakhouse would do this…
You don’t need a lot of things to make this:
– drill with 1/4″ bit
– marking device for plastic
– plastic container with lid
– rack that fits inside container
STEP 1 – Invert the container
STEP 2 – Drill the holes
I can’t give you the exact spacing, or number of holes, since that will all vary based on the size of container. Simple rules are that there should be enough holes for decent airflow.
STEP 3 – Starting the aging process
Now take the lid and invert it (top side down), and place some paper towels on the lid to absorb liquids. Place your rack on the paper towel. This is a rack I found at the store for doing ribs and chicken… I probably won’t ever use it for that…but it has TWO racks, so you can load up a little more meat…
STEP 4 – Meat Preparation
Dry off the steak completely. Top, bottom, sides… make sure you get everything. Flip it over and pat dry. NOTE: the steak I’m using is not really suitable for this… it should be much thicker (about 1 3/4″ – 2″ thick…). This steak is just for demonstration purposes… The steak should also be fresh…and have at least 4 days left before it’s ‘best before’ date…
STEP 5 – AGE IT!
Place in the fridge and let it be! Seriously. You don’t need to do anything! Leave it for 24 hours, then check on it. If there is a lot of juice on the paper towel, replace the paper towel. Once replaced, you’ll likely not have to do that again. Check after another 24 hours. You should be able to see a noticeable difference. Let it go another 24 hours. 72 hours is about the longest you want to go with this. The meat should be ‘tougher’ that when you bought it…but NOT hard. It should rebound when you push down on it a little bit. You can see my rig takes up most of the bottom of the fridge (the coldest area, the only place you want this…the meat has to stay below 38F). I made this one quite large since I have a BBQ competition coming up next weekend. Yours only needs to be big enough to hold what ever you are going to age…
STEP 6 – COOK IT!
Now, when you have the steak aged, you might notice a bit of a smell, and might have a bit of a leathery surface in a few spots (the longer it goes, the drier the outside will get… remember…some are aged 4 MONTHS!)
The smell, isn’t much of a problem… if it’s VERY pungent, you might not want to continue cooking. If there are dry bits on it, just cut those off. This would also be the time to trim off any fat you do not want. But remember…fat is flavour AND it will help keep the steak juicy…so don’t cut off too much!