The "Secret Sauce" to the BEST Beef
We all love beef… but…
What if there was a way to make your favorite even BETTER!
What IS the “Secret Sauce”?
We all know that beef make the meal when it is served. Whether it is a sizzling burger, a perfectly crafted center-cut steak, or a finely prepared sirloin slathered with sautéed onions and mushrooms… one key piece remains.
That key piece is that we love it… we love the sound of the sizzle, the smell of the well-cooked quality cut of meat, and we absolutely love the way the texture combines with the tantalizing aroma and the anticipation we get when we heat the sizzle…
The result is, of course, TASTE!
A taste that is absolutely wonderful… and one that many of us love enough to go out of our way for.
But… what if we told you a secret…
This is a secret that is known to butchers, meat markets, and cattle farmers…
This secret gives you everything that you could want in meat. It gives you everything we have talked about; the taste, the smell, the texture…
And then, this one secret gives you just a *little* extra. That little extra offers you:
· A deep and complex flavor profile that is like a fine wine… often called “meatier and slight nutty”
· A tender texture that is what most people consider to be absolutely perfect
· A unique and powerful buttery aroma to enjoy while its cooking and, more importantly, during you pleasing your palate
· An improved fat to meat ratio as the fat reduces naturally before cooking
In other words, you are getting something special…
You are getting something BETTER.
And, most importantly, you are getting something that truly sets you, the savvy and intelligent meat connoisseur, apart as someone who is a bona fide lover of meat.
Of REAL meat… of properly cared for and prepared meat.
All this we mention, it is all true, and it all boils down to that one ‘secret’ that we mentioned before.
What is that one secret, you ask?
Well, most of the meat you buy at the supermarket has been aged. It has been wet aged, and that does change the flavor, and it makes it a little more interesting, a little more flavorful, and the texture is more desirable.
That being said, it should be easy to note… technically all meat is aged to a greater or lesser extent.
But the secret, even though all meat is aged, is the aging process.
But it is not wet aging… and it is not this new-fangled UV aging process…
The Secret? It is Dry Aging.
What is Dry Aging?
To understand dry aging, we can get further faster if you understand wet aging of meat. And you can understand wet aging better if we first explain to you what “aging” means with meat.
Aging is a process where some of the meat is broken down. The enzymes that are present start to break down and tenderize the meat, and in doing so the flavor is intensified, and the shelf-life of the meat is extended.
Really… that is all that any aging is – the meat is left in a condition so that some of the tougher fibers in the meat break down to both soften the meat and improve the flavor. And, as we said, there are a couple of ways that we can do this.
Wet Aging. Wet aging really is the “new kid on the block” between the two types of aging that we are going to be talk about here.
Wet aging is newer because is often requires to be packed in a vacuum sealed package with all of the oxygen removed. Really, what this means is that the meats own juices (and probably some water) are present. Without the presence of oxygen, the meat will take longer to rot, but the same process causes the meat to do as we said earlier – it becomes more tender, and it becomes more flavorful.
The pros to this are that this can be done quickly and easily, and that this makes meat readily available for most people on a regular basis. The cons… we will cover those as we move on.
Dry Aging. Dry aging has, as far as we can tell, been around for as long as civilization has existed. We, as humans, wanted an opportunity to keep meat longer, and to not have to clean up after it, feed it, and water it while it was following behind us. So, some people came up with the idea of aging the meat to preserve it, and dry aging was born.
Unlike wet aging, which is relatively quick, dry aging takes a bit of time… anywhere from weeks to upwards of 4 months.
As you can imagine, this takes some real skill ad dedication, and it requires people to take exceptional care with the environment and the temperature that the meat is aged in.
So, the difference is not just that one is dried in water and one is not… ever see Rocky? The massive meat carcasses hanging on hooks in the meat locker. That is what we are talking about – this is a temperature and humidity-controlled environment, and the meat is carefully watched to make sure that it is aging and not rotting.
We already covered the only real con of this – TIME!
It takes a long time to properly dry-age beef… and this does drive up the price.
The PROS though…
Is it REALLY that good?
It is, yes, but longer aged beef is an acquired taste. While most people will find the taste to be truly transcendent, there are those that might not enjoy a perfect cut of dry aged beef.
And that is fine, because everyone has different tastes (and it leaves more of it for the rest of us).
Maybe your best bet right off is to not go out and spend more on dry-aged beef. Maybe this is not something that you are interested in…
But, you have read this far… so I think you want to know.
I think you want the experience… and I think maybe you don’t want to spend big bucks on the experience until you know that you are going to absolutely love it.
What if we told you… there is a way to get an idea of the taste, texture, smell, mouth-feel, and overall experience without spending a fortune?
You can somewhat do this at home… it won’t be a dead ringer, but it will give you an idea… an idea that will act as a spark and likely ignite your desire for true dry-aged meat.
At-Home Dry Aging
It is important to note that this can be risky, there are no guarantees that this will turn out perfectly, and that the flavor profile will absolutely not be as good as a butcher’s properly dry-aged beef.
But, you want to KNOW, and you need the experience…
So here we go:
1. Get some truly high-quality prime beef from the best store in your area, make sure it is boneless, and be ready to do some more preparation
2. Realize that this meat has probably started to wet age already, and so you need to rinse it heavily (to remove the existing enzymes) with cold water, and then you need to pat it dry with paper towels until the meat is as dry as can be expected for raw meat.
3. Wrap the meat loosely in cheese cloth, being sure to use a double of a triple layer. Tie this off, set this on a wire rack, and place this in your refrigerator.
4. IMPORTANT – your fridge will not be as easy to temperature control as a butcher’s wall-in. Be sure to set your thermostat below 40 degrees Fahrenheit to give your meat the best chance of being similarly dry-aged.
5. This is going to sit in your fridge for about a week. Take the meat out and unwrap and rewrap it one the first day, third day, and fifth day to prevent the cloth from sticking to the meat.
6. On day seven, when you take this out of the fridge for the last time and unwrap it, you will need to take a knife to trim off what has inevitably grown on the outside of the meat. Consider about a quarter of an inch all around.
7. Cook that sucker up!
This is pretty much it – this will give you an idea of the flavor profile of dry-aged beef. Now, a couple things…
Note, this is at least two weeks less than you would have gotten this type of aged beef at your butcher, so the flavor will not be dead-on.. and it can’t be since the meat had started with wet aging prior to you preparing it for dry aging.
But… when you take that first taste of your perfectly roasted, beautifully aged meat…
Even before then, when you detect its unique aroma wafting towards you as you are cooking it…
Maybe even before that, when you see the deep and saturated beautiful coloring of your aged meat…
You will know. You will know that you have found a unique flavor that will haunt you until you have it again…
And next time, you will want to have it even better… and the best way to do that is to buy it from your local butcher.
We know that you will… now its time for you to know it. Try it, smell it, eat it…
And then you will know the best flavors of meat… and you will be back…. And you know this BIGGEST secret…
There is NO secret sauce… because good dry-aged beef with NEVER need it.
Now you know… and now that you do... you will be back, you will love your dry aged beef, and you will transcend.
…and why? Because, as an intelligent meat connoisseur you know, and we know, one key thing:
You deserve good meat, meat that we are happy to provide to you, to your family, and to improve your quality of life.