8 week dry aged steak
The primary reason traditional butchers dry age beef is so the flavour and tenderness of the beef is improved and, if cooked correctly, the consumer is more satisfied. If beef is dry aged correctly, there are a number of changes that combine together to give results the majority of consumers appreciate.
At a traditional butcher shop, 8 week dry aged steak will be considerably more full of flavour and so tender that it will seem to melt in the mouth as it is eaten. Butchers that source meat from local farmers, who raise native British cattle the traditional way, can give their customers the best quality meat.
The effects of dry aging
Only the highest grade beef is used to produce our 8 week dry aged steak. The carcass or large cuts of beef are refrigerated at a very low temperature, which allows the natural processes that improve the tenderness and flavour.
After the cattle has died, the muscles undergo progressive changes that affect the tenderness of the meat when cooked. The first process is when the muscles go into rigor, which is stiffening and shortening process and generally lasts from a couple of hours to a day or two. Following rigor, muscles undergo changes that give a gradual improvement in the tenderness of the meat.
While the muscles are undergoing these changes, the chemical breakdown within certain muscles and fat elements occurs, resulting in a concentration of aroma and flavour.
During the process, our 8 week dry aged steak suffers moisture evaporation, which contributes to weight loss and, along with the length of time involved, makes the process expensive.
Dry aged environment
General sanitation, air movement, relative humidity and temperature of the room in which the beef is left to age are crucial considerations if the meat is to be successfully aged.
The room must generally be maintained as follows:
• Temperature between 34 – 36 degrees Fahrenheit
• Humidity at between 85% – 90%
• Air flow at the surface of the meat between 15-20 linear feet a minute
• Free of all odours
• The walls and floors washed in an alkaline cleaning solution and an endorsed sanitizer applied on a weekly basis or more frequently if required
• The floor must not be covered in sawdust because it causes air contamination
• No other products of any kind should be stored in the room at the same time as the beef is hung, because the meat will absorb any odours produced by them
• Apart from when being cleaned the ceiling, floors and wall must be kept dry
• The carcass and other cuts of meat must be correctly spaced on hooks or racks, so that air can circulate freely around the meat
Dry aging period
Generally speaking, the longer the beef is left to age, the better the flavour and tenderness achieved. Many steaks are labelled as matured or hung for 28 days, but here at Albert Matthews, we know our 8 week dry aged steak will give our customers the best possible experience of eating steak at home.