Dry aged steak
Dry aged steak comes from dry aged beef that has been placed onto a rack or hung in a room for several weeks. Following its death, the animal is cleaned and then the entire carcass or half a carcass, if it has been cut in half, is hung.
The beef is then put on racks inside a refrigerator and stored at almost freezing temperatures. The temperature is closely climate-controlled and monitored, and only the highest grades of meat are suitable for the dry aged process.
Dry aged steak comes from beef that is usually hung for a minimum of 15 days, up to 28 days. Sometimes, it is hung for as long as eight weeks. The longer the meat is hung, the better the tenderness and flavour of the meat. The dry aged process is slow and benefits the meat, but most supermarkets do not use this process as they prefer a quick return on their meat.
A traditional butcher shop is where dry aged steak is usually found for sale, because butchers are prepared to invest time and expertise in dry aging steaks to ensure customers have the finest quality steaks on their plates.
What is dry ageing?
The best quality meat has a large area of evenly distributed fat matter in the meat. The main effect of the dry aging process is the saturation and concentration of the meat’s natural flavour, along with tenderising the texture of the meat.
The dry aged process alters beef in two ways. Firstly, moisture evaporates, which creates a larger concentration of taste and flavour. Secondly, the natural enzymes in the beef‘s connective tissue breaks down and this makes the beef much more tender.
During the dry aging process, growth of specific fungi occurs on the meat’s outer surface. This fungi may not look attractive but it forms a crust, which is then carefully cut off when the butcher prepares the meat for consumption.
The specific fungi complements the beef’s natural enzymes and helps to increase the meat’s flavour and tenderize it. Thamnidium is acknowledged as producing collagenolytic enzymes, which contributes significantly to the flavour and tenderness of dry aged steak.
Typically, during the dry aging process the steak will lose around a third of its weight as the moisture evaporates. This, along with moisture loss, is why dry aged steak is more expensive – but once diners have tasted steak that has been dry aged, then they will understand and appreciate why it costs more.
Traditional butchers guarantee quality
Here at Albert Matthews, we adhere to the principals of our founder and source our meat from local farms, which raise traditional breeds and allow their cattle to graze on grass in natural surroundings. We believe that this, together with how we care for the meat in our shops, contributes to providing steak that has an excellent flavour.
We conscientiously dry age our beef for at least 28 days to guarantee its tenderness, and ensure that it melts in your mouth when you eat it. Our expert team of skilled butchers cuts and trims our steaks to rigorous specifications, making sure our customers have the best possible experience.