Sunday, December 13, 2009
Dry Aged Beef Results
If you remember, I began the process (experiment) of home dry-ageing a goodly hunk of beef earlier this week. Yesterday said hunk was cooked and devoured, I thought I would share the results.
Here we have the 4.5 pound strip loin roast after 4 days of ageing. Note the crusty outer layer, this is an expected result.
I estimate that the dry-ageing process resulted in a loss of about 2/3 of a pound. It is also necessary to trim off the crusty bits which nicks off another 1/2 pound or so of meat weight. All that loss shows you why restaurants charge an arm and a leg for the stuff. Here we have the roast trimmed. Notice that it looks un-explainably "beefier" than it did before, a richer burgundy tone to the meat I think.
I estimated the resulting weight to be some where in the neighborhood of 3.5 pounds (maybe a little less). I seared it off on all sides in some smokin' oil and slow roasted at 250 degrees for 85 minutes (internal temp 125, which will raise a couple degrees) for a nice rare/medium rare meat. I highly recommend the slower, low temp. roasting process for any quality roast of beef. You get a more uniform rareness throughout the entire piece of meat than you would with other higher temp. methods.
I sliced the strip loin into hearty 1/2 inch slices and served with some homemade horsey sauce (here is a good recipe, necessary to multiply it in this case).
As I am a scientific man, I found it necessary to cook up a slightly smaller strip loin (no dry-ageing) for comparisons sake. I utilized the same cooking methods. The dry-aged beef is at the top of the above photo, the non on the bottom.
I found the difference to be primarily textural, the dry-aged beef is firmer, but also extra tender. I first noticed the difference when carving, the aged stuff gave to the knife much easier. There was a slight beefier taste to the meat, but nothing serious. I chalk the minor differences up to the relatively short time I actually aged the beef, I think the flavor would have been more pronounced with more time. In any event, both roasts were tasty. They were happily munched by me and a bunch of friends at our annual holiday festivities at K8's house (that is K8 of Of Monkeys and Cupcakes fame). She graciously allowed the unwashed and rowdy crew to trash her wonderful kitchen to which we were all appreciative.