You may have noticed that many restaurants today have some sort of dry aged beef on the menu. Usually, it’s a bit pricier than your usual prime ribeye or any other kind of “regular” steak. Most often, dry aged beef is hailed as the more superior choice, but you may not fully understand why this is so. Meat is meat, after all. Except, of course, it’s not.
Tenderness, taste, and the time it takes for its preparation all influence its quality. What makes dry aged beef so special and worth every last penny is all of that and more.
What is dry aged beef?
First, let’s talk a little bit about dry aging. Your typical meat is not prepared this way. When bought, it’s fresh, it’s bright red and full of moisture. Dry aged beef, however, is of a deeper red and may look a bit shriveled.
Dry aging means the meat is aged anywhere from 7 to 120 days before eating, dried in controlled conditions that manage the level of moisture and bacteria. The environment is heavily controlled, with precise humidity and temperature levels. Because of this, the meat does not spoil.
During the process, collagen is broken down. Since that is what holds all the muscle fibers together and usually makes the meat tough, getting rid of it naturally results in meat that is much more tender.
While this is happening, the meat is also losing moisture. Water is coming out of the meat, and during the first 3 weeks of dry aging, the meat loses about 10 percent of its weight. This continues throughout the process – on the 120th day of aging, the meat is at only 35 percent of its original weight.
Despite everything that’s now happening to the meat, the marbling does not change. The meat also retains all its fat. This means that with dry aged beef, you get more square fat per inch than usually.
Remember, this entire process is done in a controlled environment so that there is no danger of the meat spoiling. While there are some guides that claim they can teach you how to do it at home, it’s impossible. The humidity and temperature of your regular fridge is far from suitable for any kind of dry aging process.
What’s the difference between a dry aged and a “regular” prime ribeye?
The main advantages of a dry aged steak are the taste and tenderness. Because of the entire aging process, the meat becomes very tender with an exceptional taste. It’s been described as a mix of rare roast beef and buttered popcorn.
The most common age is 30 days – the more the beef is aged, the more potent the taste. Not many restaurants buy steak that’s been aged 120 days because the flavor is of such intensity that usually only the connoisseurs enjoy it.
If you’re curious to know how dry aged beef compares to the typical steaks, we can offer you dry aged prime ribeye steak, served with Hasselback potato, and haricot vert baby carrots.
At George’s, we take pride in every meal we prepare. From our salads and cocktails to our dry aged ribeye steaks and beef tartare, we make sure you get only the highest quality ingredients. Steeped in the atmosphere of Old Hollywood, back when the great walked the streets, George’s guarantees that every bite is an experience like no other. Drop by for a delicious dinner and you won’t regret it!