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Dry-Aged Beef


xcanuck
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Dry aging techniques aside....what does everyone think about the cost/benefit ratio for dry aging? I've really enjoyed the dry aged porterhouses and NY strips that I get from WF but I've had to take out a bank loan each time! :)

A recent copy of Cooks Illustrated had a recipe for grilled prime rib. In there, they said "First, we don't recommend spending the extra cash on dry-aging. Given the intense flavours imparted by the grill, any distinguishing nuances were lost."

I appreciate the fact that a prime rib is a MUCH larger cut of meat that a standard steak so that, combined with the grilling cooking method, may negate any benefit of dry aging. But do the people here think you could differentiate between dry aged and regular steaks cooked in a standard pan seared/oven finished manner? How about cooked on the grill (which is where 90% of my steaks end up)??

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Dry aging techniques aside....what does everyone think about the cost/benefit ratio for dry aging? I've really enjoyed the dry aged porterhouses and NY strips that I get from WF but I've had to take out a bank loan each time! :)

Last night, inspired by a bottle of Laurel Glen Cabernet awaiting its demise... we decided to get a dry aged T bone at WFM. From the tags of the remaininmg beef, we suspect that this beef probably entered the chamber sometime in the first few days of August.

The total bill for our steak was $22.00 for a 1.15# steak, or about $19 a pound. Regular t- bone was $16.99 so the same sized piece would have been $19.25. The regular rib eye was on sale for $12.99 or $13.99. The dry aged rib eye was only available boneless so we did not consider it. I would have preferred for them to trim up a porter house from teh beauty sitting in their dry age case, but I didn't ask.

In any case for the extra $2.75, the dry aged was far preferable. The flavors softer and mellower with the dry aged funk a soft overlay over a stronger general beefiness than the regular. The texture was a little firmer from the lack of moisture but in no way tough. In short, it was delightful.

The real question is whether the WFM beef in general is worth its high price. It is free from all but the minimum hormoned required by federal regulation and free from hormones. If these issues resonate with you, then yes.

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Last night we had dry-aged beef from WFM (Clarendon). It was a bone-in rib eye, on sale for $14.99/lb. Ours was 1.8 lbs (including bones). The flavor is more concentrated, beefier than regular steak.

We do buy it when it is not on sale as well. We do feel that the additional price is worth it for us. We don't buy it every time we want a steak, but when we want to treat ourselves, that's a pretty easy way to go. It's great on the charcoal grill, or in a hot-hot cast-iron pan.

This is how we like to spend some of our disposable income.

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Am I alone in thinking that seeking out and paying LOTS extra for rotting, decayed, spoiled, moldy meat is both silly and disgusting? How would we feel about, say, dry-aged fish? Mmm-mmm good? Some rancid butter with that?

It works for cheese . . .

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Am I alone in thinking that seeking out and paying LOTS extra for rotting, decayed, spoiled, moldy meat is both silly and disgusting? How would we feel about, say, dry-aged fish? Mmm-mmm good? Some rancid butter with that?

But it's not rotting, decayed, spoiled, or moldy--at least not the part we bring home and cook. And I don't feel we're paying LOTS extra, over the same cut in the same store, not dry-aged. OK, rib eye over chuck eye, maybe, and I buy the latter sometimes, too. But the dry-aged product is a a real treat. If you eat meat, try it sometime when it's on sale (just don't cook as long as you would regular beef). If you don't eat meat, what do you care if I like it?

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Am I alone in thinking that seeking out and paying LOTS extra for rotting, decayed, spoiled, moldy meat is both silly and disgusting? How would we feel about, say, dry-aged fish? Mmm-mmm good? Some rancid butter with that?

Have you ever had it? Do you not eat rotting, molding, and or spoiled dairy products? What about fermented products where other natural 'spoiling' processes are at work?

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If cod were simply left to "dry age" for a few weeks, I don't think I'd want to eat it.

Native Americans in the Northwest dry strips of salmon to make a kind of jerky. So? Will you eat that? Maybe-- because it is being "preserved" and not left out in the sun until it spoils? Dry-aged meat is NOT spoiled. Every food you eat, animal, vegetable or grain is on some trajectory toward decomposition before it is cooked, and then again after it is cooked. We consume them at varying points of that trajectory, depending on personal taste and cultural custom. Disgust is mitigated by human psychology. It is a product of the survival instinct, but it is culturally determined. So those raised in Kosher homes might find rare meat disgusting, but not because it is de facto not safe to eat. Disgust is not the same thing as bacterial gastroenteritis. Very few people would consciously choose to eat something that would cause them to become ill.

We share the earth with bacteria, and some varieties of them have been harnessed during human history to transform and preserve foods. Some of these, as mentioned above, may be so familiar, that you don't even think twice about eating them. Others may be considered delicious by other cultures--as a general rule, though, thoughtful, mature individuals don't say: "Ewww! You're going to eat THAT? That's GROSS!" about food that someone else is enjoying. I'm just sayin' ...

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Perhaps I was over-provocative. I have eaten dry-aged beef, and the "funk" mentioned earlier seems like spoilage to me. If others don't perceive it that way, and draw pleasure from eating it, I wish them nothing but joy. On the other hand, I've had a life-long love-affair with cheese, the smellier the better, and I particularly love blue-mold cheeses. Call me inconsistent. Zora, I largely agree with everything you say. But it wasn't my whole intent to say "ewww". I asked a question ("am I alone?"), and, from the responses here, apparently I am, at least among the folks participating in this thread.

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My wife and I recently purchased, closed and moved into our first house and decided to splure this past weekend and buy ourselves dry aged steak from Wegmans.

We were both excited at the opportunity of paying a little extra money for something new and instead of seasoning threw on the grill until it was medium rare. After letting the steak rest for about five or ten minutes we sat down for dinner and ate dinner.

Our immediate reaction after taking our first bite was that the steak didn't taste any better than a 'regular' steak that was not dry aged. Actually, our opinion of the non-dry aged steaks were that they were better.

Should I have seasoned the dry aged steaks before grilling? Or, is there something that I/we should look for when purchasing a dry aged steak in the future.

Thank you.

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My wife and I recently purchased, closed and moved into our first house and decided to splure this past weekend and buy ourselves dry aged steak from Wegmans.

We were both excited at the opportunity of paying a little extra money for something new and instead of seasoning threw on the grill until it was medium rare. After letting the steak rest for about five or ten minutes we sat down for dinner and ate dinner.

Our immediate reaction after taking our first bite was that the steak didn't taste any better than a 'regular' steak that was not dry aged. Actually, our opinion of the non-dry aged steaks were that they were better.

Should I have seasoned the dry aged steaks before grilling? Or, is there something that I/we should look for when purchasing a dry aged steak in the future.

Thank you.

Seasoning is important, but you may not enjoy dry-aged beef. It has a distinct flavor that some do not like. It is possible that he stuff the Wegman's is just not that good. I like the stuff from the Whole Foods in Fair Lakes. Next time get two steaks, one dry-aged and one regular and see how they compare side-by-side. If you still cannot tell or enjoy the difference they certainly by the cheaper stuff in the future. :lol:

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It is possible that the stuff from Wegman's is just not that good. I like the stuff from the Whole Foods in Fair Lakes.
The Wegman's dry aged beef clearly isn't hung as long as the beef at Fair Lakes (I don't remember the exact number, but it wasn't much longer than 21 days.) Having had both, I didn't notice a big difference in the quality of the meat except in the length of aging. But yeah, I wouldn't write off dry aging without cooking and seasoning a dry- and wet-aged steak side by side.
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Dry-aged sirloin with carrots and button mushrooms

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Sirloin from minimum 5 year-old pastured Limousin cattle that have eaten nothing but grass their whole lives, just as nature dictates.

Dry-aged for at least 4 musk inducing weeks.

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Sirloin left to temper for an hour then pan roasted in olive oil. Button mushrooms, carrots and onions glazed in the fat.

Finished with tomato concassée, the zest of a lemon and its segments. Nothing short of savory.

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Some rancid butter with that?

If I can find or make it, perhaps.

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