Episode Four

In this weeks episode I show you how to dry age steak as well as give some steak cooking tips and methods.
Some of the music provided tonight from the PodShow Podsafe Music Network. Check it out at ‘music.podshow.com The music in this episode is all used with permission and was as follows.
Track 1. Cookin at Home – The Gas House Gorillas
Track 2. Fat Man Dance by OneManBand
Track 3. I Wanna Fly by Tobin Mueller
QUOTE (sailingsoul @ Aug 29 2008, 12:30 AM) *
I’ve wondered about aging beef and how its done. Most people are unaware how much the temperature varies inside a frig’, depending on the placement inside. It can be as mush as 20f / 11c from bottom back to the top front locations. Commercial frig’s are better than poor quality residential units.
Do you know what the actual temperature the steak is kept at, measured with a thermometer? I’m guessing just above freezing, 33f / 1c. That would provide slowest bacteria growth, yet prevent the damage caused by ice crystal formation but there maybe other factors. What is done with the meat you trimmed? What are the signs of the aging process going wrong before the meat is a loss? Very well done! Emeril?, get out da way, your being replaced. SS
Yeas residential refrigerators have some variance which is why I said place the meat on the bottom back just above the vegetable crisper, this is the coolest most stably cook, place. And you want the temp below 4c but not below 1 (No freezing allowed). And part of that home-fridge variance is a bit mythic. The high variance is only true when taking the various component storage bins into account (Vegetable crisper and what not). The variance of the main storage area of a home fridge is not that big, few degrees from back to leaky door is most likely. If you have a newer (past few years) unit you will find it is on par with commercial in many ways.
Your concern is not bacteria growth, which is surface and will be dormant long before you trim the steak. Your concern is rancidity. The aging comes from enzymes in the meat and those enzymes are more active the warmer it is until about 60C when the cell activity stops.
To put both in perspective, we have been aging meat for thousands of years but we have only had refrigeration for what a hundred? As Careme said of the French technique of mortification Hanging whole joints at room temp for weeks on end: "it should be taken as far as possible."
The real reason we control time and temperature is to reduce the strong and pungent flavors, especially the rancidity of the fat. And as I note you can age for much longer than the 20 days.
I find the 20 days to be a reasonable loss of yield (about1/3) and improvement in taste and texture.
I bin the trim, but it could be used for animal feed.
Significant spottiness or worms would be two signs that I would say things went awry. But unless you have very uneven temp of direct air blowing on the meat, or have bad meat to begin, I can’t imagine that would happen.
- Chris
QUOTE (normal abnormal @ Aug 29 2008, 06:54 AM) *
So yer sayin I should use a ball peen hammer huh? Its rounded so I figure it should work well, maybe use a hubcap? I’m all set then I’m goin to be smashing me some pesto!
Take a video for me!
So can you dry age meat you get in the regular supermarket since it has already been wet aged or should I try to get it from a regular butcher shop them try it? I’m going to give it a try on the aging but don’t want of pick the wrong kind of beef.
Yes supermarket meat. Actually it is unlikely that they actually wet age it at all, as that takes storage. A wet age is basically any time the meat has spent in a moist environment (its own bag) after slaughter. So many supermarkets like to count the shipping time and market as wet aged. Wet aging sucks, and in any event will not hurt your dry aging process.
If by some lucky freak supermarket accident (it is Jackson after all) you find the first aging a bit too heady for your taste, take two or three days off you’re aging time and try again.
Finally you up in elk country can also be aging sides of elk, or even lamb, foul and pork. Pork is the one where worms could be an issue, but in modern American pork (unlike the fresh slaughter stuff we still get here) that is probably not going to be an issue.
- Chris



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