Dry Aging is the traditional and, in our opinion, ultimate way of storing and maturing meat.
Moisture evaporates from the muscle creating a deeper flavour (that’s why beef shrinks as it’s matured) and natural enzymes break down the meat making it much more tender. Our dry ager controls temperature, air flow and humidity to create precise conditions, allowing us to create the perfect flavour and texture in our beef.
But let’s be honest here, Dry Aged beef costs more money. Is it worth the extra cost and what makes Dry Aging so special?
Why Dry Aged Beef is Better
Beef must ripen after slaughter before it’s ready to eat and recently there’s become a resurgence of the old tradition of Dry Aging meat to aid the maturing process. It’s very simple – you hang the meat while it’s on the bone, open to the air at a temperature just above freezing. And that’s it!
The majority of ‘aged beef’ you’ll find on the shelves of your local supermarket has been Wet Aged. It’s a much faster process where the meat is sealed in a vacuum bag and refrigerated. It allows the natural enzymes to begin breaking down the beef quickly and is generally left for just a week before being cut and packaged. It’s cheaper because it’s fast but this technique often gives a sourness to the meat.
For an authentic aged flavour and texture in beef, you need three things: time, quality and commitment.
Dry Aged meat is generally hung on the bone for 3 – 6 weeks, giving the beef time to mature and develop that buttery texture and nutty flavour notes. You may sometimes see beef that’s been aged for up to 12 weeks giving a very deep, almost gamey flavour – though it’s not to everyone’s taste and is quite divisive.
There would be no point in us maturing meat for 6 weeks if it wasn’t good quality beef to begin with! The best results come from hanging freshly slaughtered meat, on the bone, in our Himalayan Salt Aging Chamber.
We work closely with the Carlisle family, who farm just across the Scottish border in Lockerbie. For them it’s not just about the quality of life, but the quality of death that makes a difference to the meat. They run their own abattoir just 2 miles from the farm, meaning there is very little stress on the animal in transport and gives the added bonus of low food miles.
The even marbling in their Aberdeen Angus lends itself to dry aging – allowing for tender meat and buttery fat.
Every step of the aging process must be monitored and controlled so the meat doesn’t spoil – it takes time, commitment and knowledge. The humidity, temperature and air circulation must be just so, and tinted glass means we know light isn’t going to affect the meat. Dry Aged beef is by no means fast food!