A disappointment

I dabble in the fine art of aging beef. I have neither the knowledge nor the equipment to do it correctly, but I have, on occasion, come close to those wonderful, minerally, intensely flavored steaks that the best steakhouses will sometimes dish up. And I had high hopes for the thick, bone-in strip steaks that I had aging in the refrigerator. They were about 2.5-inches thick, which is, at least for my palate, the optimum grilled steak thickness. I like my steak rare, and I haven’t been able to get a nice char on thinner steaks without overcooking them. These steaks looked like they had aged well, losing some moisture without becoming too dry.  I served one plain and one with lemon and olive oil. They were cooked correctly, but they just weren’t “beefy” enough, and they were missing that special flavor that I have only tasted in aged beef.

It is possible that the raw material simply wasn’t good enough. But these steaks looked pretty good! Nicely marbled and a rich medium red color. I have had excellent results with meat from Costco and the local supermarkets, and I have been hoping that the aging is the most important part of the process. One of the intractable problems is that the best aging occurs in large cuts, before they are sliced for cooking. I don’t have a band saw for cutting an entire porterhouse into manageable portions, so I have to make do with the pre-cut stuff. And three weeks of aging of a single portion will yield a completely dessicated, inedible waste of time. Am I stuck?

2 Replies to “A disappointment”

  1. I have never tried it, but I’m of the opinion, based on my understanding of the process, that you’ll have better luck with, say, a full rack of ribs. Easily cut-able with a knife. Alton Brown’s method is probably worth a shot. It’s on his site or the internet somewhere for sure. As you’ve seen, single steaks don’t fare very well. They get too funky, and don’t have time for the process to work its magic.I’m looking forward to reading more of your stuff. And I’m not just saying that.

  2. I think you are correct about the full rack of ribs. My wife isn’t a big fan of ribeye however, and it’s her refrigerator too! I am tempted to try my circular saw on a side of porterhouse, but the mess might be awful.Thanks for your kind words. I’ll do my best.

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