Whether you have seen it on a restaurant’s menu, a cooking show or in your favourite barbecue bible– dry-aged beef is becoming more popular and widely understood. Here in the heartland of Alberta, many of us have easy access to fresh, top-quality beef that is a prime candidate for dry-aging. Once you taste the difference, it can be difficult to imagine eating a cut of beef that has not been dry-aged. If it sounds too good to be true, never fear: dry-aging has been practiced for as long as humans have prepared meat and modern science has proved its methods. You only need your taste buds to be convinced by the results! Read on for a quick introduction to dry-aged beef, brought to you by D’Arcy’s Meat Market.
What is “dry-aging?”
Beef that has been “dry-aged” was hung in large pieces– up to many months in temperature- and humidity-controlled conditions– prior to trimming and portioning the cuts. On the microscopic level, certain enzymes and good bacteria cause the flesh to tenderize and concentrate the meat’s natural taste. This saturation happens because the cut of beef loses moisture and size, while retaining its inherent flavour.
Is dry-aging safe to do at home?
Once upon a time, a home refrigerator would never be capable of dry-aging a cut of beef within food safety standards. Technological innovations mean your fridge likely keeps temperature and humidity levels more stable than older models, but unless equipped with an accurate thermometer and barometer– you may be taking an unnecessary risk by attempting the dry-age process at home. If you are equipped the appropriate tools and knowledge, you may be a good candidate to try dry-aging beef at home.
What are the benefits of home dry-aging?
A dry-aged cut of beef from a butcher or a steakhouse has gone through rigorous observation and quality assurance. Dry-aging at home means you can reproduce some of this environment, but it also means you can experiment to find what works best for your tastes. While your conditions may not be food-safe enough to age the beef as long as the professionals, short-term aging has shown to improve browning in steaks. Unfortunately, industrial equipment and culinary knowledge is required to achieve the deep, concentrated flavour of beef aged long-term (while avoiding any staleness or transfer of taste from the contents of a consumer-grade fridge).
Does D’Arcy’s carry dry-aged meat?
Desperate for that dry-aged taste, but let down by your do-it-yourself options? D’Arcy’s Meat Market not only carries a wide-range of dry-aged beef products cut-to-order, but our experts can help explain the dry-aging process and guide you to the right choice for you. We can offer advice on home dry-aging, but we can also produce custom orders by special request.
Questions about dry-aged beef? Curious about trying to dry-age beef at home? Contact or visit D’Arcy’s today!