OFF-THE-BONE, DRY-AGED RIBEYE
Ask steak lovers who are passionate about beef which cut is their favorite and before long, you’re bound to hear a resounding chorus of RIBEYE!
What makes this steak so famous – and so popular?
We asked our chef to tell us more about our Dry Aged, Choice Angus Ribeye.
I remember my high school days here in Marshfield, when I was active in the local FFA chapter. I was a member of the “meat judging” team and we did exactly that, we judged cuts of meat for quality. (Did I mention that it was a long time ago…before the internet existed ?)
I had no idea at the time how that would help prepare me for my future endeavors, but back in those days, dry-aging was a thing of the past. It had given way to the newer process of
wet-aging. Large cuts called subprimals were vacuum-sealed and left to age in their own juices for a period of time.
This is still the process used for 99% of all American beef.
There are a lot of flowery adjectives that get tossed around when the topic of dry-aged beef comes up. Some food writers would refer to the process as “artisanal.”
To others, it’s “old-world” and “earthy.”
While most of these descriptors may be enough to entice intrigued diners to make the leap — and spend the extra $$$ necessary to upgrade to a dry-aged option — they fail to explain what’s actually happening during the process, and why dry-aged beef is truly a delicacy.
For starters, dry-aging doesn’t look that exciting. That’s right. Beef just hanging out on a shelf inside a dry-aging cooler getting crusty. Better bring some popcorn. It’s gonna be a long viewing.
But during this (somewhat uneventful) process, there are three occurrences that need to happen inside the meat that everyone needs to understand.
The first: Allowing time for the naturally-occurring enzymes to do their thing and make the beef more tender. If this is new information to you, then you just skipped a bunch of words preceding this. Shame on you.
The second: Unlike its wet-aged brethren confined to air-tight bags, dry-aged beef is free to explore its environment, which includes the encouraged evaporation of the moisture content within the cut. And while this is responsible for much of the darkening of its crust, what’s left inside is intense beefy flavor due to dehydration. That moisture loss and the need to trim off that exterior crust before cooking means significant yield loss, which is a big reason why dry-aged beef is so pricey.
The third: This is the trickiest part of dry-aging, and the key difference between beef that is truly dry-aged vs. beef that’s just dehydrated: it all has to do with molds. Although few folks actually have degrees in any kind of mold-related science, it’s generally understood that in different parts of the country there are different kinds of molds.
And while this is far from an exact science, even in the year 2023, people who make their living exploring meat are coming to realize that the processes that were a staple hundreds of years ago are essentially the same ones that are successful today.
There was a time not too long ago, however, when the food industry — and health inspectors fearful of molds — nearly science’d itself out of this incredible process. The industry saw an introduction of approved aging techniques designed to stop mold growth rather than promote — which, still today, may be limiting the additional desirable flavors that could be achieved with the molds being present.
Fortunately for funk-lovers, the pendulum appears to be swinging back toward tradition, and all who eat beef are reaping the rewards.
If you haven’t experienced dry-aged beef there’s no time like the present! Give it a try. It might just change your world.
Ready to see what makes our 21-day aged ribeye so popular?
Reserve your table and indulge in this tender cut tonight.
ONLY 15 SERVINGS PER NIGHT
From the desk of Jeff White
Culinary Director, The Jackson Grille