As a lot of our customers may already know, at Sage Creek our beef is dry-aged for 3 weeks. You may be thinking “what the heck does ‘dry-aged’ mean?”. Well, dry-aging is when large cuts of beef are aged for anywhere from several weeks to several months before being trimmed and cut into steaks! Dry-aging is used to help develop flavour and make your beef far more tender than it would have been completely fresh!
Dry-aging allows enzymes naturally present in the beef to break down the muscle tissue which improves the texture and flavour! Also, because moisture is evaporated from the muscle, the resulting process of desiccation creates a much more flavourful piece of meat! Dry-aging also promotes growth of some fungal species on the external surface of the beef. However, don’t start gagging yet, this doesn’t cause any kind of spoilage! The fungal growth forms a crust on the meat, which is then trimmed off when the meat is ready for packing or cooking. The fungal species actually compliment the natural enzymes in the meat by helping tenderize and enhance flavour! Who knew!
Many of your grocery store beef producers use a process called ‘wet aging’, which means it was aged in a plastic shrink wrap to retain moisture. This ensures a quick age time (4-10 days) and no moisture loss, which means you’re getting a less flavourful piece of beef but paying more by weight. Dry-aged beef is exposed to air instead, so the dehydration can further concentrate the meats flavour. Dry-aging beef is a more expensive for the producer and consumer compared to wet-aging because the beef loses weight from dehydration and must be trimmed of it’s dry exterior, but the end result is a much higher quality piece of meat. Dry-aged beef is typically not sold by most supermarkets because it takes more time (15-28 days) and there is a significant loss of weight during the aging process.
We are now accepting pre-orders for our 100% grass-fed, dry-aged beef here at Sage Creek Permaculture! Available Fall 2017!