So you got lucky. You’ve both made it to your place in one piece, after spending a considerable amount of money outside. That doesn’t matter, because there is this mature beauty waiting for you, urging to be worked on. Baring all, it’s sight to behold. Like a perfect Greek sculpture at the Met, you imagine how it feels against your fingers and you want to touch it really bad. There is a certain aroma coming from the pungent flesh: a distinct older funk that you’re not used to, but you’re very attracted to it. No, this isn’t Friday night’s fling with the much older person from the bar. It’s a dry-aged steak.
My first foray into trying dry-aged steak came this past weekend. A few friends and tax season’s forthcoming relief induced enough enthusiasm to splurge on a couple of expensive dry-aged T-bone steaks. I don’t have the care or the money to reserve a spot in your restaurant, Mr. Peter Luger. After a year’s worth of experience striving for steak cooking perfection, a trip to my local butcher, and $80 dollars out of my wallet, my tongue was ready to be taken to a delicious getaway.
The dry-aging process is very different from the standard fare you see at the supermarket. Enormous cuts of beef are aged in an environment where humidity and temperature are carefully controlled over a several weeks. Enzymes eventually break down the muscle fibers and the meat loses about a third of its moisture. The result? A moldy, funky piece of steak with tenderized muscle fibers that bear pockets of hyper-concentrated beef flavor. The smell is very pungent, like a fine aged cheese. Visibly, the raw steak is darker than its supermarket counterpart and it requires a trimming of the moldy bits from aging.
For more information on the dry-age process, click here.
It tastes so good, regular steak is forever ruined for me. Every fibrous tissue explodes a concentrated steak flavor. How can I enjoy a regular steak knowing that these mature, experienced luxuries exist? I encourage you to try dry-aged steak as it offers a different experience that trumps mostly every meat. Vegans and vegetarians need not apply, and for the love of all that is right in the world, do not burn your steak.