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  1. #101
    Senior Member DParker's Avatar
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    Since we're having some of the steaks for Mother's Day tomorrow it's time to open up the bag and make an assessment on day 42 of the dry aging. The final weight is just about exactly 12.5 lbs, which is nearly exactly 5 lbs less than the 17.5 it started out as:

    (Full size: https://i.imgur.com/jhXqk6T.jpg)


    That's a ~28.6% weight reduction just from moisture loss. There will be significantly more lost once I trim the leathery outer rind and that big knob of fat from the tip. You can see how deep red the color of the meat is, which I'm hoping will translate into a rich, concentrated beef flavor. I'm also pretty pleased with the marbling. This stuff should eat like meat-flavored butter.

    (Full size: https://i.imgur.com/xSibzkW.jpg)
    Don't go ninja-in' nobody don't need ninja-in'.
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  2. #102
    Senior Member bluecat's Avatar
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    Can't wait for this.

    p.s. I see you like LEM products.
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  3. #103
    Senior Member DParker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluecat View Post
    Can't wait for this.
    Well, the real tasting isn't until tomorrow, but here's how the unwrapping and portioning went.

    First off, we need some meat-cutting music to make the work go a little easier. Alexa and B.B. obliged me.



    Properly bluesified, I commenced unwrapping the hunk o' cow and subdividing it into individual steaks. This was when I learned why Costco charges so little per lb for prime ribeye subprimals. The amount of exterior and interior fat is atrocious.

    (Full size: https://i.imgur.com/5sotKd5.jpg)


    After trimming off the hard rind and exterior blobs of fat, this is what was left of the 11 steaks I got out of it (not counting the tiny end piece I cut off to try a sous vide experiment on). As you can see, there's still a large ratio of fat to meat, and that's not even counting the smaller veins of marbling. It'll taste good, but...damn.

    (Full size: https://i.imgur.com/cPK5XhJ.jpg)


    This is the 4 lbs of trimmings. It all got bagged up and put into the freezer for later use in adding to ground brisket and other goodies.

    (Full size: https://i.imgur.com/aQgWFya.jpg)


    Final total weight of all the trimmed steaks: 8 lbs., or an average of ~11.6 oz / steak.

    (Full size: https://i.imgur.com/Ba1g2Fs.jpg)


    That's from a subprimal that originally weighed 17.5 lbs. So my original $10.69/lb cost is now $23.33/lb for the finished product. That sounds insane, but compared with what a steak dry aged for this long would cost you in a steakhouse, it's still a pretty good deal, even accounting for the excessive amount of remaining fat. Just the prime ribeye steaks alone, without the aging, would run you $30/lb or more in these parts...and that's from a butcher, not one cooked for you and brought to your table. Add a month and a half of aging in an expensive temperature and humidity controlled facility and that jumps to $50/lb and up, from all the sources I can find.

    Quote Originally Posted by bluecat View Post
    p.s. I see you like LEM products.
    My wife got that scale for me at the same time she bought my LEM meat grinder for my birthday several years ago. It think it was a package deal. The grinder is great. The scale is cheap, but it functions well enough.
    Don't go ninja-in' nobody don't need ninja-in'.
    - Diemon Dave

  4. #104
    Senior Member Swamp Fox's Avatar
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    This new learning amazes me.

    Explain again how letting some meat sit around in a cooler trebles the cost to the discriminating consumer ...







  5. #105
    Senior Member DParker's Avatar
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    I'll try to submit some info tomorrow. Right now I'm a pint-and-a-half into a 13.5% ABV vanilla porter and couldn't even hope to do the subject justice.
    Don't go ninja-in' nobody don't need ninja-in'.
    - Diemon Dave

  6. #106
    Senior Member Swamp Fox's Avatar
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    LOL ... A true Scotsman would push on through ...

    Just sayin' ...


  7. #107
    Senior Member DParker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Fox View Post
    A true Scotsman would push on through ...
    True. But a half-Polack, such as myself, would finish drinking and then go to bed. There's a reason we don't have any major inventions to our credit.

    Anywho....

    Dry aging beef is a somewhat complicated subject in that there are multiple different outcomes one can attempt to achieve, as well as multiple methods...and variations on those methods...one can employ to those ends. In the most general terms, the goal of dry aging is to enhance the meat's flavor as well as to tenderize it. At a minimum, the former is achieved via evaporation of internal water content, leading to a concentration of the existing "beefy" flavor. But depending on the exact aging method used, as well as the amount of time the meat is aged, other flavors may be produced as the result of slow chemical changes that occur within the meat, or even colonization of the surface by certain beneficial molds. These added flavors are often described as "nutty", "reminiscent of blue cheese" or even "funky, but in a good way".

    The latter...tenderization...occurs as enzymes within the meat work to slowly break down the connective tissues.

    For safety's sake, the home dry ager is generally restricted to the pursuit of basic flavor concentration and some tenderization. As of late, that is most popularly done using a frost-free refrigerator and special bags sold by the Umai Dry company. These bags are made from a material that bonds to the surface of the meat and acts as a semipermeable membrane, allowing moisture to escape and air to pass through in both directions, but blocking the introduction of spoilage (and alas, beneficial) microorganisms. Development of the more exotic flavors requires extended periods of time in special...and usually expensive...storage units that are precisely controlled for temperature and humidity, and extra precautions to prevent infection by nasty microscopic critters that would destroy your substantial investment in meat, time, electricity and equipment.

    So my goal was just what I could realistically achieve in the home kitchen: Strongly flavored ribeye steaks that are even more tender than they were when they left the store. In this, my first foray into the world of home dry aging, I was successful in the former to the extent I was expecting. In the latter, I was less successful. The final product did indeed have a flavor that I can only describe as tasting like a ribeye, only significantly more intensely so. Sort of like...you take a bite of a normal steak and it says to you, "Hello, please allow me to introduce myself. I'm Mr. Ribeye, and for the duration of your meal I'll be delighting your tastebuds with tender, beefy goodness." But you take a bite of a dry aged steak and it says, "I'M A RIBEYE, M-F-ER, AND I'M GONNA' BE ALL UP IN YOUR TASTEBUDS!!!" (Read that 2nd one in Samuel L. Jackson's voice for the full effect.)

    But for whatever reason, none of us found the meat to be noticeably more tender than the ordinary non-dry aged versions we usually have. That's especially disappointing considering that this was a USDA Prime graded cut, and not only was it extremely well marbled, it was actually excessively so. I don't know what went wrong there, as every thing I've read...including actual legit research on the subject...says that the tenderization effect is fully realized within about 30 days or so, and this one went 42 days.

    So, was it worth it? If I were to decide that based on just this one attempt I'd have to say, "No". But I'm not prepared to draw such a drastic conclusion just from one less-than-amazing result. When we finish the 5 remaining steaks I'll likely be trying this again...perhaps with a less fatty Choice graded cut rather than Prime. But fridge space is precious, and I have to get another batch of bacon curing first. When that's done...we'll see.
    Don't go ninja-in' nobody don't need ninja-in'.
    - Diemon Dave

  8. #108
    Senior Member bluecat's Avatar
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    Fantastic write up. You certainly do everything to the letter.
    Zombie Response Team

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  9. #109
    Senior Member Swamp Fox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DParker View Post
    True. But a half-Polack, such as myself, would finish drinking and then go to bed. There's a reason we don't have any major inventions to our credit.
    Far be it from me to argue .... LOL ... but this is probably not true. Half-Polacks probably invented low-fat turkey kielbasa and fruit-flavored vodka.




  10. #110
    Senior Member bluecat's Avatar
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    So after all the dry-aging and fussing around, you slathered it with A-1 and called it good?
    Zombie Response Team

    I write English not so well, but this thin string for sewing or fabric-making my funny wheel getickles. Baron von Schtupp

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