When you hear the term “dry aged beef”, your mind immediately goes to larger price tags. Since the prices on these steaks are higher than your regular steak, it must taste better right? Well, dry-aged steaks do have a richer flavor and more tender texture than their fresh cut counterpart, but it is entirely up to your personal taste preference if it’s worth the money.
In the dry-aging process, meat hangs in a humidity-controlled environment in a way that exposes all its sides with unimpeded airflow around the entire cut. When you buy a regular steak at Paisano’s Butcher Shop, it will be bright red and cook up chewy but juicy and full of moisture. Dry-aged steaks, on the other hand, are not fresh - They are dark brown in color because they have been aged anywhere from 7 to 120 days. They do not spoil during the dry aging process because they are stored in a humidity-controlled and temperature-controlled environment that keeps them from going bad. The time in the aging room breaks down collagen, which makes up the connective tissues that hold together the beef’s muscle fibers, so these steaks are more tender than fresh steaks. The dry-aging process also draws moisture out of the meat, shrinking its size and darkening the color. As the meat loses water, its flavor becomes concentrated to give it a more beef-forward and nutty flavor.
So, what does dry-aged beef actually taste like? The texture of the meat is probably the first thing you’ll notice, due to the collagen breakdown that occurred during the aging process – dry-aged steaks are almost melt-in-your-mouth texture. The actual flavor of the meat will depend on aging time. The most common dry-aged steak is aged for 30 days. This steak tastes very beefy, almost like rare roast beef, with a hint of what has been described as buttered popcorn flavor. As the meat continues to age, the flavor becomes more and more intense. After about 45 days, it starts to take on a funky edge which continues to intensify at 90 and 120 days.
If you are interested in giving your palette a taste of dry-aged beef, Paisano’s has a state-of-the-art aging room that produces only high-quality product for our customers. Stop by the shop or pick your custom cut from our online store today.