Test on a over 100 days old Rib Steak
It’s with a certain satisfaction that I am experiencing in recent years the rediscovery of the ancient art of maturation of the meat and its immense contribution in gastronomic key, even more so for cooking like ours, always suited to the pursuit of the perfect steak. These are all important small steps in the direction of an evolution of the meat culture we tried to contribute to in our small speaking about the truth in the relationship of health with marble.
The dry aging is probably the most effective sign of “it was better when it was worse”: until not so many decades ago, when people didn’t slaughter every day and the meat was a luxury, butchered carcasses were kept in the butcher’s cells gaining in fragrance, taste and tenderness. The principle is based on the fact that after the death the sugars are transformed into lactic acid, leading to extreme rigidity of the body, the so-called Rigor Mortis. In these conditions it triggers the action of particular enzymes according to a process that consuming water, partially denatures the fibers releasing volatile compounds. In other words, the meat loses excess fluid, becoming more tender, fragrant, tasty and digestible.
There were dark decades in which the commercial logic did substantially disappear this practice and when finding a professional willing to hang for you a cut of meat was virtually impossible. Today a slow evolution of the market and the gastronomic culture related to meat led to its rebirth. To this process also contributed the arrival on the market of devices such as Maturmeat, a refrigerator capable of controlling all key factors of an adequate dry aging, so not only the temperature but also the humidity and air circulation, making accessible to any professional the benefits of maturation in complete hygienic safety conditions.
Fortunately it is becoming increasingly common to find steaks matured at least the canonical 14 days but it is not uncommon to get to 20 or even 30 days. Today perhaps it’s finally time to start talking about extreme frollature, unthinkable by us until recently, but always considered of great value in other countries. I wanted to test with you a maturation with a nice round number, let’s say 100 days. I tried several times to reach this limit on vacuum sealed meat obtaining an intense taste, very beefy, you have to like. We know very well, however, that the true maturation, the one that involves all the senses is the dry aging, the one in which the anatomical cuts are in direct contact with the air. On November 26 I then commissioned third parties a 100 days maturation in Maturmeat of an entire E graded Poland Rib Cage, counting the days that separated me from the scope mileston.
Last Friday, March 10, I was finally able to arrange the picking up of the little gem, after it has crossed the solemn threshold of 105 days and I could proceed with a nice tasting. I find a very dark , almost black meat with a matte and buttery fat. But just slicing off one centimeter of the outer crust you see a deep pink color and smell a crazy fragrance: perfume of ham, with complex and incredibly captivating aromas. Originally the yoke weighed 14,250 kg and after a little over three months i fell to 12.430 with a decrease of 12.7% of weight: frankly, I thought a lot more.
I decide to take it away trimmed but whole so to dissect it at home quietly. I asked for lining the bones, removing the lower pallet and I loaded the baby into the cambro. Despite this, for the whole trip I filled the car full of a scent that seemed to be in Langhirano. At the momento of dividing it into ribs I decide to play with the position of the knife relative to the bone so to have two different sizes: the classic one of the rib steak three fingers high and one with a more important thickness. The goal is to try two different cooking: normal direct at a violent fire and indirect heat at 260°C, as a sort of Standing Rib Roast on which looking for an important cauterization so to contribute to enhance the taste of the fat.
I must confess I did a little test on both cookings before having the photo session and I got two results, much more different than I expected. Compared to the live fire grilled rib, the mini Standing Rib Roast retained a much more beefy flavor, a pungent character which was in addition to the many nuances of which I will discuss later, despite the presence of two absolutely similar cooking grade (I have not used the thermometer). Nothing unbearable of course, my wife and my daughter have dined with it without problems. Between the two, however, I preferred the rib steak.
So I decide to try the next day to repeat the test, but this time a little more structured: subsequent cooking one after the other on the same device at the same heat and measuring the internal temperature with a probe thermometer, set at 56 ° C. Here is my report staff:
In general I found cooking times much lower than the canonical, all of this in both cuts. One difference I noticed between this cooking and the one that follows, is a development of crazy aromas during cooking: umami to power, the same scent of ham that I felt in the car but more rich and full. The texture is very soft, the fibers literally separating with your fingers, though a bit less homogeneous than the one in direct cooking. The taste betrays a bit, in the sense that it is very clean, definitely valuable and rich but far less than what the smell would make you expect. The part that really sends in ecstasy is the outer surface in the wealthiest areas of fat, literally in a class of complexity and richness of nuance. For the rest, especially in the heart area, unfortunately I have to find the same beefy note of the day before. For heaven’s sake nothing overly annoying and might even be what it connotes the characteristics of it, can be a bit like the scent of truffles but I think that in a context of extreme softness that make of this dish objectively a heavenly experience for anyone, this element move it a little bit more to the “not for everyone” area, and is a bit ‘a shame.
The cooking smell is much less pronounced, however, extremely nice and full. The texture is definitely yieldable, melt-in the mouth even if I diverged by several degrees from the 50°C of a Rare cooking. The taste is slightly mineral (but I think this depends on the meat itself), with a taste profile much more complex than the not aged same product I had purchased before. It do wonder of the very marked flavor component, especially near the fat, white and buttery that reminds me a lot the one present in cured meats. I have tried to find similarities to describe it but it is not easy: it’s just something different. Surely there are clear nocciolate notes and scents that in sensory analysis would be defined as tertiary, the ones specifically related to aging. It’s been a fabulous experience that is absolutely worth the wait, a taste that I had never experienced before. I confirm that between the two is absolutely I preferred this one.
It only left to leave you the ball, and hear what you think. Come on, it takes only 100 days.