Dry Aging Beef

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Lonni, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. Lonni

    Lonni Lonni

    Messages:
    93
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Location:
    GEORGIA
    Anybody know anything about dry aging beef. Also would like info on regulations for butchering if you are going to be selling to the public. I have went to the USDA site but its kind of a maze.
    Thanks
    Lonni
     
  2. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,908
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    New York bordering Ontario
    As far as I know, dry aging beef is just hanging it in a cooler for a few weeks. Someone else probably knows more than me on that one.

    I went to USDA website and tracked down the FSIS page. That's food safety inspection service. This is the contact page for them in different areas and I'm sure they can answer all of your questions.

    http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Contact_Us/Office_Locations_&_Phone_Numbers/index.asp

    Jennifer
     

  3. genebo

    genebo Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,671
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Location:
    VA
    It's usually just called "hanging" the beef. After the animal is slaughtered and reduced to a carcass, it is allowed to hang in a warm (45 degrees?) cooler for a specified time. The exact time required to age the beef to perfection depends upon the amount of fat and marbling of the carcass. Times are like 10 days, 14 days or 21 days.

    The process is basically to allow enzymes to break down the cell walls, tenderizing the meat. It's sort of like a controlled rot. Sounds gross, but the results can be fantastic.

    Genebo
    Paradise Farm
     
  4. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

    Messages:
    4,869
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    Monterey, Tennessee
    Fourteen days is the standard hang time for beef at the local slaughterhouse in my area. tennessee John
     
  5. lilsassafrass

    lilsassafrass Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    143
    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Location:
    ohio
    We let our beef age at the bare minimum of 21 days if our butcher doesnt have full coolers and isnt crabbing to get the carcass out ... teh only time that doesnt work for us is during fair month for teh surrounding counties and deer season because both of those times are their peak times .. but its hard to get an appointment anyway then.
    Genebo is right though.. how long depends on fat cover and how much of the actual flesh you can sacrifice ... the less fat cover the more the underlying muscle will dry out and needs to be trimmed away (or so the butcher will tell you ).. I send a jug of vinegar along with our steers so if they have time they can wipe down the carcass keeping things from drying out quite as baddly .. but then i have a 15 year working relationship with our current butcher .. our previous one retired. Both know/knew what I want .. and if I am not unreasonable about when I take them in , they are usually willing to accomadate me. The long hangtime (hence space taken up in coolers ) drives the cost of aged beef up.
    I even try to let our canners hang at least 21 days .. it does change the taste appreciably .. in my mind and prolly even my customers minds as I cannot keep ground beef in the freezer for long ....
    Paula
    HydeParkFArm
     
  6. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    17,356
    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Generally, unless it is a USDA slaughterhouse (with a fulltime USDA inspector) you cannot sell cuts legally. You can, however sell a portion (a half, a quarter, a half of a half, etc.) of a live animal, and then have it processed.
     
  7. travlnusa

    travlnusa Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,245
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Location:
    WI
    This is from one of my favorite web sites.

    Dry aged beef is not really difficult to find in high quality butcher stores and top-line steakhouses. But it is almost IMPOSSIBLE to find at Supermarket Meat Departments - even the most expensive Supermarket! Because almost ALL large Supermarkets purchase their meat form one of the large national meat producers.

    Most national meat producers (and well-known mail-order houses) vacuum pack meat in plastic, then refrigerate it for several days or even weeks. This Cryovac-wrapping is called "wet aging" which produces a tender, soft steak, with little shrinkage - but the flavor is mild - not to say bland.

    A dry aged steak is firm, yet tender at the same time, with a nutty, robust, richly beefy flavor - but is very expensive because the dry aging process causes a dramatic loss of weight (as much as 15-20%) due to shrinkage and trimming.

    A nationally known butcher named Merle Ellis discovered a technique for dry aging beef at home. Here are the complete directions he offered some years ago for this technique.

    Be sure to follow each step carefully, for safety's sake.
    1. Only the top grades of beef can be dry aged successfully. Use USDA Prime or USDA Choice - Yield Grade 1 or 2 (the highest quality of Choice) only. These have a thick layer of fat on the outside to protect the meat from spoiling during the aging process.

    2. Buy a whole rib-eye or loin strip. [You cannot age individual steaks.] Unwrap it, rinse it well with cold water, and allow it to drain; then pat it very dry with paper towels.

    3. Wrap the meat in immaculately clean, large, plain white cotton dish towels and place it on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator - which is the coldest spot.

    4. Change the towels each day, replacing the moisture-soiled towels with fresh. Continue to change towels as needed for 10 days, to 2 weeks. (See Step #7 for cleaning towels.)

    5. After the desired aging time, you're ready to cut off steaks from each end, trim as desired, and allow the rest to continue to age in the refrigerator.

    6. If, after 21 days, you have not eaten all the meat, cut the remaining piece into steaks, wrap each steak in freezer-proof, heavy-duty plastic wrap, and freeze. The steaks will keep for several months in the freezer.

    7. To clean the towels for re-use, soak the soiled towels, immediately upon removing them from the meat, in cold water overnight. Next, soak them in cold, salted water for 2-3 hours to remove any blood stains. Then launder as usual. [In olden days, butchers used to cover sides of beef with cotton "shrouds" during the aging process - this is essentially the same thing.]
     
  8. jeff caldwell

    jeff caldwell Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    69
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2006
    john
    what part of the hillbilly state you from i am in north west tennessee and worked at reelfoot packing company till it close up.
    jeff
     
  9. lilsassafrass

    lilsassafrass Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    143
    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Location:
    ohio
    Yes my proccessor is USDA inspected , yes I can sell individual cuts, the only thing I sell direct from home is ground beef ...the rest is sold as mixed halves , halves or wholes
    Dry ageing makes my carcasses a value added product, much like grass fed or organic if I went that route
    Aging appreciabley changes the taste of the meat ... I want to say makes it more beefier... a fuller richer taste It also tenderizes the flesh as well
    Most of teh highland breeders who I know raise and market their steers as grass fed dry age their beef if they can and although because of less fat cover and less marbeling loose a fair portion to shrinkage and trim they gain in being able to demand more per pound . Most average folks have never had dry aged beef .. as was pointed out supermarkets generally do not carry it. but most folk When they taste it its like a revelation that beef can taste so good !!! I have run across the very few folks who's palets are very narrow who turn up their noses and just dont like it ...

    Paula
    Hyde Park Farm