Subject:Dry Aged Beef
From: FOODMASTER@MEDIAONE.NET (PAUL DESORCY)
Posted: January 30, 2000 at 21:04:54
Paul wrote -----
I have been on a quest to find steak with that "old time flavor". In the 50's and 60's, just about all the steak had this flavor. It is hard to describe but if you have tasted it, you would know what I am talking about. The first time I had a Porterhouse at Morton's..about 6 years ago ..was the last time I tasted it. I was very happy that evening thinking I could return to Morton's any time I wanted a steak like that. "Wrong" I have been back several times but never got a steak like that again.
My quest began after attending an open house at Dole & Bailey in Woburn. During the evening, I was shown the dry aging cooler. It was filled with rib roasts and the musty smells were enchanting. I spoke to the owner's daughter who told me as a courtesy I could call and place an order. In a few days I telephoned and said I would like a short loin dry age about 20 days. The salesman tried to persuade me to just come in a pick-up some steaks. With a little persistence, I finally convinced him to age the loin. Pick-up day did not go well. When I arrived, they could not find the order. After a lot of back and forth they emerged from the back with 12 Porterhouse steaks. I had a bad feeling but I rushed home and fired up the Brinkman. When the coals were good and hot, on went the steak. About 15 minutes later the moment of truth arrived. I could have done as well if not better at the super market. About six months later another loin was purchased from Buckhead Beef, which I tracked down through a web article on dry aging. Better steak this time but still not the flavor I was looking for. The next was purchased from Savenor's on Charles Street . This was the worst and the most expensive. So much for Julia Child. The final loin was a result of a chance meeting at a food event. I bumped into John Dewer and told him about my quest. He agreed to age a loin for me and he did. All of this meat was "DRY AGED" between 21 and 25 days. Four loins (about 48 steaks) later I am still looking for that elusive flavor.
Literally all beef today is cryovacked after it slaughtered. I know the loins from Doyle & Bailey, Savenor's and Dewer was were shipped this way before they were unwrapped and aged. I am not sure about Buckhead Beef as they are out of state. Maybe this initial treatment of the meat is the problem.
If anybody knows that flavor I am talking about and where it can be purchased Please post with the details
-------- Reply ------------
Paul - I know the taste you are referring to. I recall that taste from the steaks we ate at Jack Hackett's Lakeside back in the 50s and 60s. However - your assumption that this taste is due to the processing of the beef may be at question. The DIET that the cattle ate back then may have been considerably different.
Since you are willing to go to considerable trouble to get this taste I'm posting to the general list with this.
Have you thought of contacting the small beef producing farms around the Northeast? A lot of them are "organic" and may feed a diet to their cattle that might help with the taste.
Perhaps somebody (s) on the general list has ideas about this important subject. As an example - I like the chicken dishes in certain Chinatown places. They have their chickens slaughtered fresh everyday at the poultry suppliers that keep live chickens - in Chinatown. The Chinese are into the taste of chicken and a supply industry has spring up to give it to them --- it ain't Colonel Sanders.