Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dry Aged Steaks

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
With Lent fast approaching, it is time to indulge in one of life's greatest simple pleasures: Beef Steak. I already featured a recipe of beef steak and how to cook them on a skillet medium rare which is how I like them served. However, I'm going one step backwards and show you how to dry age the steaks prior to roasting them. Dry aging of prime steaks is the secret of great steakhouses. What happens during this process is that the moisture is removed from the surface of the meat while naturally occurring enzymes start breaking down the meat rendering it more tender and flavorful. This is usually done in a controlled climate but it can also be done in your fridge. You do have to buy your meats early as it will take days to properly age your steaks.

Dry aged steaks
Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
I've seen this process done in the fridge watching Alton Brown's show but he is way too technical for me (which says something since I'm a chemist) and I managed to find a simple way of dry aging your meat in the fridge without breaking a sweat. All you need is a large baking pan, some cooling racks and a clean kitchen towel that you won't miss for several days. However, if you read about the dry aging process used by steakhouses, you will realize that it will take about 21 days for a meat to be considered fully aged. Since I don't have a climate controlled room nor do I have any drying apparatus, I'm going to stick with the fridge method and dry age my steaks for 5 days.

Dry Aged Steaks

0.5-1 lb 1-inch thick sirloin or ribeye steaks
kosher salt

Steaks fresh from the butcher
Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
1. Lay the steaks on a wire
    rack on a baking sheet.
    Cover the steaks with
    paper towels and cover
    them with a clean
    kitchen towel. Store in
    the fridge for about 5
    days making sure that
    you change the paper
    towels everyday.
2. Bring the steaks to
    room temperature by
    taking them out of
    the fridge 30 minutes
    prior to pan-roasting

2. Heat a non-stick skillet at high heat. Salt one side of the steaks and fry
    the salted side on the hot pan for 5 minutes. When ready to turn, salt
    the top side and flip the steaks and pan-roast for another 5 minutes.

3. Remove the steaks from the pan onto a cutting board and let the steaks
    rest for 5 minutes. Serve in big chunks or sliced. Steaks will be medium

The original video that featured this technique in cooking the steaks to medium rare is adamant that the steaks be eaten without any condiment. This method of cooking renders the steaks to be very juicy and flavorful which is the ideal way of cooking them. However, I have always wanted to know what the British HP brown sauce tastes like so I bought a bottle at a not so cheap price of $4.50. My cousin's husband also likes to eat his steaks with hot sauce but that is a bit too intense for me so I'm sticking with either the HP sauce or none at all.

By the way, the HP sauce was delicious. Totally worth the price I paid for. So were the steaks.

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