Dry Aging of Beef is a time tested technique for making any meat more tender and flavorful. Bassian Farms has one of the few Dry Age rooms in the area. The process works by allowing naturally occurring enzymes to break down the muscle fibers, increasing tenderness of the meat. The meat is hung in our temperature and humidity controlled environment for a number of weeks to achieve the desired results.
In the Dry Aging process excess moisture is slowly leaving the meat, this causes the natural flavors in the meat become more concentrated. After about 2 weeks in the process, the meat takes on a slight nutty flavor. After about 3 weeks these flavors become stronger, and are more like an aged cheese. This cheesy flavor starts from about 3 weeks and continues to get stronger in time. Two to four weeks is the range that most customers prefer, but we do have some that like their meat aged up to 5 or 6 weeks.
Another benefit of the Dry Ageing process, that few people are aware of, is that the Bacteria, and most pathogens on the meat are greatly reduced. In a 2003 University of Wisconsin Study, (Steven Ingham et. al.), researchers found that cultures of E.coli O157:H7 on various cuts of beef, were effectively killed off at 99.99% after 6 days in a Dry Age environment. Bacteria and pathogens are killed off by the removal of water, or the drying, on the surface of the meat.
We have used the same Dry Ageing process in aging Lamb and Pork, with similar results. We have also used it on whole ducks, to dry and thin the skin. If you have never tasted Dry Aged Beef or meats before, you really should plan on trying some in the near future. We think that your taste buds will be pleasantly surprised.