Beef, it’s what’s for dinner

January 11th, 2012  |  Published in Eat, Meat Powered Man  |  4 Comments

Aged Ribeye SteakAh beef, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways — 1…2…3…. But alas, I had no idea what you were fully capable of until the other night. I met you in the refrigerated section of Iowa Meat Farms. You looked so cold, tender and darker than the other more generic cuts over in the case. A nice man came out from behind the counter and explained that you had been in there all alone for 45 days or so, and that you were more intense than the others.

Okay, enough of that.

Anyway, on a whim I ordered two aged rib-eye steaks as sort of an end-of-the-year FU and good riddance. I had no idea that I’d be ruined on lesser beef.

Apparently while the beef is sitting for a certain amount of time (30 days sealed, 14 days open in the fridge) at a certain temperature (between freezing and 36 degrees F) great things occur. Tissue starts to break down and the meat dehydrates a bit, intensifying the flavor. Because this process is time consuming and expensive, only a few butchers do it. Combined with the fact that only the best cuts are used, the price per pound reflects it. Now, I had always toyed with the idea of ordering an aged cut from a restaurant, but I never followed through with my threat for fear of being disappointed. I reasoned that if I cook it myself, I have only myself to blame. Fortunately, there is no blame to lay here. The cut of beef was amazing and restraining myself from over seasoning it, though difficult, worked. Just a bit of salt, pepper, and garlic paste was all that was needed to send this meat powered man’s taste buds into the stratosphere. I can’t possibly explain how beefy it was, but I’ll try—it’s like adding a reduced veal stock to your cup of beef stew. The amplification of flavors was amazing.

So when the stars align, treat yourself to an aged cut. You won’t regret it.


Chad Thompson

I’ve been alive for roughly 37 years now and have been shooting things for about 30 of them. When I was about 5 years old I had a slingshot. That worked out about as well as you can imagine. I was happily targeting cans when a small bird landed near where I was aiming. Not shooting with particularly rounded rocks proved the end of the bird as the projectile veered tragically off course. These days I have honed my accuracy and changed my weapon. Chad Thompson is a food photographer in San Diego, California.

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  • Brendan

    I"d heard mixed things about aged beef, but most of them seemed to stem from the price. If you have the money, that shouldn't scare you off; quality has a cost.Nice post!

    • I second that Brendan – sometimes you just gotta do it! Though I've been craving that flavor ever since and I think we might find ourselves splurging again soon.

  • tsalibarn

    I am looking into getting 1/2 a steer from local farmers/ranchers. Grass fed rather than corn, no antibiotics-you know the drill. Happy cows mean happy tummies. After I check out deep freezers for the garage that don't suck me dry on electric bills, I will let you know. You want the other 1/2? (I'm not naming this little steer, so I am not feeling too guilty…yet.)

  • tsalibarn

    …so what's the difference between aged and beef gone bad? Maturity? Lack of proof on video? I never could figure that one out.