Namath New York Steaks
Proper Aging of Beef
There are two natural methods to properly age steaks; dry-aging and wet-aging. Proper aging of a steak is important because beef needs time to rest to allow the steak’s natural enzymes to break down the fibers of the beef, which ultimately tenderizes the steak. Think of it like this:
It All Begins With the Beef
The first thing to know about proper aging of beef is that all steaks are not created equal. We select our steaks from the top 2% of all beef designated by the USDA as “Prime” or the upper spectrum of the USDA Choice loins. Additionally, we DNA verify that our cattle are Black Angus and all of our cattle are born, raised, grazed and processed in the USA. That means our Namath NY Steaks are just like those found in the elite, high-end steakhouse restaurants, with the highest amount of marbling for optimum juiciness and flavor.
The last remaining part of the equation to a great steak is tenderness and that is what aging is all about.
Wet-aging is the new standard for how beef is aged for one simple reason; there is very little weight lost, which makes aging beef through this method comparatively more affordable than dry aging.
Beef loins come from the packing plants in a thick plastic membrane that allows for limited permeability to control the amount of oxygen, which in turn allows the beef’s natural enzymes to slowly break down the fibers in the beef without the risk of spoiling. This process, when done for at least 21 days, will make the beef more tender and enhance its texture. The only negative to wet aging is, because there is little oxygen getting to the meat, there is no oxidation of fat, which is what develops beef’s intense flavors.
At Namath Steaks, we go the extra mile and age our steaks at least 30 days. We find that those extra few days of aging, combined with extraordinary marbling, helps infuse flavor to create an incredible steak experience similar to what you would find at elite steakhouses.
Dry-aging was the original standard for how beef was properly aged, but almost disappeared when the wet-aging process started to be used to inexpensively age beef. Dry-aging has become an artisan way of aging beef and is almost a lost art. This type of aging is currently only found in a few select high-end restaurants.
Three things happen when you properly dry age meat that contribute towards improving the steak’s flavor and texture. The first is moisture loss, which for a dry-aged beef loin can be upwards of 30% of its volume, but that is what concentrates and intensifies the flavor. This moisture loss might sound counter-productive because we associate juiciness with flavor, but when all is said and done, meat that is un-aged ends up losing even more juices than dry-aged meat when cooking or grilling (studies have found that the less aged the meat was, the more moisture it expelled because one of the side-effects of aging is that the breakdown of meat protein and connective tissue causes the meat to contract less as it cooks. Less contraction = less moisture loss). The secret is to start with Prime meat that has extraordinary marbling so even when the meat loses moisture, you still end up with an incredible flavor. This moisture loss also helps to “char” or “sear” the steak significantly better than you can get with either un-aged or even wet-aged beef.
The second benefit is the tenderization of the meat by using the beef’s natural enzymes to break down the muscle fibers and connective tissues, which provides a more noticeably tender steak.
The last benefit is the improvement in flavor! With dry-aging, you get the oxidation of the fat lacking in wet-aging, which in turn develops and concentrates the flavor in the steaks. This is why we offer dry-aged steaks at Namath Steaks. Frankly, it’s the flavor!
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