All you need to know about Dry Aged Steaks and Wine
At Hugh Maguire Butchers we Dry Age our own Hereford T-bones, Sirloins and Ribeyes, in-store, using our Pink Salt Dry Ageing Chamber.
But what is Dry Aged beef?
Dry aged beef is meat that has been placed on a rack to dry for several weeks; only the higher grades of meat, such as strip loins, rib eyes, T-bones and sirloins, can be dry aged, as the process requires meat with a large, evenly distributed fat content.
The process of dry-ageing also promotes growth of certain fungal species on the external surface of the meat. This forms an external “crust” on the meat’s surface, which is trimmed off when the beef is prepared for cooking. These fungal species complement the natural enzymes in the meat by helping to tenderise and increase the flavour of the beef.
What does all this mean?
Well, as the meat dry ages, moisture evaporates from the muscle which concentrates the natural meat flavour and, at the same time, helps to tenderise (the natural enzymes help break down the connective tissue) the steak.
Our Pink Salt Dry Age Fridge sucks the moisture out of the air so the meat can safely dry naturally, allowing for the increased flavours to seriously amaze our customers, without bacterial growth that can often be associated with naturally dry aged meat. And whilst naturally dry aged meats can be aged safely up to 40 days or so, Salt Ageing not only breaks through that barrier but also delivers a beautifully intense flavour you will just love.
The show-piece steak to try here at Hugh Maguire Butchers is a 28 day dry aged rib-eye.
Because 28 day typically is a good sweet spot for many to enjoy as it’s developing a nutty, gamey, almost blue cheese like character which true steak lovers really appreciate and this is a very important consideration when pairing steaks and wine.
True steak and wine lovers can also use this as an opportunity to be adventurous and try some interesting wines/grape varieties but a few factors will definitely influence the pairing:
- Dry aged steaks allow for full-bodied, unabashedly intense flavours
- Steer clear of low tannin reds and low acid whites. Generous tannins and acidity swiftly cut through the steak’s fat – so important for the ageing process
- Consider steak temperature and sauce – a heavy red wine jus won’t work with a lighter pinot noir and also, the more you cook a steak, the more you render out the fat, which will affect the pairing
- When in doubt, order a dry riesling – dry rieslings work really well with all steaks.
A few suggestions from our friends at O’Briens Ashbourne:
- Torres Ibericos Crianza (Spain) – Plenty of blackberry fruit on the nose mixed with cocoa and cedar from oak ageing.
- Katnook 10 Acres Malbec (Australia) – Smooth but full-bodied with rich layers of juicy plum, black cherry, hints of chocolate and spices.
- Carta Roja Gran Reserva (Spain) – 100% Monastrell grape. 24 months in American oak barrels. Intense bramble and plum fruit on the palate.
- Integro Negroamaro (Italy) – Full-bodied and concentrated red. Blackberry fruits with a long soft finish.
Now it’s up to you… call in the shop, take one of our dry aged steaks home and let us know what you think! And don’t forget to share your photos and tag us!