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Dry Aged Steak vs Fresh Steak

Posted: 01/25/16

Dry Aged Steak vs Fresh Steak

Restaurant: none

Nelson @LoblawsON: My local Loblaws is quite fancy now to the point where they dry age their meat! Look at those rows and rows of beef dry aging to perfection. On this day we decided to try some.
But not only try some, I wanted to compare it to the normal cut. So I bought the exact same cut, boneless rib steak in dry aged and fresh varieties. The fresh version costs $35.25 / kg and the dry aged was $55.09. That's a significant cost difference, almost 60% more. The fresh one was heavier as it was a larger cut, but the cost ended up being the same for both. I wanted to find out if dry aged was worth the premium.
Here is a shot before it is cooked. I pan fried them in oil and butter seasonsed with just salt and pepper. I wanted to keep it simple to make sure the meat was the star attraction.
Here they are cooked. I have a cast iron skillet now, but at the time I didn't, so I just used a flat pan. In fact I cooked them at the same time in the same oil/butter so that there would be minimal differences in flavour. That way any differences would be mostly due to the meat itself.
Here are the steaks cut away so that the insides can be seen. The dry aged is on the right. It was slightly thicker, so it was a tad bit rarer, but in retrospect the dry aged usually takes a little more time to cook. Anyway, both of these were in the pan for the same amount of time. Which one looks better?

The dry aged was not quite as juicy, but it had a well defined and structured texture to it that made it very pleasant to eat. It also had more beefy flavour to it in a way created much more depth of flavour. Plus the fat tasted really, really good on the dry aged steak. The fresh one was juicier, but there wasn't as much flavour overall. It was also a tad bit more stringier.

So there is a definite difference in taste and texture between dry aged and fresh steak. Definitely the dry aged tastes better and Kitty agreed after I tried a blind taste test with her. Is it worth the extra expense? If you want the absolute best, then yet go for it. To eat as an everyday option? Probably too pricey to do that, but at least at my local Loblaws I now have the choice.


Categories: Beef,  Homemade,  

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