Great Tasting Meat

A guest blog piece by Ruby & White.

Great tasting meat is important, right? With that in mind, we wanted to show you some of the science behind great tasting meat which has gone through the dry-ageing process that our incredibly talented butchers, Ruby & White, have chosen. The delicious meat that you enjoy at our famous Steak Night or Sunday Roast is cooked to perfection by the kitchen team here at Racks but we thought we’d show you a bit more about what else goes on behind the scenes to make it taste so incredible. We invited Ruby & White to tell us about the wonderful dry ageing process and how that makes your enjoyment even better. This is what Master Butcher, Dave Kelly, had to say:

The Science Behind Great Tasting Meat

“All our meat is sourced locally, and, in the majority of cases purchased directly from the farmers that have been involved in raising the cattle from birth to slaughter.

Going to these exhaustive efforts to source the very best beef we can, means that we have a duty to ensure that it reaches our customer’s plate with the best possible flavour and texture, which is why we have always chosen to dry age our beef.

Dry Ageing is the traditional and ultimate way of storing and maturing beef on the bone.

The whole carcass is typically quartered and hung in our state-of-the-art fridge for a minimum of 28 days, although we will usually prefer to age for a little longer than this.

For the optimum aged steak, the meat must have a good covering of fat and an even distribution of intramuscular fat (known as marbling) – qualities for which our chosen cattle breeds, the Ruby Red and British White, are famed.

Dry ageing takes considerable space, time and labour, thus making it a costly process. Our butchers have worked tirelessly to perfect the atmosphere in the refrigerator in order to maintain a consistent TEMPERATURE, AIR FLOW, and HUMIDITY – The trivium of factors that help give our beef its outstanding taste and texture.

The aim of the dry ageing fridge is the gradually draw out moisture from the meat to intensify the flavour and texture – the same way you might reduce a stock down in order to create a concentrated jus.

Inside the fridge, a controlled temperature of between 2º and 4º ensures the optimum environment for the enzyme breakdown required deep in the muscle fibres – any cooler and the meat will freeze, and any warmer the breakdown will be too rapid and unsuccessful. This fibre breakdown is complemented by a gentle yet consistent air flow and a humidity level of around 85%, allowing for moisture to be released gradually and bacteria to be kept at a safe and acceptable level.

By contrast, ‘Wet Ageing’, as is so often seen in supermarkets, is a wholly different matter. Although stickers and labels may contain the word “aged”, this simply means that it has sat in its packaging for a number of days, having been processed soon after slaughter. So, although the packaging may state “aged for 21 days” – it won’t have any of the colour, texture or flavour of a dry aged piece of meat.”

The Science Behind Great Tasting Meat

(Image: Ruby & White)

Now you know some of the science behind great tasting meat you can impress your friends and family with your knowledge and look out for beef that is dry aged in future. If you want to come and taste some of this incredible meat at its very best then we can recommend our delicious Ruby & White Rib Eye Steak Night or our gorgeous Sunday Roasts for the ultimate experience.


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