There are few things better than a good steak. But I bet quite knew what the benefits of dry Aged steak were, I just knew it was always more expensive at the steak house. So in the interest of making Maryam a special, yet simple, meal as our first dinner in our new home after the wedding, I started looking into what makes it so special. In a nutshell, it tenderizes and intensifies certain flavors in the steak.
Now, I’m a bit of a DIY junky. I think the imperfections of hand/home made makes things better (in the words of the Japanese, Wabi Sabi). So I looked into dry aging my own steak, and got lucky that it turned out well .
Dry-Aging Steak (28 days for me):
1. You’ll need a large cut of steak that is well marbled because you’ll be losing about 15-20% of the steak to dehydration. I used about an 8 pound cut.
2. A fridge that doesn’t get opened very often
3. A pound of rock salt for every 5 pounds of meat
4. Tray and rack for the steak
1. In the tray, put all of your salt in the baking tray. More is fine, because the salt will be helping to absorb the moisture, don’t do less.
2. Place the rack on the tray and the meat on the rack. The rack is important because it allows air to flow under the meat.
3. After however long you want to age it for (I did about 28 days), remove the steak. It’ll be dry and dark, almost a hard encasement.
4. Make sure you have a sharp knife and cut the steak open, you should see a nice dark red color. Clean the steak by cutting off all the edges, leaving only the tender red center
This recipe works with any steak, not just dry Aged. It’s simple, but extremely flavorful with a good cut of meat. You’ll need the following:
1. 2 steaks, any thickness works but I suggest about an inch
2. Salt and pepper
3. 4 cloves garlic – 2 crushed, 2 cut in half
4. 4 fresh basil leaves – hand turn in half
5. 3 tbsp olive oil
6. 4 tbsp unsalted butter
1. Let your steak reach room temperature before doing anything to it. Cooking cold steak causes it to cook unevenly.
2. Season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper to taste. If you have it, fresh cracked pepper ready brings out the flavors
3. (Careful with this step). Turn your skillet to medium-high heat, once hot add the olive oil. Immediately the your steaks and cook on both sides for about 2 minutes, using tongs to hold it up for the edges as well.
4. Set the steak aside and reduce the heat of your skillet to medium of you want your steak to be medium, medium-high if you want your steak to be medium-well or well.
5. Once the heat has been reduced, add the butter, garlic cloves, and basil
6. Once butter is melted, wait 2 more minutes and then remove basil
7. Add the steak to the skillet, adding salt and pepper again. Flip every 1-2 minutes until it’s your desired doneness. Pouring the garlicky butter over the steak as you flip
8. Sit the steaks on a plate and LEAVE THEM ALONE for about 5 minutes. During this period, your steak will be cooking a little more on the inside, evening out the temperature and flavors.
9. Enjoy with a side of your choice!
Side Note: if you want to know how done your steak is, cut in the middle, not the edges.