Dry Aging Process
In all his professional life, Hugh was always associated with excellence. This was done through a thorough selection process of everything that entered the shop. Only the finest quality meat is used in Hugh Maguires, a tradition that has stood the test of time since 1991.
After mastering the art of sausage, bacon and pudding production Hugh decided to reach the same levels with steak. In 2018, Hugh installed a dry aging cabinet in his store in Ashbourne. The motives behind the move into dry aging is simple – excellence. Dry aging vastly improves the quality of a steak. High quality beef was always stocked in Hugh Maguires, however the steaks weren’t dry aged. Now with the dry aging cabinet these steaks have entered a new level of excellence.
You can now buy our dry aged steaks by shopping online here
For centuries, dry aging was a common way for butchers to preserve and tenderize beef. Up to 50 years ago, dry aged beef was the norm, then with the advent of vacuum packaging along with increased efficiencies in beef processing and transportation, the art of dry aging was lost.
Dry aging is the process where beef carcasses or primal cuts are hanged and aged for 28 days under controlling environment conditions in a refrigerated room with 0° to 4 °C and with relative humidity of 61 to 85 %.
The dry aging process is very costly because of high shrinkage rates (6 to15 %), trim loss (3 to 24 %), risk of contamination and the requirement of highest grades meat.
The key effect of dry aging is the concentration of the flavour that can only be described as dry-aged beef.
Premium dry aged beef products usually come from grass fed cattle due to the greater marbling within the meat. Marbling pattern required for successful dry aging means that only higher graded beef can be dry aged. Marbling adds flavour and is one of the main criteria for judging the quality of cuts of meat. When marbled steaks are grilled, the fat specs melt into the meat and make them tender and juicy, with a distinctive buttery flavour.
Dry aging involves restricting bacterial growth and encourages the growth of beneficial mould. During the entire process of dry aging beef, moulds from the Thamnidium are found on the surface of the meat, their enzymes are able to penetrate into the meat. In fact, Thamnidium releases enzymes which break down the muscle and connective tissues. As a result, these actions bring about tenderness and taste in the dry aged beef.