Major, Major Beef Sourcing Score

KevinBeefLeave a Comment

Unbeknownst to most of you, I’ve been on a learning adventure in beef over the past year or so thanks to my good friend Yen’s passion for the stuff. Japanese Wagyu, American Kobe, Albertan dry-aged grass finished beef. I’ve also spent a lot of time ‘off air’ talking about buying a front quarter of beef – but it just didn’t pan out. I’d just given up for this year, figuring I have enough projects on my plate this fall, don’t need to butcher a cow.
Then yesterday, my quest ended. I happened into a meat shop on business, and lo and behold, they bring in local beef. They dry age their beef. For a really long time. And they were cutting it the next morning. The butcher? Dave over at Ben’s Meat & Deli. Anyone else dry aging their beef for 3 weeks to fill their retail-over-the-counter case? Not that I know of. They don’t even label it as such that I noticed. The stuff I picked up Dave figures was 25-26 days. Apparently they get it 18 days dry aged from the farm.

Dave was willing to cut me whatever I wanted off the side, as he was cutting it up anyway for other orders and their day-to-day supply. I chose a massive chunk of shoulder [which I’d been seeking – hard to find], and had him cut it into essentially steaks that are 3-4″ thick. I got 3 of them. They are roughly 10lbs each. They are large. I also couldn’t resist taking the whole rack of short ribs [top left photo shows one of the packs – there’s a nickel in each photo for scale]. Same price. Flat price buying this way.

Providing it tastes as good as it looks and feels, I may be flogging their beef an awful lot. An awful, awful lot. Not that they’re not busy enough already. They cut a dry aged animal like this every few days, and during special order season, do many, many head. The first time I walked in there they had 3 staff moving behind the counter to satisfy the lineup at 2pm on a Wednesday.

Ah, I’m so happy. Braised dry-aged beef and Bordeaux, here I come. Over. And over. Oh, and if you wondering: why dry-aged? Tenderness, and complexity of flavor. Two very, very good reasons to dry age.

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