Friday, September 20, 2019

Dry-Aged Prime Rib – I Waited 42 Days to Be Confused

If you’re thinking of dry-aging your very own Prime Rib of Beef for the holidays, then you really need to watch this video. You might learn a thing or two, and there’s even a chance you’ll still want to do it. By the way, I’m not trying to discourage you, since it is a fun, and fascinating foodie project, which does produce a delicious, juicy, and tender Prime Rib, but if you’re after “that funk,” then like me, you may be a little disappointed.

I’ve dry-aged meat before, but never longer than a week or so, and after doing lots of research (mostly on Serious Eats), I knew I’d have to go at least 30 days to enjoy any kind of noticeable change in favor. So I decided to go well past that, and ended up aging it for 42 days before it went into the oven. It looked great, and it smelled great, but ultimately it did not have the level of funky fermented goodness I was after.

I’m not sure if I needed to go even longer, or my garage fridge is lacking in desirable bacteria, or my saltwater wipe-down sterilized the surface, but whatever the reason, I was left with nothing more than an amazingly juicy, tender, and delicious Prime Rib. That’s not something you’d normally complain about, but after waiting 6 weeks, I wanted more.

So, if you have any advice or theories as to what happened, or didn’t happen, please pass them along. I’m assuming a few of you brave souls will give this a go, and if you do, I’d love to hear about your experience. In the meantime, I’m going to make an extra funky blue cheese butter to serve with the leftovers, and pretend. Enjoy!


Ingredients:
1 Bone in Prime Rib (mine was 10 pounds, 8 1/4 after aging)
enough salt to season generously
For the salt wipe:
1/2 cup cold water
2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Roast at 500 F. for 20 minutes, then reduce to 300 F. (or lower), and continue until you reach your desired doneness. I usually pull at 122-125 F. to get something close to a medium rare after resting.
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15 comments:

Vern said...

I have heard so much about aged beef and was really hoping this recipe/video would give me more reason to try it. Still sounds amazing but will try it another way. You rock Chef John and am glad that you can admit to all of us mistakes you made. That's why we love you.

csadfqefeg said...

Ingredients for the horseradish cream?

PhthePhillies said...

I dry-aged a prime rib for 35 days with an umami bag. I did it over the holidays. There was some of the funk on the outer steaks but it wasn't "good funk". Tasted a bit off. Maybe it was my fridge. Still ate it though. The inner steaks were phenomenal. They froze nicely. Just thawed the last one last weekend. Sous vide for 3 hours at 135. Seared it with my torch. Lyonnaise potatoes. Fresh tomatoes from the garden. California cab. Boom! Felt like the Barry Gibb of my Dry-aged Prime Rib.

Jeff said...

Some things, like sourdough bread, are worth the time and effort. I thought this might be one of those things. I was so hyped about this video... until I heard your comments at the end. I swear I remember a Japanese technique for dry aging that used some kind of rice inoculated with spores to catalyze the process. Great video, as usual. Very educational. Thanks.

Steve said...

Hey chef. I'm a butcher and we dry age loins for up to 120 days. Around 90 they are super funky. But, I think the lower end is really around 60 days. I guess it all depends on the type of bacteria in your fridge vs mine. But, the tenderness and flavor (in my opinion) really increases around 40. But, the cheetos (as we describe it) smell and taste starts around 60.

That said, this is a cool experiment you did and I appreciate your channel. Bummer that your probe crapped out part way through. Good save.

Steve said...

Hey chef. I'm a butcher and we dry age loins for up to 120 days. Around 90 they are super funky. But, I think the lower end is really around 60 days. I guess it all depends on the type of bacteria in your fridge vs mine. But, the tenderness and flavor (in my opinion) really increases around 40. But, the cheetos (as we describe it) smell and taste starts around 60.

That said, this is a cool experiment you did and I appreciate your channel. Bummer that your probe crapped out part way through. Good save.

Unknown said...

I think your aging technique did not promote enough microbial activity. You need beneficial yeasts and molds present in the drying environment to get the aged steak flavor you desire. See, e.g. https://jesspryles.com/how-to-dry-age-steak/

Unknown said...

Chef John,

I think I speak for all readers when I say that we appreciate your commitment to posting even your less successful experiments. Your dedication to the (culinary) scientific process has not gone unnoticed. Keep up the great work. Steak looked great either way.

Pat said...

Great experiment Chef :) sry it wasn't what you were looking for um that's why they called experiments though lol I have tried dry aging beef from one of your earlier posts and it was good cept to much trouble for an oldling rarely eats beef as much as I would like to um you salt your beef and I get that beef loves salt I prefer worchestershire sauce an pepper call it a day but then some people go through drive throughs some walk inside so it's all good keep up the Great posts !

Jack said...

Did you get your roast from Wegman's or another grocery store? I've been dry-aging like this at home for a few years now and the roasts I get from a local butcher always turn out great but when I tried one from Wegman's it tasted similar to what you're describing. It seems there is a theory that the big stores super clean things so well that you don't get the right sort of aging chemistry to take place. If you ever want to try again it might be worth the extra effort and cost to find a butcher.

Unknown said...

Hey chef John,

Any chance you'll ever make a mofongo video? Thank you.

Jason

Unknown said...

Chef John,
I adore your videos, but the blog is very hard to read on my phone. Could you provide us with a mobile layout? After all.... You are the top dog, of your 2019 blog ;)

Unknown said...

Any chance you could replicate the bread from Outback Steakhouse!? That sweet brown bread!! Your white bread episode looks fantastic and I’ve followed your channel for a while and would love to see a recipe like outbacks!!

KBO said...

G'day Chef John, I really appreciate your home experiment for dry aged beef. I'm from Australia and I introduced my local butcher to dry aged meat which he agreed to do for me. Initially, he just hung my beef joints in his regular walk-in meat cool room for around 100 days (I had heard that this was the beginning of the dry aged 'sweet spot'. the results with outstanding grass fed Tasmanian Black Angus beef were beyond heavenly. On the outside my joints looked like they had survived a bushfire and a battlefield nuke from a distance). Looks aside, I did try cooking the earlier attempts with the hard meat exterior. These simply became inedible after my normal cooking process for thick rib eye steaks.
So I portioned up the joints and removed every area of dried meat and fat until the joint, now smaller, looked much more like a freshly purchased joint.
I'm not familiar with the cooking term 'funky', being a foreigner, so I can only tell you that those early dry aged joints were way beyond heavenly! THE best rib eye and rumps I'd ever eaten.
Slowly, the word about my 'disgusting' looking 'special joints' got around my butcher's other regular customers. In fact my butcher would, as a gag, bring out my awful looking joints to scare certain customers.
His demand for dry aged meat grew to a point where he purchased two speciality dry aging cabinets. Believe it or not this special gear made the end product even more amazing in taste and texture.
Recently I secured a 'wagyu' rump which resulted in a mega tasty, out of this world steaks that words can't describe.
You have been an inspiration for this old cook to get back to basics and try all kinds of dishes at home from scratch; something I hadn't done since I retired from commercial cooking. Here I must advise that in my opinion home dry aging is not something I would do because the shrinking factor is much greater than when this process is done in a purpose built cabinet. Good meat is also quite expensive down here too so any method that prevents the end product from 'disappearing into thin air' is a good move.
Dry aging cabinets are becoming more popular all over and I'm certain in a city like yours you can find a specialist butcher who can pop your expensive joints into a cabinet and produce for you an awesome, 'funky' joint of heavenly meat!
Of course, the only down side to this prep method is the dang waiting!
I hope this tale helps some people experience the meat lovers' nirvana!
Cheers, Bill Halliwell
Hobart Tasmania

rodentraiser said...

My understanding (which could be wrong) is that "aged" beef actually refers to the age of the cattle at the time of slaughter. It used to be that cattle was left to grow to be five or six years of age or older before slaughter and the meat was tender and juicy.

But nowdays it's too expensive to let cattle grow that long, so they're slaughtered at the age of one to two and their meat is not nearly as good.