If you go to any quality butcher or restaurant, it is fairly common to see steaks described as “well-hung”, “mature”, or something similar. In fact, we are proud to state that our steaks are aged for 21 days. You may have wondered why mature beef is considered a mark of quality. Surely fresh beef is better. Well, no! And here’s why.
Ageing is a tried and tested way of enhancing the flavour and texture of beef. The process works thanks to the presence of enzymes that break down muscle tissue. Certain cuts of beef can be tougher than others, and this is often due to those parts of the animal working harder. The ageing process gives those muscles time to naturally tenderise.
As you would expect, much of the water in the meat evaporates during the ageing period. This concentrates the flavour so that you end up with a far tastier steak.
Of course, it’s also important to follow the correct cooking method depending on the cut you’ve selected.
Can’t I just buy fresh beef and age it myself?
You can, but ageing meat doesn’t simply mean hanging it up in your airing cupboard or leaving it lying in the fridge for a month! The maturation process has to take place in specific conditions. Factors such as temperature and humidity need to be taken into account. Otherwise, rather than mature, the meat will simply rot.
If it’s mature, why does it still look so pink and fresh?
When you expose raw meat to the air, you would expect it to dry out and its appearance to change, at least on the surface. You’re right, and that’s where your friendly master butcher comes in. A good butcher will trim the edges perfectly and leave you with a steak that looks like a masterpiece and tastes sensational.
Is mature beef more expensive?
It costs money to maintain the carefully controlled environment in which we age our beef. The process means that there is less water than in fresh meat, and there is a certain amount of waste involved in trimming. Certain suppliers reduce the ageing time or don’t mature their beef at all in order to save money. The result is an inferior product and disappointed customers.
If you want to be sure of a steak you will enjoy, go for mature.
21-day-aged steaks at Traymoor
As members of the Scotch Beef Club and the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society Traymoor is proud to offer 21-day-aged steaks including fillet steak, ribeye steak, rump steak, sirloin steak, and T-bone steak. Our high-quality meat includes Hereford beef and Angus beef. Furthermore, we offer next-day home delivery to Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and London.