Keep Calm and Color On! Color your Dry Aged Feast

As you prepare for the holidays, sometimes you need a break and a little imagination to put on that perfect feast.  Our artist came up with this view of your holiday dry aged feast.

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Take a break from the hard work preparing the feast.  Chill out and color!  Print this delectable drawing of a dry aging standing rib roast. Bring out the crayons, colored pencils, watercolors–gather around the pre-feast table as a family and picture that perfect meal together.

If you are still planning for the New Years’ dinner, we’d like suggest you consider a 4-5 dry aged tenderloin, complete with seasoned crusting.  Just check out the six tenderloin recipes for this application of UMAi Dry® to “quick” dry aging delicious filet mignon or Chateaubriand.

You will find recipes for the following:

  • Fresh Herb and Garlic
  • Black Cherry and Black Pepper
  • Coffee Spice
  • Rosemary Almond
  • Fennel Seed and Rosemary
  • Chanterelle and Tarragon

We hope that you find new inspiration in this fresh idea for dry aging.  Tenderloin is already plenty tender, but dry aging for just four to five days will deepen the beefy flavor and allow the seasoning to form the perfect crust.

Wishing you and yours a memorable dry aged feast!

ASK MAUREEN: How Much Salt Do I Need??

“J” asks:

  • “In the recipe archive for capicola, the recipe asks for 6 tbsps of salt for 4 1/2 pounds of meat, but on the video the lady only uses 3 tbsps. of salt for 4 1/2 pounds of meat.  Could you please verify which of the recipes is correct?”

“J,” Good catch!  A bit more salt is better than a bit too little, but what you want is that critical 3% salt to weight of meat.

To do this you need a good kitchen scale!!

The TYPE and BRAND of salt make a huge difference in “How much” salt you get when you simply measure with teaspoons.  You must use non-iodized salt in charcuterie and fermented sausage.  It is also important to use kosher salt–though not all kosher salt is alike.
Here’s the thing, typical American volume measurements are terrible for measuring salt accurately. In fact, Mortons Kosher Salt is almost double the weight of Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt! You really need a scale to weigh the salt and make sure it is that safe 2.5-3% of the weight of the meat.
For safety, we have adjusted all the volume measurements in our recipes for Diamond Crystal Kosher salt.  It is the “lightest” and “fluffiest” of the common salts.  If you don’t have a scale and you use a more dense salt, you will get a saltier recipe.
AND PLEASE get a good kitchen scale!!  You will need it to weigh your start and finish weight, too.  Remember:  Dry until you achieve 35-40% weight loss.
TARGET = start weight x 0.65

 

Hope this helps.
Kind regards,
Maureen

Customer Support

Always best to check with the community at the UMAi Dry® Forum

ASK MAUREEN: What’s a “Good” Fridge for Dry Aging?

  • New to using UMAI bags and concerned my first attempt has failed. Would appreciate advice whether to persist or bin it. Temperature control has been all over the place.  Some days the meat feels really solid/frozen; other days more pliable, even soft.  Is it likely my fridge is not frost free and hence the dry bag system is not going work?  Have other UMAI bags and was going to try prosciutto and salamis, but not starting until I have more confidence that my refrigeration is appropriate.  Would appreciate any advice.–O.

MAUREEN’S RESPONSE:

Hello, O.

First of all, thank you for the fearlessly thorough, honest description of your process. You are certainly very persistent and creative in trying to make this work with the fridge you’ve got. It is safe to say this is NOT an appropriate environment for dry aging or dry curing the precious meat you are aging in UMAi Dry®.

There are two simple rules for UMAi Dry®-appropriate refrigerator choice:
1) The temp must remain consistently between 1-4C (34-38F), or safe for holding milk for 7-10 days.
2) The freezer attached to the fridge (not sure whether you indicated your appliance has a freezer or not), must remain frost free.

A third (often surprising) guideline is that the fridge should be regularly opened and closed. We have designed the UMAi Dry® application to be best suited to everyone’s kitchen fridge. This is VERY different advice to most dry aging advice (i.e. “commando”) or curing chambers.

Onto you REAL question: Is this meat safe? Obviously, we cannot see or smell the results, so we can only offer there guidelines.

Is the color fairly evenly mahogany brown (not grey or bluish tint)? Is the texture of the ‘bark’ more or less firm all the way around the piece (‘hard, solid plastic,’ as you have described it)?

The TRUE TEST of whether you process has failed or not is the sniff test. As the meat scientists tell us time after time, “The nose knows.” If you sniff the surface of the meat through the UMAi Dry® and detect a ‘pleasant, forest-y, funky’ aroma, you are probably good to remove the UMAi Dry®, trim the ‘bark,’ cut into steaks and cook as appropriate for a steak.

If, however, you smell what strikes you as ‘rotten flesh,’ trust your instincts and do not plan to eat. We would suggest going ahead and “unwrapping” the meat to as to study the color and texture of both bark and inner meat. We would certainly like to learn from your experience–freezing and thawing and overheating the meat such as your refrigerator has done during this dry aging process.

Before you go on to another project, make sure you have some space in a modern, frost free fridge. Using stackable racks can make it easier to use your kitchen fridge.

Hope this helps!!

Maureen

Steak Can Fend Off Heart Disease?

Yes, you read right.

Steak may actually repair your heart.

New research published in the journal Nutrition indicates that consuming meat can positively impact your heart.  “The impact is the same as if you were to stop smoking, cut back on your sodium intake, or exercise more,” explained Korin Miller in For a Healthier Heart, Eat … Steak? on Yahoo Health in August of 2015.

Heathy Heart article

Researchers were looking at intake of seven amino acids (the building blocks of protein) recognized as possessing heart-healthy properties.

In a comparative study of twins, researchers found that the twin with the healthier heart consumed more of the amino acids found in protein-rich foods like meat, fish, dairy, beans, lentils, broccoli, and spinach.

In our bodies, amino acids help generate new tissue and repair damaged tissue.  Researchers found that consuming more amino acids from meat (glutamic acid, leucine, and tyrosine) resulted in less-stiff arteries.

These same animal-based amino acids were also linked to lower blood pressure. “Since both high blood pressure and stiff arteries are linked to heart disease, researchers concluded that getting more amino acids in your diet — from meat and plants — can have a positive impact on your heart,” Miller summarized.

The thing to keep in mind is that a little goes a long way.  A palm-sized steak (3 ounces) provides enough of the essential amino acids to be beneficial to heart hearth.