What went wrong? Striploin FAR 2 hard, tough & dry

  • Austra02
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3 years 11 months ago #7079 by Austra02
Hi all,

I'm hoping someone can help me with my first experience with the drybag.

I attempted to dry-age a fairly good quality striploin and aged it for 45 days. Everything appeared to work perfectly (exactly as in the videos on Youtube etc.). The meat was firm and the meat had a good, solid bark. I trimmed all the bark off and steaked them out.

However, here is where it seems to have all gone wrong. The meat actually felt almost too solid and dry??? I allowed two of the 1.5" steaks I'd cut come up to room temperature. I then vac sealed them with a little olive oil and some rosemary. I sous vide them for 1.5 hours (given dry aged meat comes up to temp much faster than wet aged) at 54C (130F)). Once done, I let them rest for 5 minutes out of their bags to re-oxygenate and then proceeded to pan-sear as I've done hundreds to times with wet-aged steaks.

Far from being amazing - they were almost as hard as leather, very tough and were very solid and dry (I realize they are 'dry' aged, but they were far TOO dry). They were cooked perfectly (temp wise), they were just so hard and tough that they were pretty much inedible.

I've since done some of the other steaks and they are all the same - tough, hard to cut (even with a good steak knife) and dry.

I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced this with striploin? Or, is there something that stands out from above that I have done wrong??? I'm thoroughly disappointed in the results of the drybags, but I am fully open to the possibility that I've done something wrong.

If anyone can shed some light on this, that would be great.

Thanks,
Scott.

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3 years 11 months ago #7080 by freddh
Hi Scott,
Welcome to the Forum. I had the same type problem when I began my Sous Vide journey. It was recommended to bring up to 129.5F, which I did for one hour. I then patted the steak dry and immediately put it in a cast iron grill for a minute per side. I was not impressed with the texture as it was overcooked and a little dry. Upon further research on dry aging it was pointed out that dry aged steaks come to temp faster. So instead of 129.5F, I tried 120F. I again went through the pat dry and then grilled immediately for a minute per side and pulled the steak and voila! Success as the steak was about 130 when finished. On thing to remember, a sous vide steak/meat does not have to rest after cooking-its already at the temp you want and it will continue to rise. Also resting allows the juices to redistribute, using sous vide method the juices don't go anywhere. They're already where you want them (throughout the meat). Hopefully this helps.
Doc

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3 years 11 months ago #7081 by Austra02
Hi Doc,

Thanks for the reply and taking time to help a newbie out :-)

In this case, Sous Vide is not actually the issue. I've been cooking Sous Vide for over 3 years now and am VERY experienced with the technique; times and temperatures. I have also done MANY dry-aged steaks Sous Vide before (purchased from high quality butchers), and they have come out spectacular. And in this case, the meat did come out perfectly - temperature-wise - i.e. a perfect rare (130F).

The issue in this case however, is that the meat I dry aged with the Umai drybag (striploin) seems to come out of the drybag (not the Sous Vide bag) almost like a semi-hard plasticine texture - i.e. really solid and without almost any give. I expected it to be firmer after the dry aging process (as the dry-aged meat I've bought in the past has been), but in this case it was REALLY firm - and carried this consistency and texture right through the Sous Vide cooking process.

The Sous Vide if anything, actually softened the meat somewhat (which was a good thing), but it was extremely UN-tender, firm and far too hard to eat. The dry-aged meat I've bought and cooked Sous Vide before has always been super tender, but this was quite the opposite.

So, as I mentioned, I think something has gone wrong with the dry-aging process, but I can't put my finger on what that could be. I'm wondering if there are any variables that could have occurred that could lead to this sort of a result from using the bag??

Hope this clarifies things a bit more.

Cheers,
Scott.

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3 years 11 months ago #7082 by freddh
Hi Scott,
I don't have answer for your dilemma. I thought that it may have been the Sous Vide process based on my limited experience with same. I have not had that "dry" experience with those that I've done previously. Now my own experiences have been solely with Rib Eyes and one sirloin of prime grade or Waygu and I've gone 45 or 60 days with each with no problem. So I will gladly defer to someone like Ron (our Guru-in-chief) to solve your problem. Sorry I couldn't be of help although I have subscribed to your thread to see what the real answer is.

Cheers,

Doc

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3 years 11 months ago #7084 by RRP
Hello Scott,
There are just two things which come to my mind after reading your replies. Could it be that the refrigeration unit you used actually has gone haywire and literally dried the meat like jerky? My other thought was the meat itself may have been way older than what you thought or been misgraded and was actually a cow meant for the tanner/dog food line. It just might have been a tough old cow that lead a long hard life!
Ron

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3 years 11 months ago - 3 years 11 months ago #7085 by Austra02
Hi Ron,

Thanks for the reply and information.

The meat was a fairly high quality and was from a very highly regarded butcher here in Sydney. Obviously, that is no guarantee, but they have always been excellent in the past. There was a really good degree of quality marbling too.

As to the fridge: I actually bought a brand new, top-of-the-line Mitsubishi fridge just prior to this. I had old bar fridges that weren't going to suffice. The fridge has constantly circulating airflow and is very good. BUT... when you mentioned "gone haywire", specifically, what conditions would constitute "haywire" in this instance? If the fridge was too cold, could that do it? I had measured the internal temp with a very high quality probe and it was sitting at around 0.5c - 1C (32.9F - 33.8F). Could this be too cold? Or, did you more mean the temperature was not constant enough? Our 15y/o CONSTANTLY opens the fridge to stand there and just stare at the contents for several minutes at a time (as a lot of kids do) - MANY times a day :-/

So, I guess I'm asking, what are the cooling conditions that would contribute to it drying out too much? And to clarify, it's not like it's gone jerky style - more just rubbery with very little give...

Thanks again for all the help with this. I really want to get this working properly and hope I can ascertain the cause so I can eliminate next time.

Cheers,
Scott.
Last edit: 3 years 11 months ago by Austra02.

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