When we were planning our shop at 9 Butchers Row, Barnstaple, earlier in the year, we thought about how best to ensure that our customers had the best possible beef. We thought about the best steaks, roast joints and slow-cooked beef that we had ever tasted. Obviously the breeding and the feeding of the cattle is vitally important, but we also remembered the dry aged beef that we had enjoyed so much in the best restaurants in China and in Japan.
So what exactly is dry aged beef?
All our beef is hung to improve tenderness and taste. Some will be hung for twenty one days, some even for twenty eight days or more. However, dry ageing is different. It allows the meat to develop even more flavour and to become more tender. The taste is difficult to describe, some restaurateurs talk of buttered popcorn, others mushroom. The Japanese call it “umami”, translated as “deliciousness” – that extra savoury flavour of soy sauce, beyond the traditional sensory flavours of sweet, salt, sour and bitter.
We imported a special dry ageing cabinet from the manufacturer in Italy to give you the chance to enjoy our dry aged Devon beef. Our prime beef is hung in large joints in the cabinet. The dry ageing cabinet controls humidity and bacteria so that the meat can, in carefully controlled conditions, develop its special intensity, tenderness and flavour.
Customers can discuss with our expert butchers how much ageing they prefer, or even taste beef of different ages to see which is the best! It is obviously more expensive than normally hung beef because it loses up to 30% of its weight during the dry ageing process. But more and more customers are choosing it for that special meal, because dry aged beef really is the finest!