The truth is, today, most beef around the world is either sold fresh or ‘wet aged’ in vacuum packs in a temperature controlled environment for anything from 7 to 28 days. Though the meat becomes more tender inside the bag, it cannot develop in flavour since there can be no concentration without a loss of moisture.
Even though dry ageing is more costly (due to around 18% loss in shrinkage and the extra trim, time, storage, refrigerator space and labour required), when occasion demands a taste sensation that packs a meaty punch, nothing else comes close.
Our Dry Aged Foyle Gourmet beef comes from only the finest continental breeds fed on the lush green pastures of the British Isles. We initially hang our hind quarters on the bone for up to one week. We then transfer the hind quarters to a customised dry ageing chamber where the meat rests (with regulated temperature and humidity levels) for a further two weeks. This allows the meat to breathe, increases its “beefiness” since the ratio of water to muscle fibre is lower and the juices are absorbed back into the meat, enhancing the flavour and tenderising the meat. The hind quarters are then deboned and primals are vacuum packed and further wet matured for a further week.
Despite the extra effort required to dry age our beef, the rewards are definitely in the eating. No other maturation method can beat it on flavour.
The dry ageing process means we hang our prime beef for a specified period of time to allow the enzymes, known as calpain, and bacteria in beef to break down bundles of fibres caused by rapid chilling and Achilles hanging, amongst other factors. We do this in a closely controlled and monitored environment paying strict attention to 3 main areas:
Optimum is +0.5 – 1.5oC to allow active enzymes to function.
Optimum is 60 – 70% to ensure water loss is controlled to allow flavour to be concentrated.
Constant wind flow encourages the formation of the initial crust that aids water loss and also helps control bacteria growth.
With Dry Aged Foyle Gourmet beef, it’s not all about the biology. The quality of the butcher who prepares our Dry Aged beef is just as important as the delicate ageing process. Our team view their butchery skills as a classic art form borne from many years’ experience. It is their expertise and fastidious attention to detail that elevates these excellent cuts of beef to magical taste sensations.
Our Dry Aged Foyle Gourmet customers appreciate the complexity of its flavours — nuttiness, savouriness, sweetness and even some bitterness. They recognise notes that just aren’t there in beef that has been wet aged. More succulent with a mellower yet beefier flavour, this Dry Aged Foyle Gourmet beef range is quite simply divine.