There’s a chain of Australian butchers that have some interesting videos online. I’ve never been to one on my trips to Australia, but from the videos they seem like large stores, bigger than any butcher shop that I have ever seen.
Here’s a video of their dry-aged rib on the bone steaks. There’s a lot to think about in this video.
He starts with an explanation of how all their beef is usually wet-aged, but this dry aging is something special, old school from the 40s/50s/60s.
Wet-aging is where the meat packers break the animal into pieces and vacuum-pack each piece in plastic. The packs of meat sit in a cool room for a few weeks in their own blood and water. Some people like this method of aging but I’m not too keen on it. It does keep more moisture in the meat which lets the butcher get more kilos out of a carcass but I prefer the older and more flavorful method of dry-aging.
According to the Super Butcher video, Australia uses wet-aging almost exclusively and the Seattle butchers we used bought their meat in wet-aging cryovac packages too. For more info see the Joe’s Butcher Shop video on the subject where he shows the differences between their wet and dry aged steaks. Keep in mind that both of these videos are butchers selling their meat.
The butchers in Southwest France tend to dry-age since they don’t rely on the meat packing industry for their meat, although they don’t age the beef for very long. I can’t talk to supermarket beef but I intend to find out if they use pre-packed beef next time I go to the supermarket. In general French beef is aged about 15 days.
In the video Super Butcher has a cool room out in the front of their store where they show off the dry-aging rib cuts. This is awesome! They have a butcher cutting rib-eye steaks from the overall rib section so you can see how it is done. They talk about a loss of “60% of the volume” from the aging and presumably the trimming.
Judging by the other videos in the series, these steaks will be grain-finished in a feedlot but still they should have great flavor from the aging process concentrating the beefiness. I’m a little surprised by the lack of marbling in their showcase product, but Australia does not eat the same beef as the USA.
To compare dry-aged steaks, check out this video from the Primehouse restaurant. The Himalayan salt wall made me laugh – I don’t know how much I learned but these guys are hard-core!