What is Aged Beef

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Anonymous

I wish one day to raise my own beef. Could you all please tell me what is aged beef, how is this done, and could I do this myself? I don't ever remember having aged beef, what age should the aminal be butchered? I apologize if I sound totally clueless hopefully you all out there can give me a schooling lesson.

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OP
A

Anonymous

I may not be the most knowledgeable about cattle, but I do a LOT of home butchering -- beef, deer, elk, and buffalo, as well as rabbits and poultry. Last fall I butchered 4 deer, a buffalo, and an elk.

Aging the meat is nothing more than allowing CONTROLLED decomposition to set it. By allowing certain enzymes to act on the meat, it causes the meat to develop more flavor and become more tender.

Our local grocery store sells beef that is aged 21 days. Personally, I prefer to age my beef closer to 28 days, and will age venison for a minimumm of 14-21 days.

The big thing to remember is that aging has to be done at specific temperatures (34'-38'F) -- lower and the meat doesn't age, higher and the meat rots instead of aging. The other big requirement is air circulation. Personally, I use a large Hobart, 2-door commercial cooler for aging -- it's large enough that I can hang half a buffalo in there at a time -- and since the other half of the meat normally goes gets ground, it works out great.

When meat is held for the longer aging times, I have found that the "old timer's" method of wiping the surface of the meat down daily, or every other day, with white vinegar works very well to eliminate the formation of mold or mildew.

I age all home-butchered meat -- even rabbit is better/more tender when aged for 2-3 days in the fridge.

Ann B

> I wish one day to raise my own
> beef. Could you all please tell me
> what is aged beef, how is this
> done, and could I do this myself?
> I don't ever remember having aged
> beef, what age should the aminal
> be butchered? I apologize if I
> sound totally clueless hopefully
> you all out there can give me a
> schooling lesson.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

> When meat is held for the longer
> aging times, I have found that the
> "old timer's" method of
> wiping the surface of the meat
> down daily, or every other day,
> with white vinegar works very well
> to eliminate the formation of mold
> or mildew.

Ann

Grandpa used to cover the carcass with a burlap shroud. When the mold was thick enough on the burlap the meat was aged properly. The burlap (and mold with it) was pulled off and the carcass cut up.

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