Dry aging is the process of allowing beef to hang undisturbed in a refrigerated space for weeks or even months before slicing into steaks, roasts and other cuts. Why bother with aging? Greatly enhanced taste and tenderness are the benefits, and you really need to experience them to understand.
Dry-aged beef is so much more flavourful and tender, and this is the heart of the Pure Island beef experience. We maintain a temperature of 0ºC to 1ºC and 70% to 75% relative humidity in our aging coolers – essential conditions that allow natural enzymes and biochemical reactions to tenderize meat and enhance beef flavour. The improvement in the eating experience is huge, but there’s something else you need to understand about dry aging, too.
Beef requires a sufficient covering of fat on the outside of the carcass and fat marbling within the meat fibers to age properly. Without sufficient fat, beef dries out too much and begins spoiling before it’s fully aged. Our cattle are raised to have just the right amount of fat cover to protect the carcass during aging while the natural enzymes do their work of tenderizing.
This fat cover comes easily with grain fed cattle ... but it's a little tougher with grass fed cattle. This is where selecting the right breeds and type of cattle comes into play. We want cattle that can put on that right amount of fat even on an all-grass (no starch) diet. This way we get the right amount of fat ... and because of all grass feeding, it's a nutritionally unique fat too.
Lab studies show that grass-fed beef contains much higher levels of omega-3s and other beneficial fats, and this is one reason people are choosing our grass-fed option. Trouble is, almost all other grass-fed beef on the market today has only been aged a little – or not at all – because it’s not fat enough for anything else. This is why some people are turned off grass-fed beef. Pure Island beef is different.
The Angus and Shorthorn breeding of our cattle, plus our rich, grass-based feeding program, means that Pure Island grass-fed beef has sufficient beneficial fat content to allow full dry aging of up to 30 days. You won’t find this in most other grass-fed beef and it makes all the difference.