OT: Where's the beef? In a freezer, probably

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I started a thread last Sunday moaning about the fact that the local supermarkets no longer got sides of beef and that I couldn't get flat bone sirloin steaks. Lots of interesting comments, thanks.
On Monday I was browsing the web page of Publix, one of the larger local markets. Lots of great looking photos of steaks and roasts, lots of trumpeting about the meat quality, lots of promises of consumer satisfaction. Also, a "contact us" link. So I did and asked how come I couldn't get sirloin.
Yesterday, the local manager called me. He said they hadn't had sirloin since 2007 - *2007??* - but that they would start bringing it in again. *VICTORY!!* :)
I explained that I had no immediate need/desire for it but he assured me it would keep and would be waiting for me when I did. I get the feeling that I will be eating off the same chunk of deep frozen beef for some years to come.
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dadiOH
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Small trend in the grocery biz: Wholesalers which cater to restaurants are opening retail outlets to fill the gap left by supermarkets which no longer carry high-end meat & seafood. You might check the yellow pages and make some calls, if Publix doesn't consistently carry what you want.
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wrote:

Has anyone tried dry aging beef at home? Dry aging is what the top steak houses all do with their beef, which is what you see in the pics of meat hanging in window displays, etc. I recently got curious about this and did a bit of googling. It actually looks to be relatively easy and safe to do. Ideally you'd want a separate refrigerator just for that, but plenty of people are doing it in their regular kitchen fridge. I'm doing an experiment now. I got two huge 3" thick rib eyes. One I'm going to cook tonight as is, the other I'm dry aging for a week or so.
I'm also lucky to have a small specialty grocer/butcher located here. The guy moved down from NYC, where he used to have a similar shop. He gets his beef from the same NYC wholesalers that supply prime to the best restaurants. What he has is very expensive, but unbelievably good. As good as or better than steaks I've had in NYC top rated steak houses, eg Peter Lugers and Smith & Wollensky. These steaks just have such enormous beefy flavor that you don't get in a wet aged steak. Expensive, but I'd rather have one of those every 2 months, than the wet aged ones from the supermarket more often. I'm very curious to see how this dry aging experiment goes in terms of how much difference it makes. The best steaks are both prime and dry aged. The rib eyes I have are choice, so I'll get one data point on the difference just dry aging can make.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Don't bother, you aren't going to be able to do it in a fridge and even if you could, a week isn't close to enough time.
Dry aging requires a very controlled environment...temperaure, humidity and air flow. The beef needs to lose a lot of water and can get pretty gamy looking (bacteria).
Are they really rib *EYES* or are they rib steak?
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dadiOH
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And this is based on? Everything I've seen on the internet says it does in fact work and that it can be done in a home fridge. Here are two examples:
http://www.askthemeatman.com/is_it_possible_to_dry_age_beef_at_home.htm
http://www.finecooking.com/articles/dry-aging-beef-pays-off-big-flavor.aspx
The first recommends 10 days min, the second example says they had a significant flavor difference after only 3 days. So, I don;t think a week is such a bad idea. I'll also see how it goes and may go longer.

They are rib eye steak.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Well, the first says,"2. Buy a whole rib-eye or loin strip. [You cannot age individual steaks.] "
This for another... http://baygourmet.tripod.com/primerib.html
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dadiOH
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Yeah, so we have one place saying it can't be done, versus dozens of hits you get from googling that not only SAY in can be done, but actually have done it. I don't believe sources like Fine Cooking Magazine, that has a lot to lose by giving out bogus advice, has any incentive to make stuff up.
Also, regarding the need for precise humidit, temperature and air control, what do you think people were eating 100+ years ago? It was dry aged beef that was shipped across country in rail cars with ice, kept in ice houses, ice boxes, etc, aging until it was consumed. I doubt those conditions were significantly better than today's refrigerators.
I do agree a 3" thick steak isn't the ideal size to use. However, I think it probably has more to do with practicality. With a large section of beef, you have a lower overall percentage of waste, because when done aging and you trim off the outside waste, you have more protected meat left. In my trial, I don't care if I lose a lot as it's a trial. It's also why I was going to go with a timeframe on the short end of the spectrum.

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We did it last Xmas for 6 days, and it did make a difference in the flavor. We had carved off one end of the roast to even it out and we ate it that night (fresh from the butcher) and it was great. 6 days later, the dry-aged roast was FANTASTIC. I definitely recommend it. We aged it in our tiny, extra fridge (about 34" high) and I don't know what settings DH used. The little fridge has some climate settings and we only use it for "weird" stuff and for extra cold storage at the holidays.
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wrote:

Alton Brown tells you how to age beef in the fridge. Look at his "prime rib" show next time it is on the food channel or look at it online.
I imagine they are rib steak, but I like the strap better than the eye anyway.
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On Jun 16, 7:55am, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

== It is not going to work. The natural enzyme action is over by the time you get the steak. If you let it decompose, you might get some tenderness though. The taste however might kinda dissuade you from eating it.
Google "aging process in beef" and see what it says. ==
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I did google it. Did you? Because the vast majority of articles and reports say you are wrong.
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On Jun 16, 3:08pm, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

== I was referring to the use of your regular fridge...IMHO not the right fridge to use. Worth a try of course. ==
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On Jun 16, 8:55am, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I believe you cut away what has aged-rotted, so your steak might be no more or it will taste spoiled but be tender as ever. What ive seen aged is very large pieces,
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dadiOH wrote:

Publix has taken over most of the Albertson's stores around me. Last time I was at Albertsons, I wanted to get some fresh fish. Was looking at cod filets and asked the clerk where the cod came from (meaning where on the planet). He came out from behind the case, crossed the aisle to the frozen fish case, picked up a package of frozen cod and told me where it came from :o) I like to buy fairly large fresh turkey for the holidays because I don't have room to thaw a huge bird in the fridge. Last "fresh" turkey I bought wasn't completely thawed :o) Did I mention that I hate Publix? Used to have pretty good deli's, but it is all canned crap now.
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wrote:

I'm very suspicous about alleged fresh sea scallops at the local supermarket. I don't know what qualifies them as "fresh", but these all seem to have the wet milky look that comes with the preservative that is used before freezing them. The preservative adds moisture that protects them during freezing and also increases the weight. I guess "fresh" could be with the preservative added but then not frozen.
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On Wed, 16 Jun 2010 07:17:55 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I doubt most people have ever had fresh (never frozen) seafood unless you live close enough to the water to actually buy it off the boat or from a guy who does. Even then, a lot of big offshore commercial fishing boats will freeze the stuff right on the boat. The same is true about a lot of our meat. All of those cryopacks come to the store frozen. They use that "package" distribution method because your typical store does not sell meat in the same proportions as it comes off the cow. They sell a lot more steaks as a proportion to the other cuts.
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Definitely. The difference between truly fresh meat (freshly killed) versus plasto-packs from the store is amazing. 20 years ago I had a co-worker whose husband stayed home to run a small farm, complete with draft horses he used for plowing! Every year we "sponsored" (we paid for the feed and upkeep) a piglet, a lamb, a calf, a duckling or three, etc. When it was time, they would have the animals slaughtered and packaged up for us. Even though we froze 99% of everything we got, the difference in taste was amazing. Especially wonderful since the resulting price per pound was less than half that of crappy supermarket meat and poultry. They sold the farm and moved to Hawaii. My local "real" butcher is good, but nothing is as good as fresh farm raised. And don't get me started on fresh duck eggs...
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I missed your post, but all my local stores carry sirloin steaks. I think they have more flavor than the more expensive cuts (New York strip, rib eye's etc..).
Is there something special about a "flat bone" sirloin, as opposed to a steak labeled "sirloin"?
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G. Morgan wrote:

Yes, yes, YES! Just calling it "sirloin" doesn't tell you anything about it. Sort of like calling a ferrari a "car".
The sirloin is just aft of the loin. Starting at the loin end, you get pin bone sirloin (basically a porterhouse), flat bone sirloin, round bone sirloin and finally wedge bone sirloin. Any are good but the first two are best; however, they also have the most bone so many people skip them in favor of the other cuts which have less bone but are tougher. Additionally, the first two have a generous amount of the tenderloin, the latter two have less.
Good info and pix... http://steakperfection.com/cut/Sirloin.html
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dadiOH
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wrote:

I suspect you have identified the problem. They cut out the whole tenderloin and put it in a bag. The rest gets marketed as another cut.
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