Grass Fed Beef Help...

Discussion in 'Egg, Chicken, & Other Favorite Recipes' started by BettyR, May 17, 2011.

  1. BettyR

    BettyR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know from reading posts in the past that some of you purchase and or raise grass fed beef.

    My daughter and I have purchased a grass fed steer from a local rancher and it has been delivered to the butcher for processing. The butcher wants to know how long I want him to dry age this beef.

    The rancher is saying 3 weeks the butcher is saying 4 weeks because of the size of the steer. The steer dressed out at 952 pounds which is a very large steer...476 pounds a side.

    Most of the websites I have looked at say 3 weeks and that nothing significant is gained by aging longer. But some of the more upscale restaurants and steak houses advertise that their steaks have been dry aged 4 weeks. So I'm stumped!! I don't want to over do it but I also want to get the best bang for my buck.

    Those of you who purchase beef by the side...how long do you have your beef aged. Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. bigmike&nan

    bigmike&nan Chillin' With My Peeps

    While in chef school we were taken to chicken processing plants and purveyors of the best beef in San Francisco. In the beef place the beef is hung in refrigerated storage lockers that have black lights all over the place. Letting the beef hang to age causes it to lose moisture, and since beef is 75% water that means the longer you age it the more it dries out (and loses weight). The black lights keep bacteria from growing on the meat. The really top end steak houses like the extra age on the meat because it's usually more tender. But remember if you go in with say 950 pounds and age it quite a while you will lose some weight. BUT I think the meat used will be a lot more tender. That's a lot of meat to eat so why not go with the longer aging ??

    I quickly pulled some brief notes from Chef Herve's French Regional class from my Freshman semester,


    MEAT

    Most meat is 75% water, 20% protein, & 5% fat with less than 1% carbo-
    hydrates. When cooked past 165 deg. protein is completely coagulated, med.
    rare is 120 deg.

    Grading: defined by USDA rating system
    Prime Used in most Restaurants
    Choice " "
    Select (or Good) " "
    Standard
    Commercial
    Utility
    Cutter
    Canner

    Aging of Meat-3 types of Aging
    1) Dry: 32-36 deg. in blue (ultra-violet) light. Kept 2-2 1/2 wks. will have
    of fat w/bone on.
    2) Fast aging: 40-44 deg. - also in blue light, kept for 1-1 1/2 weeks.
    3) Cryovac aging: placed in airtight bags injected with mixture of chicken
    blood/special chemicals-kept at 32-36 deg. for 2-3 weeks.

    (**No matter how good a grade of meat it must be aged at least 4-5 days after
    slaughtering of animal).

    ----

    And notes from Butcher Bob Fanucci's butchery class (also Freshman semester)

    Ageing Meat:

    Rigormortis sets in after the steer is killed, and the flesh is
    considered "green" for 72 hours after slaughter. Ageing is actually
    controlled decomposition of the tissue. There are three ways meat
    can be aged:

    1) Dry: 32-38 degrees in ultra-violet light. Kept for 2 to 2 1/2 weeks with fat and bone on

    2) Fast ageing: 40-44 degrees, also in ultra-violet light, kept
    for 1 to 1 1/2 weeks (very close to temperature "danger zone"

    3) Cryovac: animal is broken down, put in heavy plastic bags,
    air is removed, insert hydrogen oxide, sealed and stored in
    refrigeration, keeps for6-8 weeks. Practical ageing, break
    package and hang meat 5-7 days, gives close to a dry ageing
    effect to meat.

    Ageing enhances not only the flavor and color of the meat, but
    also tenderizes the meat somewhat. Another method of tenderizing meat is by using tenderizers such as acids and fruit juices:

     
    Last edited: May 17, 2011
  3. arabianequine

    arabianequine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2010
    Quote:It is not always up to the person buying the meat. As far as how long to age the meat. Legit butcher shops around here will age usually 21 days they have rules to follow for USDA. Also it depends what kind of cow and condition. Like is it a really big angus sure then if whoever does the butcher go 4 weeks....see you need to have enough fat on the beef so that the meat is not drying up.

    The longer it hangs the more tender the meat will be.
     
  4. bigmike&nan

    bigmike&nan Chillin' With My Peeps

  5. BettyR

    BettyR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you Big Mike,

    We have decided to go with the 3 weeks. After reading the wedsites and talking to the butcher I called the rancher back and asked him why he recommended 3 weeks rather than 4. He said that if this was corn fed beef he would also go with 4 weeks but this is grass fed beef and it already has a more beefy flavor that corn fed beef. He said that if it hangs too long it could start to taste a bit gamey. So I called the butcher back and told him that we preferred 3 weeks hang time. Thank you for your help and the website.



    Quote:I'm not sure what you mean by "It is not always up to the person buying the meat." My daughter and I purchased the steer from a local rancher who delivered the animal for us to a full service butcher. The butcher dispatches the animal, cleans it, hangs it for the time asked for by the customer and then they cut, wrap and freeze the meat for pickup. How could the time it is hung not be up to the person buying the meat?

    And yes this was a really big Angus steer, but regardless of the breed any steer that dresses out at 952 pounds is going to have a lot of fat. The average steer will dress out anywhere from 300 pounds a side for one on the small side to 375 pounds a side for a big one...this bad boy dressed out at 476 pounds a side. Which by the way shocked even the rancher.

    I'm sorry I don't understand what you are trying to say but I do appreciate you taking the time to try and help. [​IMG]
     
  6. bigmike&nan

    bigmike&nan Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think what she meant is this, a processor looks at the amount of fat and marbling and how the animal was fed, and dresses out. The more fat and marbling the more flavor. The longer you hang the meat the more water loss and then also after 3 weeks you start to get a bacterial crust that must be removed, more weight loss... Makes me wanna have a huge ribeye talking about all this meat.

    Found this multi part video on YouTube, gives you an idea what these guys do for you

     
    Last edited: May 18, 2011
  7. BettyR

    BettyR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you Big Mike, but unfortunately I live too far out in the sticks to get high speed internet. All we can get out here is dial-up so I can't watch you tube, sure wish I could.

    Yeah, we are looking forward to getting our meat and putting a big steak on the grill. Buying meat this way is the only way we can afford this high quality meat. I can't afford to pay upwards of $8.00 to $10.00 a pound for a good steak.

    Buy buying a steer directly from the rancher and taking it directly to the butcher who processes it for us...after it is all said and done we end up paying $2.94 a pound for high quality aged Angus beef. It's a big chunk of money out of the budget all at one time but it pays for itself in a very short time.

    I have room to raise chickens and pigs but I don't have the room to raise a steer...which I did.
     
  8. arabianequine

    arabianequine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2010
    bigmike&nan :

    I think what she meant is this, a processor looks at the amount of fat and marbling and how the animal was fed, and dresses out. The more fat and marbling the more flavor. The longer you hang the meat the more water loss and then also after 3 weeks you start to get a bacterial crust that must be removed, more weight loss... Makes me wanna have a huge ribeye talking about all this meat.

    ]

    Yes Mike is saying what I meant....sorry.

    We have 3 local butchers and they all will hang differently depending on the beef at hand. Usually 2-3 weeks. No matter what type of beef it is. It is not up to the purchaser of the beef/meat at at any of these shops. We have 3 USDA approved butcher shops. It is my understanding they are not allowed to go past 21 days because that is the rule of USDA and I am assuming because of the bacterial crust etc.

    One of the shops butchered a couple jerseys for us and the they hung for 2 weeks they did not have the fat on them to keep hanging any longer cause the meat was starting to dry out. They see the beef everyday and know when to pull them down.

    I have a neighbor that prefers his beef hung for 4 weeks and goes to someone specifically that will to it for that long. This is not a USDA approved butcher shop. It is a private individual.

    It may be different where you are located or who you are having do your butchering too.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2011
  9. BettyR

    BettyR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yes Mike is saying what I meant....sorry.

    We have 3 local butchers and they all will hang differently depending on the beef at hand. Usually 2-3 weeks. No matter what type of beef it is. It is not up to the purchaser of the beef/meat at at any of these shops. We have 3 USDA approved butcher shops. It is my understanding they are not allowed to go past 21 days because that is the rule of USDA and I am assuming because of the bacterial crust etc.

    One of the shops butchered a couple jerseys for us and the they hung for 2 weeks they did not have the fat on them to keep hanging any longer cause the meat was starting to dry out. They see the beef everyday and know when to pull them down.

    I have a neighbor that prefers his beef hung for 4 weeks and goes to someone specifically that will to it for that long. This is not a USDA approved butcher shop. It is a private individual.

    It may be different where you are located or who you are having do your butchering too.

    Thank you, I appreciate the help. [​IMG]
     

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