Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The virtue of patience

I was reminded of a key benefit to the virtue of patience, as well as a great way to please one's wife, last weekend when I pulled two steaks out of the fridge and cooked them. They'd been sitting there for a week, and believe it or not, I hadn't just forgotten they were there.

Rather, I've become aware that beef is not like chicken, fish, or pork, and (to an extent) it gets better as it "wet-ages" in the package. I've also learned that meatpackers are increasingly failing to age beef (and lamb) properly. If you've tasted a steak and wanted to nail it to your Sunday shoes because it was so tough, this is one of the reasons.

And so the best way of ensuring a quality dining experience may be to let that piece of beef sit in the fridge for a while, "wet-aging" it to its proper tenderness. This may sound gross, but when it has a couple of small brown spots on it, it's at its best.

For the truly adventurous, one can try "dry aging"; a roast is placed in a humid, cool environment (say a compartment of one's refrigerator with a damp cloth to provide humidity) for a week or two. If done correctly, it is said to be as superior to wet-aging as wet-aging is to no aging. I'm trying it with a rib roast now--we'll see how it turns out.

3 comments:

hammerswing75 said...

I've done wet-aging by mistake before. Roommate told me that I could expect sickness or death, but all I got was a fine steak!

Mercy Now said...

Ah, and the same can be said about wine. Nothing better than a nice steak w/ a fine wine.

Patience is indeed a virtue but it's really hard to learn this in our society where everything's instant. This then translates into our faith and what do we do when we don't see what we want. Do we take actions to get what we want or do we wait for God?

Bike Bubba said...

Mercy, if more had your attitude about wine, I bet that a lot of Christians would soon be free to enjoy alcohol who do not in good conscience today!

And for the record, the dry aged steaks from my fridge do seem to be better than the wet aged. Aging time is about the same, but the result of dry aging is that even more of the connective tissue is weakened and it's even more tender--with a loss of 5% or less of its weight. It also cooks incredibly quickly compared to wet-aged.

Also for the record; truly spoiled meat is (sniff) easy to recognize for the most part.