Monday, October 17, 2011

Home Dry Aging. Short Ribs.

This is my first attempt at dry aging meat at home. I know the ins and outs of how the process works on large primals, but I have never thought about dry aging smaller cuts in my refrigerator. While my buddy Dylan and I were bagging the chicken stock I made, I was telling him about some Short Ribs I bought at work. He noticed that I had some spare cheesecloth and essentially said, "Why not?" 
... and so it was! 

These Short Ribs came from a Grass-Fed steer, who are not known for being very marbled, but are some of the finest Ribs I've ever seen. These pictures don't do the Ribs any justice, though... It's sad that my camera couldn't capture to superior fine-grain marbling. My boss was cutting them for the case and commented on them, I looked over, snatched them off the block and wrapped them up on the spot, he didn't even have time to separate them! 

Loosely wrap the Ribs in cheesecloth and tie a knot to fasten. 

Fold the excess cheesecloth at the top of the wrap and tie a tight knot, leaving a short length of string. I tied the excess string to an S-Hook to hang it from the beams in the fridge. 

I tried to make sure the Short Ribs would have plenty of room to breathe and I placed a towel above the Ribs so that nothing would fall onto them. 

So my best guess for how long these hung for is 9 days (birthday week, lost track of time). As you can see, the outside of the ribs has developed a nice crust. The ribs lost about an ounce and a half of moisture, leaving the meat very dense. 

Trim off the outer layer of meat. You'll notice the overall texture of the meat has changed entirely. It's no longer soft and loose, rather it's sort of stiff and solid. 

Cut between the ribs and ENJOY!


  1. How are you gonna cook these? It seems like braising will mask that intense meatiness you have achieved.

  2. They're braising right now in a fairly simple Marsala-based broth!

  3. Reece, tell me I'm gonna be okay: my boneless shortribs are 7 days in, and they're hard as rocks! Dinner party tonight, and my plan was to braise for 3-1/2 hours. I'm concerned about how hard they I gonna be okay??

  4. They should be fantastic. Trim off the pellicle. They'll be less moist as the aging will reduce the water content.