Dirk Ludwig – the German Dry Aging pope for meat maturation
The dry aging of beef is a laborious process. It takes a lot of effort, a lot of time and a lot of knowledge to make a really good steak.
I learnt the technique of dry aging meat during my apprenticeship in the nineties at the butchers, Hans Jung in Schlitz. Dry aging has been a traditional method for a long time and back then almost all beef was dry aged over several weeks on the bone. With the introduction of new modern meat production we saw old artisan techniques become neglected. However, following a trend from the United States, traditional meat maturing has been reintroduced. This was certainly boosted with the increased popularity of grilling and barbecuing in Germany. During courses held in my Steak Shank meat experience centre, I found out that there are many lovers of this delicious and aromatic tasting meat.
The smell of fragrant, juicy steaks on the grill is for many people, especially in the summer, probably one of the finest things in the world. Dry Aged beef tastes intense and authentic. Due to the high water loss, during the dry aging process, Dry Aged Steaks are far more tender and have a unique taste all of their own. Its flavour is reminiscent of butter and has a very nutty flavour too. It smells like ham, musk, freshly baked brioche, hoarfrost and sweaty socks, all at the same time. Dry Aged Beef is not just about tenderness, but more about the taste.
With the Dry Ager it is possible to create dry aged meat for every restauranteur or consumer. Matured beef in the Dry Ager is the best steak you can experience and, more importantly, is also the perfect choice for maturing beef. I recommend good marbled heifers, for example young female cattle that have not yet calved, with a good fat cover. At our online butchers www.der-ludwig.de we have a small selection of cuts ready for dry aging yourself in the Dry Ager.