Juicy Dry Aged - straight from the Grill


Old art of butchering revived

034 Leonardo Ramirez Photography

In the '50s and '60s, dry aging - a process in which beef is aged on the bone in a special room - had its heyday in the USA. Two simple chemical processes contribute to the characteristic of dry-aged beef: the climate-induced evaporation of liquid and the natural decomposition of the muscle protein by enzymes - when these processes are combined, the beef is particularly tender and full of flavor as a result.

Dry aging of beef, widespread in the USA, wherein there is a weight loss of at least 20% solely due to fluid loss, has been replaced by the vastly more cost-effective wet aging process with the aid of vacuum packaging.

The art of engineering for beef

In the epitome of a trendy metropolis - New York City - it is almost always hidden deep underground. In FRANK'S, in the center of Vienna, this is exposed like modern art - the aging [show] room. 4 years of preparation by the head chef, 2 years of intensive planning of the aging room by specialists and 3 labor-intensive months of constructional implementation – a lot of time and even more investment for a room of almost 10 m³ in size, used to dry-age 30 pieces of meat for at least 6 weeks under constant scrutiny of the air temperature, circulation and humidity. It is no frivolous endeavor in which an entire team has been specially trained.Each piece of meat requires its own handling. Sanitation and cleanliness are essential basic prerequisites – as in every kitchen. In dry aging, this begins as early as meat selection. The sirloins must be completely intact, free from any cuts or pressure marks, in order to be considered for aging. The head chef picks out each piece individually with extreme rigor. The highest quality is required – optimum meat aging is only facilitated with a perfect fat cover and strongly pronounced intramuscular marbling. We only age Simmental beef, a domestic cattle breed which originally came from Switzerland to Austria. These green-pasture cattle already lend a signature flavor to the raw product thanks to the various herbs and types of grass at the basis of their feed.

The aging test

Once ready for treatment, the approx. 30-kg pieces are aged for at least 6 weeks in a 3-component climate: between 0.5 °C and 2 °C with high humidity and constant air circulation; first vertically, and then horizontally for the meat juices to shift again. On account of the fluid loss and the ultimate cleaning of the meat, it is depleted by over 40%.

Finally, steaks with approx. 700 g gross weight land on the lava rock grill, which are finished off as desired by our guests in the pizza oven fired with beech wood. Unlike any other steak, dry-aged beef satisfies from the first cut – a compact, juicy delight full of flavor!

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