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Aging Meat: any advantage with pork?

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I haven't seen anything about aging pork. Beef: even for a few days there is a noticeable difference. But ive found nothing on pork. Is this just a result of old fashioned thinking? Im talking about 3 - 7 days in the refrigerator, not the 30 day dry age.

Maybe its traditional thinking along the line having to cook pork 'well-done' etc

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Many pork sausages as well as hams etc. are aged. I've never heard anything about aging unprocessed pork though.


This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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That's what im trying to find out. Sausage, hams etc are well salted and air dried. Im wondering if this is just a sort of an old-fashioned taboo re pork

Would a shoulder for pulled pork benefit from a week or so in the refrig before cooking? Is it that the rub dominated so the week aging would not be noticed?

If there are no health hazards, it would have to be tried with a pork cut for a 'steak' plainly seasoned before cooking.

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When I buy half a pig I prefer that my butcher hangs it for 4 or 5 days, it sets the meat up better for when I butcher it down. The meat is firmer and cooks better, as for taste I don't think there's any improvement.

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wonder why there is a noted taste improvement in beef, but it seems not pork.

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That's very helpful. But ... what was the history the pork you're comparing that to have?

Im not doubting you in any way. I just think is somewhat odd that this has not been looked into and given a true thumbs down.

Fresh vs 1 week old kept in the refrig, or even longer. Is it something about the proteins of Pork that dont age?

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The two main reasons to age beef, of course, are tenderness and texture. The former by permitting enzymatic action, the latter by removing excess moisture.. In my experience, though, this only applies to dry roasts and steaks. I've tried aging pot roast a couple times and didn't see any advantage. Even when cooking LTLT, tenderness there comes mainly from collagen conversion. From this, it follows that pork shoulder, which is normally cooked like a pot roast, won't benefit either. But I have aged pork loin, which mainly has the advantage of tightening the texture (it's already tender). Likewise, sausages and ham are aged to evaporate excess moisture (not for tenderness). For that matter, I've aged lamb which I planned to dry roast, but not that which I planned to braise or barbecue.

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Heritage meats in New York sells dry aged pork loin. I thought it looked pretty good, but did not have access to a kitchen to cook it in when I was there. When I get back to work at the butcher's shop, I plan on trying to dry age a whole loin.

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Andrew Vaserfirer aka avaserfi

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many thanks for the enlightenment. avaserfi: Id love to see your dry pork project when its done and you thoughts on its taste

thanks!

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I'm reading a book calle The Sausage Rebellion by Jeffrey Pilcher (Que Vivan los Tamales) and he makes the point that we've been trained to prefer the taste of aged beef in order to accomodate the Chicago meat packing economics of refridgerating our beef. Mexican prefer fresher beef at the cost of tenderness, which is why they have thin sliced arrachera cuts and slow-braised cuts. I hope I'm not misinterpering this. It's not an easy book but it's fascinating. I should probably finsish the book before I post.


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I live in the beef capital of Mexico (Monterrey, also capital of industry and other things) and my impression is that aged beef is not a "thing" around here. We've gone mad over Black Angus, though, and the top high-end butcher chain owns and operates its own ranches and feedlots... in Texas. So maybe it's just a matter of time.

Other Mexico beef facts: at least until recently, most beef was grass-fed Zebu and crosses, which as a breed is indeed tasty but not tender. Also, most Mexicans prefer their beef well done and 2 cm (about .75") is regarded as a thick cut. My friendly neighborhood butcher (an employee of the chain mentioned before) has asked me what exactly I intended to do with that ribeye primal cut into 7 cm steaks I'd just requested. So, yeah, beef culture in Mexico: very different from USA.


This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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They don't age beef much here in France either and most of it is grass fed.

On the pork I think brining is the answer. Seems to do some of what aging does for beef; tenderizes & improves flavor.

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Perhaps aging pork would get rid of some of that ghastly water some processors inject it with.

With pork, I prefer to get higher quality meat with more taste generated through feed used and farming methods. I'm not sure how much aging will add. As it's a white meat, it's possibly a bit like aging chicken: better done on the hoof than on the shelf.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

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It's my sense that pork, after butchering, tends to spoil more rapidly than beef. I think back to pieces of pork forgotten in the meat compartment for several days and turning "skanky" smelling. In my city, butcher shops are not allowed to corn pork unless they have a special license because years back butchers used to turn their unsold and on the edge of spoiling pork pieces into corned pork. Hams and sausage are treated with salt which allows them to be aged without spoiling. Even so, the initiate needs to know what he is doing when turning pork into ham or cured sausage.


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Many thanks for so many ideas. I also recall pork left in its wrapper for a 'few days too long' (cant tell you the #) gets somewhat slimy, where as beef the same way might not.

Ill think about all of this, but Id die for a taste of that 'rare-breed' pork '30-days' aged!

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Ill think about all of this, but Id die for a taste of that 'rare-breed' pork '30-days' aged!

I would be very leery about trying this at home.


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I bought five ribs' worth of six-week dry-aged Tamworth pork from Heritage Foods USA down at Essex Street Market. It was delicious; the flesh was perhaps beefier than non-aged pork, but the fat carried a true pork flavor and aroma. There was a pleasant, slight funk as with dry aged beef. I recommend it enthusiastically, perhaps in a nice thick slab for more than one person rather than in thinner individual chops.

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I just remembered to update here. I dry aged two red wattle X mangalitsa loins for 30 days. At the end of the 30 days they were trimmed and prepared for sale, after one was cooked off.

The chop was more tender and had become slightly more waxy in texture. Additionally, the meat and fat developed aroma and flavors of browned butter and blue cheese. A complete success and one of the best chops I've had in my life. We are now developing a regular rotation to ensure we always have some loins dry aging.

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Andrew Vaserfirer aka avaserfi

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They don't age beef much here in France either and most of it is grass fed.

On the pork I think brining is the answer. Seems to do some of what aging does for beef; tenderizes & improves flavor.

It depends where you look- the organic butchers tend to age beef more often, the supermarkets not at all. I think it's economics more than anything else- with all the moisture loss and matter trimmed off, you're looking at a 40-50% weight loss. Not to mention having your product locked up and taking up storage space for a month and a half...

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@avaserfi, do you recall under what conditions you aged the chops? I've got a Berkshire coming in this week, and I'd like to give one of the loins a similar treatment. (The other is turning into lonzino).


Edited by Rico I don't think when I type. (log)

 

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