I’ve been hanging around with someone southern recently and it rekindled my love for sweet tea. It’s SO simple to make, but SO [expletive deleted]ing delicious.

I was in a US 4Pack (aka Costco) and discovered that they have GIANT gallon sized tea bags from Lipton. EIGHT bucks for 48 bags. Team that with about 50lbs of sugar (for $20) and you have enough sweet tea to flood the south.

For those REALLY dense, here’s a recipe:

-1 Gallon sized tea bag
-2.5 cups white sugar (to taste)
-1/2Gallon Water
-3x 1/2 gallon pitchers (4 if you want to be able to rotate)

1. Boil water.
2. Add Sugar
3. Kill heat
4. Add teabag
5. Wait 2 hours
6. Squeeze Tea bag (NO JOKES!)
7. Split tea between 3 1/2 gallon pitchers
8. Fill each with cold water
9. Chill
10. omnomnomnom

Seriously… 2 of us have literally consumed 14lbs of sugar in the last month.
Hilariously… this is about the same as 1x 1L Coke per person per day for a month. Not to mention that I’m drinking literally a gallon and a half of fluid rather than 1/4 gal. So in terms of sugar, it’s 6X more awesome.

In terms of taste, it’s over 9000x more awesome.
Oh and tea apparently has antioxidants. Because fuck you oxidation.

 

50 Nuggets for $10USD

I guess it’s no worse than $8 for KFC Buffet…

 

Screw John Wayne. I’m eating Steak.
If all steak was like this I don’t think I’d quit eating steak.
Why? Because it was [expletive deleted]ing good.

Protip: When cooking steak, keep it simple.

Here’s my ingredients for the perfect steak:
-Steak
-Kosher Salt

Yes. I’m serious. [Bottled] Sauce is blasphemous. Pepper is optional.
I want a steak to taste like steak. Not A1/BBQ/etc. I could drink a cup of that if I wanted to taste that. But I don’t want to taste it.

Here’s what you need to cook it:
-Heat source (aka Stove)
-Cast Iron Pan
-Tongs
-Instant read thermometer (Yes. This is important)

Most people like steak that’s been BBQed. The problem with BBQing a steak is that most geniuses don’t know how to cook a steak, so it comes out burnt.
Besides… Cast Iron is available 365. If it’s -30C out I’d have to put on pants.

Ok, here’s some instructions:

-Take your steak out of the fridge.
-Put it on a plate.
-Leave for 2 hours. Yes. I’m serious. Cold steak and hot pan = FAIL.
-Heat your cast iron pan until it’s really hot.
-Salt the steak with a good amount of kosher salt. Use a bit more than you think you need.
-Oil the pan lightly
-Put steak in the pan.
-Wait about 3-5 minutes.
-Flip
-Wait 3-5 minutes.
-Insert Instant read thermometer. If it reads 125-130F, remove from pan. If not:
–Replace steak into the pan. Wait a moment. Then redo the above step
-Place steak onto a clean plate. Wait 5-10 minutes.
-Eat
-Be amazed
Oh and for those who cook steaks beyond 130F (aka Medium Rare) you should be smacked.

This is how I did my dry aged steak from Part 3.
Now… for the taste. It’s beefy. Really beefy. You can taste beef and not A1!
This process (and steak) gets the DH Stamp-of-Approval.

 

John Wayne ate Dry Aged Steak.

If you love steak as much as I do and probably him, you’re probably wanting to try a dry aged steak.
If you have a butcher, give it a try. If not, you can dry age yourself in your own home.

The problem is… dry aging means there’s raw meat hanging around in your fridge.
You shouldn’t do this in your primary fridge as it doesn’t maintain a decent temperature since you’re opening and closing the door. Not to mention that most fridges aren’t anywhere near ideal temps.
If you hold it wrong, you risk spoiling instead of aging.

And then there’s the funk. I wouldn’t call it bad, but it is distinct. Some may find it offensive.
Plus I don’t want my butter tasting like Beef. Ok, I do, but this doesn’t quite smell like “Beef”. It’s funky.

Enter the Dry Bag Steak.
(NOTE: No, I haven’t been paid by them to endorse this product. Besides… who the hell am I and why would anyone care what I endorse?)

I have no idea how I stumbled upon Dry Bag Steak. At first I was like “Pfft. Why would I buy something that’s $135 to do something I can basically do for free?” So I closed the window.
A few weeks later, I came back. Had a look at the video and read through the site. I again closed it because I couldn’t justify paying an additional $8 shipped per striploin.

My MAIN issue with Dry Aging is the funk. It literally takes over your fridge.
After scrubbing out my fridge again after my 5th dry aged strip, I thought I’d email Dry Bag Steak and see how funky their bags were. I emailed them at 5:45PM and they responded at 11:00PM that same day, which impressed the HELL out of me.
Long email short, they said that there’s very little funk.

I figured that $135 is probably better than having to buy a new fridge, so I ordered a starter kit. $135 (plus shipping) later and I’m the proud new owner of my 4th vacuum sealer. (Apparently the FoodSaver type doesn’t work)

Now for a striploin. 4pack of pianos (aka 4pack aka Costco) was running quite low on strips, so I couldn’t select one with nice marbling. This was the best of the bunch. 4pack strips are REALLY bad for a nice fat cap too. This was probably one of the thicker ones. I had to choose a thick fat cap because I knew I’d be trimming off a good bit.

Here’s the strip with the new Vac Sealer:

The details of the strip:

The initial weight is 6.54kg. Normally I don’t care what it weighs since it just gets cut into steaks right away. Since I want to see how effective dry aging is in terms of moisture loss, I figured I’d document it this time.

The finished strip:

I actually [expletive deleted]ed up the first one. I missealed the bag and it ended up leaking.
After putting it in my backup bag, it sealed properly.

Fast forward 7 weeks. Why 7 weeks? Because I forgot it at 6 weeks.
So I pull out my trusty Luggage Scale (what? I didn’t a kitchen scale that worked) and juggle it around for a bit to weigh it. It came in at 5.03kg. Wow! 23% moisture loss! This means that it’ll be at least 23% more tasty.

That’s not where it ends though. Here’s why:


(Sorry, this was a bad shot. It’s hard juggling a camera when you have dirty hands)

You’ll notice the outside looks like jerky. Well that’s because it basically is.
After a bit of trimming, here’s what it looks like:

You’ll notice that it’s a MUCH deeper red than the fresh strip.


I wasn’t quite satisfied with the marbling. I mean… I’m no Beef Grader, but I know what I like. I would have preferred a bit more.
As I said in Part 1, you can’t have a steak unless it’s 16oz. These are all roughly 16oz.

We’re not finished though. Here’s another reason why Wet Aging is used instead of Dry Aging:

There’s 1.17kg of trim there. This means that out of this strip alone, I’m throwing away 18% in trim from the fresh weight.

So after moisture and trim loss, I’ve lost 41% of the total fresh weight.
I could have probably trimmed a bit better to cut down the wasted trim a bit.
I feel like Seth from Hell’s Kitchen when he butchered that Tenderloin.

A mock FAQ for questions that no one has asked:

So how does this compare to “regular” dry aging?
I did this test in my regular fridge so I’d get constant updates on how it smelled.
I was quite impressed on how it came out in the end. It had damn near zero odor.

Is it worth the $8 shipped per striploin?
I can’t argue with the results. It did what it said it would do and it eliminated the funk from my fridge.

How about in a restaurant environment?
Probably not. $1 per steak is quite a bit. The price does come down with a “Commercial Pack” (which I’m gonna buy) but it’s still pretty big dollars in terms of added cost.
Plus they could probably dedicate an entire walkin to dry aging so it doesn’t invade their regular fridge. Some top drawer steak houses do dedicate entire rooms to dry aging.

How does it taste compared to regular dry aging?
That’s coming up in Part 4.

Bottom line: The Dry Bag Steak gets the DH Stamp-of-Approval

 

John Wayne ate aged steak. You probably see Aged 14 days/Aged 21 days/Aged 60 days all the time. But what does it mean? Well. It’s how long a piece of meat has been hanging around under refrigeration in a controlled environment.

I can hear all the geniuses already: “EWWW! 60 DAYS?!?!??! It’ll be ROTTEN!”
That’s why I said “controlled environment”
If you’ve eaten beef at all in your life, know that it’s been sitting around in the fridge for a least a week or two.
“So why can’t I store that steak I bought for 2 months?”
You’re holding it… er… aging it wrong.

There’s two types of Aging: Wet and Dry.
Let’s cover wet aging first.

Wet aging: Sealing large cuts of meat in a vacuum sealed bag. The enzymes break down the meat, but the moisture stays since it’s sealed in plastic. It breaks down the meat sufficiently to tenderize the meat.
The problem is that moisture has no where to go. Water isn’t known for it’s flavor.
Why is this a popular method? It’s fast. In as little as a few (ok a bunch of) days the meat is “good to go”. I use that term lightly since it’s not really good to go, but it’s acceptable.

Dry aging: Large cuts (or an entire critter) is hung under refrigeration for X amount of time.
This “X” varies from two weeks to a couple months. This obviously adds significant cost already since Wet Aging gets beef in and out the door within days. Time = Money.
Since the meat isn’t wrapped in plastic, moisture is free to leave the meat. This concentrates the beef flavor. However, in the retail market, weight also equals money. Dry aging makes a crusty outside that has to be trimmed off. This increases the raw cost of the finished steak since there’s A LOT of wastage.
You’re literally losing 30% of the steak from trim/evaporation.

Wet aged beef is available damn near everywhere. Dry aged isn’t. In fact… outside a specialty butcher shop, you probably won’t ever find a dry aged steak.
Some top steakhouses do have dry aged steaks, but they won’t be cheap.

 

John Wayne ate steak.
What? I watch Good Eats too.

Anyway…. Steak. The best food ever. Sadly… no one knows how to buy a steak any more. These geniuses look for the cheapest crap that’s solid red that they can find. No wonder when they do go out for a mediocre steak they’re all like “WOW!” and I’m like “Really? You call THIS a steak?”

So it literally blows people’s minds when I pick up a steak that’s flaked in fat and $8 per lb.
Not that I can find a steak flaked in fat (aka Marbled) any more since everyone seems to be allergic to fat. 4pack (aka Costco) is about as good as you’re gonna get for marbling these days. Another plus is a nice THICK cut o’ steak. A steak should be NO LESS than 16oz. Or if you don’t eat much, a 16oz steak cut in 1/2 so it retains it’s thickness.

Where’s all this leading? I’m glad you asked. But first… a little lesson in steak: Grading

Top drawer steak houses charge an arm and a leg and a first born child for a steak. This steak is usually Prime. Or at least it should be. And it also should be aged for a long time, probably a week or two (on the bad end) to 60 days (on the good end).

Let’s start with Prime. What does Prime mean? In Canada at least, we have letter grades and then Prime. Letters you’ll see mostly consist of “A”s in varying numbers.
There’s also B, D and E, but it’s meant more for food processors/pet food/etc than the retail market.
In the US, it’s Prime, Choice Select and Standard. Again, most stuff you see is mostly Choice or Select.

So what do all these “A”s mean? The more “A”s it has, the more marbling it has. Marbling is the flecks of fat that are inside the meat muscle. This is an example of a BAD steak:


(Shamelessly stolen from Google Images)

Sadly… it’s the type of steak most geniuses reach for. Why? It’s lean. Lean = BAD. Why? Fat = Flavor!
Here’s an example of a good steak:

(Also stolen from Google Images)

Why is this good? Look at the marbling!
You’ve probably heard of Kobe Beef. You’ve also probably heard of the price tag.
Guess what. That steak above is Kobe. The marbling is the reason behind the price tag.

You’ll never find a steak like that in the supermarket. What you will find however is usually “AA” or “AAA”.
It seems that more and more markets are carrying steaks that are damn near “A” grade, which is sad.

Here’s a chart that I again stole from Google Images:

Here’s a picture from Google Images of what each vague description should look like.

Apparently this is for USDA grades and not Canadian grades. But you get the idea.

So next time you reach for a steak, have a look at it. Does it have marbling?

 

I like fude. A lot.

I’ve always known how to make homemade mayo, but for some stupid ass reason I’ve never done it.
I did it for the first time a few weeks ago and holy shit!

Here’s reasons why you should make your own mayo as well:
-It’s tasty
-It’s cheap
That’s pretty much all you need for reasons.

Here’s how:
Protip: I don’t measure. Unless you’re baking, cooking is about adjusting things to taste.

-Egg Yolk
-Oil of some sort, preferably something neutral like Canola or Vegetable.
-Acid (Lemon Juice, Vinegar of some sort that’s not white, etc)
-Mustard (either Powdered or Prepared)
-Salt

Take your stand mixer (or a whisk and bowl if you’re poor) and drop in an egg yolk. Put it on high. Whisk it a bit to break it up. Dump a bit of mustard in and some salt. Maybe around a couple Tsp and a Tsp respectively if you wanted measurements.
Add in about a Tbsp of acid and whisk a bit. Add the oil SLOWLY. If you have a squeeze bottle, use it. Makes it easier.
Keep whisking it and you’ll see an emulsion form. When you go through about a cup of oil, add in another tbsp of acid. Add more oil. Probably another cup at least, but up to 2 cups more. You stop when it’s thick.

Now taste it. If it’s good, you’re done. Go make a sandwich.
If it’s not good, adjust seasonings. If you add more liquid, you may have to add more oil to keep it thick.
Now, if that’s not reason enough to keep makin’ mayo, here’s a cost breakdown:

-3 cups Oil: $0.75
-A 1/2 lemon (let’s say whole): $0.50
-An egg (yolk): $0.20
-Mustard Powder/Salt: $0.01? cmon…
Total: $1.46 for 1/2 to 1L of mayo.
Considering that a tiny ass jar is like $3, you’re paying less than 1/2 for shit that tastes good. Oh and cheap. And you don’t have to put on pants when you run out.

© 2012 The Mind of DH Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha