At the butchery the hanging and aging of our meat is one of the most important parts of the process in delivering exceptional quality. Not all meat gets to benefit from dry aging and we believe it is what defines us. Starting with excellent quality and ending with expert butchery means nothing if the meat has not been hung to perfection.
Careful planning went into the design of our fridges to create an ideal hanging environment, we don’t to make out like this is over complicated or elaborate rather just a few elements managed well. We ensure there is plenty of space for our meat to hang, excellent air flow with the addition of large wall mounted fans and salt blocks to remove as much moisture from the air as possible. By creating this environment we help the meat form the all important ‘crust’, basically a super dry edge which then acts as a barrier protecting the meat inside.
We hang meat because it helps to tenderise it, any tightness that has developed in the muscles is relaxed over time, the natural enzymes in the meat help to soften the flesh. It also develops flavour as water content is lost from the meat the natural flavours are intensified.
Sophie likes to hang whole quarters of beef for around three weeks, keeping them whole like this protects the different cuts and means this initial aging is done without too many surfaces areas being open to the elements. After this point they are broken down into primal pieces to be hung for varying amounts of time. Stewing and slow cook pieces get sold from 4 weeks and the steak cuts are generally taken from between 5 weeks up to 9 or 10 weeks of aging. Picking animals with plenty of fat covering is important as this also helps to protect the meat, this is why native breeds lend themselves best to the hanging process as they grow slower putting on an even coating of fat.
It is not just beef which benefits from dry-aging, in our opinion Mutton and Lamb are also improved, we like to hang our lamb for a minimum of two weeks to develop flavour and texture. Apart from at the very beginning of the season when the lambs are young and tender and require less hanging time. Mutton we like to hang for around 5 weeks, this removes any toughness which the meat can typically be known for and creates a fantastic product.