October 17, 2021
During the dry aging process, a crust or bark will form on the outside of the cut of beef. The formal name for this is the pellicle. For most people, the question becomes: what do I do with it? Is it simply a byproduct of the process - waste - or is there something I can do with it? The pellicle ranges in depth depending on the dry aging environment from about 1/8 in to a full ¼ in. Due in part to the fact that the outer portion of the beef is constantly exposed to a fairly substantial flow of air, the pellicle forms a hard outer layer containing almost no moisture. This means that the flavor of beef is very very concentrated.
When looking at it and then carving it off, one can easily see why people are perplexed as to what to do with it. As a starting point, you must know that due to your SteakAger’s UVC/UV light, the pellicle is completely bacteria and mold free and safe to eat. So, what to do with it?
Let’s start with the complete no brainer - dry-aged burgers. To accomplish this you will need a meat grinder. We prefer the Kitchenaid grinder attachment because it is powerful and is easily stored. That being said, there are lots of grinders available. Once you remove the pellicle, it needs to be soaked in a bowl of cold water for about an hour to soften it up before use. From there, we recommend you double grind the pellicle so it’s nice and smooth. You’ll notice what you end up with has a good amount of fat and a dark, rich coloring; this is where the flavor is.
Once the grind is complete, it’s time to form your dry-aged steak burgers. Combine the ground pellicle with 80/20 ground chuck in a 4:1 ratio. Fat chunks will be visible in your mixture and your burgers will be a darker color than you’re typically used to. They cook very quickly, so be sure to keep an eye on them. Trust us, these will be the best burgers you’ve ever eaten. Looking to buy a SteakAger, browse our products here.