Another weekend packed with friends and new surprises - apologies for this being a little late after Taste of Dublin. I’ve recently joined a cycle group that meets on Saturday mornings and this weekend we cycled 60 km to look over Dublin. Gawd, if only you could see how scenic this place is from all the hilltops surrounding the coast! (That's coming!) Saturday mornings are dedicated to these rides until the Banff Gran Fondo in August. I’m liking the new challenge and fitness goals, but sacrificing Saturday plans like going to the market is a bit of, well, a sacrifice. We have no greens for the week, better suck it up!
Taste of Dublin was taking place at Iveagh Gardens around the corner from us and I wasn't really planning on going until I received a surprise mail with an invite to the event. (thanks S for checking the mail :|) Overjoyed! I was able to get in late, but made it to the fantastic event where Aldi was doing a kick-off of their 28-day aged steak.
On the Menu: [cod brandade with lemon aioli], [28-day dry aged choice of rib eye or striploin], [triple cooked chips, hollandaise & crispy bacon/onion] , [strawberry & basil panna cotta with yogurt granita]
I sipped away at my wine absently while catching up on chats with a friend, until the crisp citrus, stonefruit, and mineral finish shocked us into discussion. We were pleasantly surprised at the white wine Spanish Abariño - I know the supermarkets get a bit of a bad wrap for the commodity wines they buy and although we should support small producers - here is an example of a wine that is really [worth your while].
Sinead, from Food Presence PR headed-up an impressive garden terrace and intimate kitchen dining experience in the midst of the busyness of Taste, also thanks to special guest Chef Cormac Rowe and team.
A bit on ageing meats. There are two methods; dry-aged & wet-aged. Generally, meats are hung for about seven days before broken into their retail cuts and sold. The reason for this is to make the meat more palatable and tender. As meat ages the collagen & muscle fibres 'relax' through an enzymatic process that starts about 6-12 hours after slaughter. Wet-aging is done in cryovac bags whereas dry aged meat is hung refrigerated. The research on the consumer preference of wet vs. dry aged could be quite polarising as they have distinctly different flavour profiles. We were taught that the tenderness reaches a maximum after 14 days but then why does industry insist on aging for longer? (Other factors such as flavour, colour, and juiciness are considerations too. Dry-aging meat is seen as a premium for many reasons, the time and controlled environment required for the process is one consideration; but, there is a massive loss in water (70% weight loss) and guess what you pay for when you buy fresh meat - mostly water. Tricky, tricky ;) Now to take that one step further what about 'seasoned' meat or 'marinated' meat, does that not absorb more water? Yup. So if you want to pay for water haha. Last party tip: Predominant Microorganisms in dry aging is psueudomonads vs. Wet ageing which is lactobacilli I always associated pseudomonads with spoilage and giving that off- taste so maybe that's what gives dry aging the funk in the meat.
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