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My name is Kit Fennessy, and I've been writing this blog with your help for eight years, and there's over a hundred recipes, restaurant reviews of Australia and around the world, and general gourmet articles in these pages for you to fritter away your idle hours. I hope you enjoy it, and please send me any feedback or suggestions about what you'd like to see herein through the feedback link at the bottom of posts.
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Now, what's on the bill of fare today?
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Fitzroy VIC 3065
I'm torn about this entry. The other day I was walking down Smith St, past the old Safeway, when I stumbled across this place and was literally stopped in my tracks.
It's meat. It's murder.
And, let's face it, this shop is extremely Gen Y / Millenial in its styling and concept; i.e. from the same cats who brought you beards, fixy bicycles, "discovered" plastic skateboards, set up endless coffee shops (white tiles optional), have tattoos, primitive earrings and buy themselves five hundred dollar heritage axes because they're in touch with the past, man. I mean, should I be plugging a business so obviously "hipster" it makes me want to be violently ill? Even the name of the shop is kind of annoying.
Obviously the answer is yes.
I'm waxing on the verge of vegetarianism these days, but still occasionally crave a steak, so when I do eat flesh, I want it to be done well (as opposed to well done... actually, make mine rare to medium rare... or whatever the chef recommends). And I've always wondered where you went to buy dry-aged meat.
Ageing meat is a process by which the enzymes in the meat break it down a bit, making it more tender to eat, and more flavoursome. Really, I suppose it's letting it rot, in a controlled way, because if you try to eat a fresh kill the meat is wet as, and very tough (if you cook it that is; I suppose if you're eating it while it's still alive it might be soft...).
All meat is aged for at least a few days, but the general process in supermarkets (a process I believe is done in plastic shrink wrap and is know as "wet ageing"), leaves the meat soggy and is frankly not long enough.
True aficionados like "dry-aged" meat, which can hang for several weeks, and usually needs a special fridge that circulates the air in a controlled environment. It is also more expensive by weight because it loses weight as it dehydrates, and usually it comes under the banner of fine dining and high end restaurants which have built their own drying rooms.
This place is a retail shop, and the display in the window is gob-smacking. Expect to pay more, but expect the very best.
There's some meat porn shots of the store below, but if you'd like to try dry-ageing your meat yourself, apparently it can be done. I just Googled it, and it's as simple as leaving it wrapped in cheesecloth in your fridge for a few days. Check a process out here.
To all my readers, have a heavenly Christmas, a happy Hannukah or just a generally good break if you're having one. If you're looking for a laugh and an examination of the spiritual side to the season, you could do far worse than watch this excellent insight by JP Sears...