1. Our Weekend Steak Celebration for Family and Friends
In the summertime months our family always has a small reunion of sorts at my father’s house. He lives on a bay right alongside of the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and we have a good time swimming and playing during the afternoon. We always have our get-together during a weekend afternoon, sometimes on a holiday, others years not. There’s always football on television, plenty of beer, and when five o’clock rolls around, dad reaches into the fridge and pulls out a grand tray loaded with beautiful sirloin and prime rib. We are all beef lovers, and everybody who enjoys grilling gathers around and helps Dad put his own personally created dry rub on our perfectly aged steaks.
2. Using the SteakAger for the Best Results
Dad found out about the great new device, the SteakAger, about a year ago, and he has used it religiously every week since he first put it in his fridge. This marvelous little tool will convert your average cut of beef into a masterpiece of grilling excellence, and all you have to do is be patient. The SteakAger is a basically a ventilation and preservation device, and it completely controls the humidity and temperature of the air surrounding your cuts of beef for as long as you wish. The recommended aging time, based on the techniques developed by European butchers throughout the ages, is ten to fifteen days. Dad has found that if he is patient, and allows the aging process to continue for twenty eight days, he achieves a delicate butteriness that can’t be duplicated with any other method of preparing beef. Four weeks may seem like a long time, but the SteakAger has enough room on its shelves to allow you to stagger several servings over time, so there can always be great aged beef on your table whenever you want.
3. A Fine Rubbing
Dad always buys his cuts ahead of time, and when the family gets together he is ready to rock. During the last few years, he has also put in a lot of work on the seasonings he adds to our steaks. He starts out the cooking by setting a big bowl of our family’s special dry rub mix out on the table, on top of a big wooden cutting board, and then he pulls out those beautifully aged sirloins and ribeyes. I don’t know when he makes that rub, but he keeps it in the pantry until it’s grilling time. It’s a fairly powdery mix of dry herbs and spices, and I know there’s a lot of paprika in it, but he has kept the recipe secret for years, now, and he says we’ll find out about it when we read his will! Some of the guys in the family just keep on swimming or cheering for their favorite team, but my little brother and I, and my sister-in-law Daisy, all gather round and start rubbing in the powder as hard as we can. After about five minutes, all those tender, deeply marbled steaks, aged for twenty-eight days, are ready for the fire.
4. Grilling and Presenting
When the rub is on the meat, Dad allows me or my brother to enjoy the privilege of bring the meat to his big barbeque grill. It’s a yard long and it has wide platforms at either end where you can set your foods down. That cutting board and four-week-old aged steak can be a heavy load. From that point on he takes over, and we can only watch and cheer him on, although we usually spend most of the time advising him to be more careful with our steaks. When he starts splashing us with his can of beer, it’s time to back off. After about a half an hour, he shouts out, “Okay, let’s go! Aged beef, twenty-eight days, grilled up, looks good!” Everybody comes running and Dad sings the praises of the SteakAger as we chow down on the finest sirloin supper that the summertime ever saw. I highly recommend that on one fine day, you enjoy an aged ribeye with a fine dry rub on a July evening, as the sun sets over the bay.