Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Meat 101 Classes at Nick+Stef's

Can you taste the difference between bone-in and boneless steaks? How about wet aged vs dry aged? Or meats from America vs New Zealand? or Argentina?

Well, now you can learn by tasting them back to back during one of Nick+Stef's Meat 101 classes, starting on Thursday October 20 (that's tomorrow).

The classes happen every other Thursday at 7:30PM and will last about 30 minutes. The cost is $35 and attendees will get the meats for that class plus whatever wine/beer/whisky pairing they are doing. Here is the class schedule:
10/20: "Which Rib-Eye to Buy?" Bone-in, Boneless, or Dry-Aged.
11/3: "New York, New York, ... and New York!" Same idea as the rib-eye, but with New York steaks.
11/17: "A Well Aged Steak". Try wet aged vs dry aged rib-eyes, and wet aged vs dry-agged New York steaks.
12/1: "US vs The World". Learn the difference between steaks (and wines) from New Zealand, Argentina, and America.

They held a media preview last week for the third class ("A Well Aged Steak"). Clockwise from the top left is the dry aged rib eye, wet aged rib eye, wet aged New York, and dry aged New York.


Nick+Stef's uses only USDA Prime Beef, which is fed corn at the end - hence the marbling (wonder if they'll consider switching to grass fed beef?).
I don't want to bias you for your class, but my favorite was the dry aged New York! This steak was tender, salty, and full of that beefy flavor. The dry aged rib-eye tasted "beefier" but it wasn't as tender. The wet aged rib eye was tougher still, while the wet aged new york was more tender but saltier.

Before the meal, the different meats are laid out in front, labeled. As you can maybe tell from the picture, the dry aged beef is darker in color.
Meat 101

Chef Megan Logan and the new General Manager Patrick Kirchen came out to explain a bit of the dry aging process to us.
Chef Megan Logan

Few steakhouses have dry aged beef on the menu, fewer still actually dry age them in-house. That's because dry aging is quite an expensive process. Dry aging requires extremely high humidity (82%) and low temperature (32'). They need specialized rooms that distribute air and humidity equally throughout and they typically lose 8% of the shelf, adding to the operational cost. The meats are aged between 21 and 28 days (aging longer than that will lead to too much moisture loss). They said you should only use USDA prime beef for dry aging because of their marbling.

Nick+Stef's also has one of the only visible dry aging rooms in Southern California, so do take a peek!
Dry Aging Room
Nick+Stef's dry aging room
So that's the "A Well Aged Steak" class, folks! Do try them as you can taste quite a difference between all four types. I am curious to try the US vs the World beef as well!

If you're tempted to order a side to go with your steaks, I recommend the mushrooms and the creamed corn.
For appetizers, try the portobello fries with herb aioli.

Disclosure: this preview was hosted.


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