Dry-Aged Beef at Eataly: Interview with Peter Molinari

Peter Molinari

If your idea of a summer weekend feast involves Flintstone’s size steaks on a hot grill, then July 18th is your lucky day. Eataly is celebrating Dry-Aged Steak with a sale on its Prime Dry-Aged Ribeye from Kansas’ Diamond Creek Ranch.

Here’s a definition of dry-aging from Eataly’s website:

Dry-aging is the process of allowing large cuts of meat to rest in a controlled, open-air environment for an extended period of time. This allows for enzymes in the meat to break down the proteins and concentrate the flavors, resulting in tender meat with a complexity of flavor that is unique to dry aged beef

Super Chef turned to Eataly’s head butcher, Peter Molinari to find out more about dry-aged beef.

Ribs by Peter Molinari

Super Chef: Is dry aging your preferred method of aging a good steak. why?

Peter Molinari: I have always preferred dry age beef. It really is the most flavorful and tender steak.

Super Chef: For a charcoal grill, what is the best cut to feed a large crowd (i.e. spending a bit less per pound)?

Peter Molinari: The best steak for a large group will be prime dry age sirloin. It’s $15.80/pound at Eataly. It really has great flavor.

Super Chef: What about feeding only a few people (spending a bit more)?

Peter Molinari: If you want to spend more for a couple of people, I would pick the prime dry age Riley. This is a high-quality steak with great fat content. It will always be juicy and tender.

Super Chef: Would you get a different cut for a gas grill?

Peter Molinari: Not necessarily – you can cook steaks on different flames. Your cooking style will be different.

Super Chef: If you just want steak without a lot of sauces and other flavors, what would you recommend putting on a steak before cooking or after? S &P? Soy Sauce? Nothing? Something else?

Peter Molinari: I recommend with a good steak to be as simple as possible. You should only need salt, pepper, and olive oil. A good steak should have all the flavor you need.

Super Chef: How long will one of your steaks keep in the fridge? What about the freezer?

Peter Molinari: You are looking for about 3 days max. You always want to make sure you change the paper the steak is wrapped in. I never recommend freezing your steak. You will loose a lot of flavor and moisture. All of the blood and water that come out of the steak during the defrost will impact the integrity of the steak.

Super Chef: How many ounces per person should you buy?

Peter Molinari: I typically recommend 8-10 ounces per person.

Super Chef: Do you recommend a thermometer for testing doneness or slicing into the meat or testing against the muscle between finger and thumb?

Peter Molinari: I recommend using a thermometer. Most people aren’t experienced enough for thumb muscle test. I would never cut a steak until after it rested.

Super Chef: There is quite a bit of fat on these steaks – is it OK to trim that off, or should you serve with fat and let everyone cut it away (or eat it)?

Peter Molinari: Some steaks have a good amount of fat. Fat is flavor and moisture for the steak. If you cut it off before cooking your steak will lose flavor.

Super Chef: Any other tips?

Peter Molinari: You always want to get the grill as hot as possible. You want to use tongs, not a fork. Always only flip the steak once. Make sure you let the steak rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting it.

Of course, you don’t have to wait for a sale, a weekend, or a special day. You just have to get that grill hot, and choose a good steak, and a have an appetite.

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