Portuguese Dry Aged beef is the flavored and tender result of a curing process which lasts up to 35 days. We visited the Bistro4 Restaurant and met up with Chef João Espirito Santo, who told us all about this carnivore wonder.
Portuguese Dry Aged Beef is an expensive but worthy delicacy
After falling in disuse due to the high costs of long aging periods and all that is implied, Portuguese Dry Aged Beef returned as a trend on high-end restaurants. Chefs all over the world are waging a war for differentiation and excellence, and in this case Portugal is exceptionally well off, as its meats are of the finest quality that exist.
Even though, Portuguese dry aged beef is a must for all meat lovers out there. At Bistro4 Restaurant, we went for a rediscovery of lost flavors and we understood how committed Porto Bay Hotel Liberdade is in to deliver. To this delicatessen, the Chef itself selects the best meat and cuts. And only animals fed organic produce for 8 to 15 years provide the fat infiltrated marble like beef that serves this purpose. Each animal gives only 20 to 30 kilograms of suitable cuts like entrecote or sirloin with bone. To meet his standards, Chef João keeps a close relation with his suppliers. Ensuring that all steps are taken carefully and considering the best outcome possible for the meat. Needless to say, that these demands alone illustrate the singularity that Chef João Espirito Santo lay on his dishes. And the attention to detail that Porto Bay Liberdade strives to offer at all times.
After selection, the fresh beef is stored. Left for 30 to 35 days in a cold hermetic chamber at near freezing temperatures. At these temperatures, the fat will protect the meat and ultimately blend in. With time, the drying process begins as moisture evaporates leaving a beef with unequally concentrated flavor. At the same time, meat natural enzymes start to break down the connective tissue leading to most tender butter like a piece of meat you will have. At the preparation moment, the Chef’s knowledge and experience impose the simplest of choices. A quick pass on the grill or even pan-seared, but always quick and always with a little seasoning. Portuguese Dry aged beef stands for itself say’s Chef João.
The Bistro4 at Porto Bay Liberdade Hotel was written as a part of the ongoing collaboration of NelsonCarvalheiro.com with the Porto Bay Hotels group. All opinions are my own. Photo credits to Maria Braga