Just when you think the flavour of the steak can’t get any deeper or more intense, along comes the smoked Himalayan Salt-Aged Tomahawk! What image just assaulted your mind? Believe me, the reality is not as terrifying as the picture you’ve just seen. Let me explain …
For steak lovers like us, it’s comforting to know that The Wild Boar will be the first eatery in the North West to feature the award winning beef supplied by Udale Speciality Foods. It’s the food that top London restaurants and celebrity chefs around the country are calling up to order.
The cut is, in effect, a rib eye steak with the rib bone left on making it uber tasty. Here in the UK, we call it a Tomahawk steak – because that’s exactly what it looks like.
This is where the process gets interesting. As we know, beef is suited to long, gentle maturation. In some circles, the race is on to produce the oldest piece of dry-aged edible beef – 100 days seems to be an aspirational age for some. However, we would not subject you to that potentially explosive little experiment! A steak matured for 28 days is a thing of tastiest proportion, and that is what is guaranteed.
Using salt in the drying process takes the moisture away from the beef (it’s the water that goes off long before the meat). With a careful balance of air flow and salt ‘bricks’ in the drying chamber, the beef takes on a more consistent flavour. Salt also changes the nature of the fat, making it quicker to caramelise in cooking.
Here’s the science bit … as the meat is left over time, enzymes and ‘good bacteria’ get to work in breaking down connective tissue. Large protein molecules become smaller and more flavoursome. The process also tenderises the meat and concentrates the flavour.
Why Himalayan salt? Apparently it is the purest form of salt on the earth, being 98.5% sodium chloride – no bleach or nasty bits. This all helps to combat the deterioration of the meat.
Whatever the science – the proof of the meat is in the eat! The team at The Wild Boar are currently plating up this prime at our Lake District Hotels, best quality steak. Be sure to book your table – we’d love to hear your comments.