Himalayan salt has been used for centuries, appearing in various products from beauty to healthcare. A more recent discovery however is its effect on the dry-ageing meat to create an exceptionally flavoursome product. Through in the factory here at Simon Howie, our Himalayan salt chamber allows us to do just that for our foodservice customers and local shops, delivering beef products that are a cut above the rest.
Our dry-ageing chamber contains a solid wall of Himalayan salt from the Punjab region of Pakistan. Stacked in translucent bricks of various red, orange and pink shades, it makes for great photos as you can see! Put simply, the salt particles and the meat react over time to create a unique quality, tenderness and flavour of meat. Through ionisation, if you want to get technical! Himalayan rock salt is excellent for its purifying and flavour-enhancing abilities, so this is the perfect environment for the ageing process to take place.
The salt particles from the bricks draw moisture from the meat and surrounding air and seep into the beef, adding to its flavour. Combined with a lower temperature and humidity in the chamber, the salt prevents the growth of unwanted bacteria in the meat. This also relaxes the meat’s muscle fibres, which is why you will find beef dry-aged with Himalayan salt to be much more tender! Additionally, the meat darkens in colour, dramatically changing its appearance and flavour profile.
Practices will differ depending on the producer, but we leave our meat to age for a minimum of 20 days as standard. There is an optimum time of around 21-25 days when the cut is at its best, but over-ageing the meat has little benefit. Ageing for too long causes the meat to reduce in size and creates too intense a flavour.
Few butchers use this process in the UK, meaning our end product is hard to match! We are proud to work so closely with Scottish farmers and have worked with all our suppliers for many years. We also perform continual checks to make sure they are following and exceeding industry welfare standards and producing top quality meats.
Want to know more? Get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help!