Gallery: Rick Gresh Shows Us the Dry-Aging Facility at David Burke's Primehouse

Chef Rick Gresh
Chef Rick Gresh

Master of his domain.

Downstairs
Downstairs

The dry-aging facility is located in the basement of the restaurant...

The Door
The Door

... behind this very unassuming door. Much like Narnia, I can't even begin to tell you what magic lies behind that 'wardrobe.'

Inside David Burke's Dry Aging Room
Inside David Burke's Dry Aging Room

The dry-aged facility holds racks upon racks of ribeye, sirloin, chuck, and other miscellaneous goodies. If you're interested in starting your own facility, the room is kept at 40&mdeg;F and at 60-70 percent humidity.

Some Seriously Aged Beef
Some Seriously Aged Beef

While the majority of the ribeyes are aged for no more than 75 days, several lucky racks are currently being held for a year (if interested, these will be available for consumption some time in May).

Aged Chuck Rolls
Aged Chuck Rolls

Aside from the standard ribeye and sirloin cuts, Gresh also ages chuck rolls. After 40 days, the chuck is trimmed and ground daily for Primehouse's signature dry-aged burgers.

Pink Himalayan Salt Tiles
Pink Himalayan Salt Tiles

A large panel of 250 million year old Himalayan salt tiles line the entirety of the back wall. Designed to purify the air, inhibit bacteria growth, and impart a subtle salinity to the aged meats, David Burke holds the patent for this unique dry-aged technique.

Some Really, Really Old Beef
Some Really, Really Old Beef

Chef Gresh holds the oldest piece of dry-aged beef dating back to April 4, 2006. Originally weighing 20 pounds, this slab has lost half its mass. Oh, if you are curious what this tastes like, it's not for sale or consumption.

Aged... Butter?
Aged... Butter?

One can find several culinary test-runs throughout the dry-aging facility. In this case, Chef Gresh is trying to determine how aging/evaporating the moisture from butter affects its flavor. Other experiments include dry-aged brisket, as well as meats that other cooks bring in to hold for indefinite amounts of time (i.e. Phillip Foss, Chris Pandel, and countless others).

The New and The Old
The New and The Old

Known as ribeye row, fresh cuts (the redder meats in the foreground) begin fairly spread out to ensure even drying and prevent the accumulation of fuzzy mold and bacteria. As these cuts develop their dry-aged shell, they get stacked closer and closer together (as in the darker meats in the background).

Salt and the Beef
Salt and the Beef

A common misconception is that the meat is in direct contact with the salt wall, but at no point does this actually occur. The unique flavor is imparted solely by the minerals/ions floating within the ambient atmosphere of the chamber.

More Beef!
More Beef!

Views like this make gluttons/carnivores like me very happy/hungry.

Seasoning the Steak
Seasoning the Steak

Chef Gresh generously seasons the 40-day ribeye with salt and pepper prior to broiling.

Under the Broiler
Under the Broiler

The steaks are cooked under an infrared broiler dialed in at 1300°F.

The Final Flourish
The Final Flourish

Fresh out of the broiler, the steaks get brushed with suet (beef fat) that is rendered with garlic and herbs. What makes this finish unique is that they use the trimmings from the aged slabs of meat, resulting in the reintroduction of the funky dry-aged flavor profiles.

Plating the Steaks
Plating the Steaks

Instead of piercing the steaks with a colored toothpick to indicate cooking temperature and/or age, Primehouse utilizes various combinations of herbs. The type of herb that's placed on the plate denotes age (no herb, 28 day; chive, 40 day; rosemary, 55; thyme, 75) whereas the herb on the steak itself denotes doneness (no herb, rare; chopped chive, medium rare; chive baton, medium; rosemary, medium-well; thyme, well-done).

Digging In
Digging In

Another misconception is that older is better however it really depends on the diner. If you're not into earthy, funky, blue-cheesy notes then the older cuts are clearly not for you. In fact, the main goal of Primehouse is to find the best steak to fit your palate.

The Dining Room
The Dining Room
Himalayan Salt in the Dining Room
Himalayan Salt in the Dining Room

Large chunks of salt hang from the walls of the dining room, alluding to the magic salt wall several floors below.

The Dining Room
The Dining Room

On average, Primehouse goes through 70-100 ribeyes and 30-40 sirloins per week.

Before the Beef Arrives
Before the Beef Arrives