This One Ingredient Makes Every Steak Taste Dry-Aged

For great steak at home, you generally need two things: a great cut of meat, and a thermometer. Whether you prefer to light up the grill or use the oven, the quality of meat you purchase has a big impact on the final result. Dry-aged cuts take time and expertise, and their cost reflects it, but now, there’s a way to add that ultra-savory, complex flavor to any cut you buy: Chef’s Gold. 

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I first learned about Chef’s Gold on a tour of a dry-aging facility. The pyramid of off-white ingots sat in the dry-aging room near countless cuts of beef. Made from prime beef tenderloin fat trimmings dry-aged alongside the meat, these precious bricks are the secret to adding serious flavor to any cut of meat. Because beef fat is both firm and brittle, it neatly compresses into butter-like slabs, and melts beautifully in the pan, releasing a heady aroma and lasting flavor. 

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To buy: Chef’s Gold, $15 for 8 ounces at snakerriverfarms.com

I love using it on leaner cuts, like filet mignon, to add the more developed flavor a more marbled cut might offer, while retaining the inherent succulence of a filet. I’ve found I also prefer using a pat of Chef’s Gold to butter when basting my steaks: using beef fat instead of milky butter results in a cleaner tasting bite: more beef, less rich dairy. 

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Get the recipe: Steakhouse-Style Rib Eyes 

You don’t need to start and stop with meat. A tablespoon in a roasting pan with vegetables, or whipped into creamy mashed potatoes will make you rethink bacon as the ultimate meaty secret ingredient. Or, try it in our Saffron Risotto, where Chef’s Gold takes the place of bone marrow to lend unctuous texture and meaty flavor to creamy Arborio rice. I’m also partial to swapping it for a portion of the lard in savory pie crusts and popovers. Now, I keep a brick or two in my freezer, for steak night, and so much more. 

To buy: Chef’s Gold, $15 for 8 ounces at snakerriverfarms.com

More Recipes to Make with Chef’s Gold:

Mashed Potatoes 

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Get the recipe: Herb-Scented Mashed Potatoes

Grilled Steak

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Get the recipe: Grilled Steak with Warm Shallot Vinaigrette

This story originally appeared on Food & Wine.

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