The New Trend in Steak: Old Beef
Steakhouses looking for the next big thing are hoping to lure diners with dishes made from older cows; ‘a little bit of a tougher bite’
At RPM Steak in Chicago, executive chef Doug Psaltis started offering older cows as a special two years ago, inspired by chefs in Spain. Now “vintage or antique” beef appears every other week, including a $58 ribeye from a 6-year-old dairy cow, he says. Recent specials have included a “tartare of vintage beef” along with a “coal-roasted Vaca Vieja Chuleton.” The older meat is often prepared over charcoal rather than in a broiler because “vintage beef is unique in its taste and texture,” he adds.
Servers tell customers the older meat has more connective tissue, which means it’s more muscular and harder to bite. “Younger beef could be like chewing bubblegum, mature beef tends to be a little bit of a tougher bite,” says Mr. Psaltis. But some diners like the richer flavor. “I don’t even have to add truffle butter,” says Sean Mayman, 29, a Chicago-based IT worker.