At Dirk Ludwig in Schlüchtern, there is a lot of grilling and even more smoking. And recently, the resulting beech wood ash is no longer disposed of, but put to a new use: Rib eyes of Simmental beef are generously rubbed with a mixture of these same ashes, coarse sea salt, pepper and herbs, completely covered and left to mature for up to three months.
And just like that, an Ash Aged Steak, cut pleasantly thick from the large piece of black-jacketed prime rib, found its way into my kitchen a few days ago. Even in its raw state, it exudes an aroma that I usually know more from txogitxu, for example. Heavy, very intense and full. In addition, the ash still black adhering to the outside brings an aspect of beech wood into play.
I first left the steak at room temperature for a little over two hours and then placed it under the Beefer for about two minutes per side. Contrary to the manufacturer’s advice, but following Hans Gerlach’s experience in SZ Magazin, I did not wash off the ash beforehand.
After the beef was cooked, the rib eye was allowed to rest briefly under a touch of butter before finding its way onto the plate with a few carrots, some green asparagus and plenty of Maldon flakes. To celebrate today even served on a black table.
Already before I had the opportunity to try other ideas from Dirk Ludwig. For example, the steaks matured in mineral water (Aqua Aged) or also the Grand Moo. And of course, there may always be some marketing involved in the new concepts – but the ideas are consistently good. In particular, aging in ash gives the meat an additional, intense note. The small amount of salt in the mix removes some moisture from the meat and prevents the slightly musty tones that can sometimes resonate in Dry Aged steaks. At 70€ per kilo, the product is certainly no bargain, but in any case an exciting alternative for special barbecues.