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Behind the scenes of New York's premium dry-aged steaks. An in-depth look at the aging, cooking, and presentation of New York's premium dry-aged steaks from beef expert Nick Solares.

Steakcraft: A Trip to a Pro Dry Aging Room and Preserve24's Massive Steaks

Slideshow SLIDESHOW: Steakcraft: A Trip to a Pro Dry Aging Room and Preserve24's Massive Steaks

[Photographs: Nick Solares]

Steak Fact Sheet

Cut: Rib Steak, Porterhouse, T-bone
Grade: USDA Prime
Breed: Black Angus
Dry Aged? 28 Days
Pre-Cooked Weight: Rib Steak 20 oz., Porterhouse 40 oz., T-bone 20 oz.
Price: Rib Steak $50, Porterhouse $100, T-bone $50
Price per Ounce: Rib Steak $2.50, Porterhouse $2.50, T-bone $2.50

Chef John Parlatore had decided on which steak he would serve at Preserve24 before the restaurant was even conceived. During his tenure at the now defunct Sprig on 53rd Street, a driver delivered a case of meat bound for Wolfgang's Steakhouse to the wrong address. Parlatore ended up with a box of some of the best looking prime meat that he had ever seen.

As an honest guy, not to mention a regular patron of Wolfgang's, he delivered the meat to the their kitchen but asked to be put in touch with the meat purveyor which turned out to be Master Purveyors, one of New York's preeminent meat distributors. Master Purveyors supply some of the city's top steakhouses such as Peter Luger and Keen's; our own Adam Kuban visited Masters back in 2007.

Chef John Parlatore and butcher Mark Solasz

When it came time to put together the menu for Preserve24, Parlatore met with Mark Solasz of Master Purveyors and the two hit it off immediately. "We have a great relationship," says the chef, "when we met we talked for hours about meat and the business and when he sent me samples I was hooked on the aged flavor." Masters dry ages beef in a cavernous room at their distribution facility in the Hunt's Point Market. Parlatore still did his due diligence and sampled product from all the big name suppliers as well as "boutique butchers all over town," but he preferred the steak from Masters and buys USDA Prime 30-day dry aged steaks from them exclusively.

The center piece of the kitchen at Preserve24 is a massive Wood Stone oven. Although it is primarily gas-powered, Parlatore adds cherry and apple woods to add flavor to whatever he is cooking in there—which most of the time is steak.

Pulling the porter

Preserve24 isn't a steakhouse per se, but they offer three steaks: a T-bone, a rib steak, and a porterhouse for two. They are all cooked in the same way: seared in Swiss steel pans and then cooked in the oven, rested, and then finished with marrow butter. The porterhouse is sliced and the other steaks left whole. All come with arugula and fries.

Take a look through the slideshow to see how the steaks are cooked and served.

About the author: Nick Solares is a NYC-based food writer and photographer. He has published Beef Aficionado since 2007, with the stated purpose of exploring American exceptionalism through the consumption of hamburgers and steak. He has written over 400 restaurant reviews and feature articles for Serious Eats since 2008 and is a special features writer for the AM New York newspaper. You can follow him on Instagram (@nicksolares) and Twitter (@beefaficionado).

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