In this Daily: Hacienda Sur Artisan Dry Aged Beef Available Copper & Stone Gourmet Grocery
Copper & Stone has recently stocked more artisan dry aged beef from local supplier Hacienda Sur, which is a product that deserves a deeper look. Based on the South Pacific coast, almost to Panama, Hacienda Sur is a premium, small-batch supplier founded to be a stark contrast to the mass production that plagues the beef industry. Aimed at elevating their beef to the highest possible echelon of flavor, Hacienda Sur’s products are the result of careful breeding, attentive care, and a dedication to quality above all else. Due to exceedingly high demand, Hacienda Sur’s dry aged beef is found in very few stores, so being able to walk down to Copper & Stone and pick up some of this world-class product is a real treat.
The origin of Hacienda Sur is a story about care for the product and pursuing quality above all else. Starting off raising Brahman cattle, the most common breed of cattle for beef in Costa Rica due to their natural resistance to the heat of tropical climates, the team at Hacienda Sur made a decision that would alter the course of their company. Rather than continuing to invest in larger and larger herds of Brahman, they sought to create a new hybrid, one that could survive the heat of the tropics while integrating the soft and tender meat of cattle traditionally confined to more temperate regions.
This new breed, a half-Brahman and half-Angus hybrid, had the soft and tender meat of the Angus line with heat resistance and large meaty rump of Brahman, with the added benefit of an agreeable temperament. Years later, the opportunity arose to cross breed once more, this time with world-renowned Wagyu cows known for their marbling and healthy fat content, ultimately creating the unique Hacienda Sur cows in the artisan beef program today.
Alongside this careful hybridization came a set of principles that Hacienda Sur follows to this day, which value considerately treated, naturally grown beef that are free from hormones, artificial chemicals, and antibiotics. Spread across three ranches each with specific microclimates suited to the temperament and biology of their different breeds, Hacienda Sur cows are naturally raised and cared for in wide open ranges.
Each cow is monitored and tended to with strict health protocols, leading to happier and healthier cows as well as a more pure product. In an industry where artificial chemicals and hormones can increase volume production at the cost of quality of life for the animals, this was a conscious, risky choice, but one that has been worth it.
The result of these efforts, which combine a care for the animals, a chemical-and-hormone-free approach, and careful breeding over generations is a pure, locally grown, organic product that compares to some of the best in the world.
The final piece of Hacienda Sur’s puzzle is their dry-aging process, which utilizes custom equipment to age steaks the very peak of industry standards. Full enzymatic tenderization of beef takes 28 days, but for various cost saving reasons many producers use a much shorter, wet-aging process that lasts around 7-21 days, after which beef can start to take on a metallic flavor.
Having dedicated themselves to raising beef to its zenith at every step of the way, Hacienda Sur set out to create a nearly flawless, state of the art facility for dry-aging, one that was actually outside of the capabilities of most industrial suppliers. Undeterred, Hacienda Sur worked with the top industrial freezing professionals in the country to create their one-of-a-kind facility, which functions with a pair of air-locks, consistency down to a single degree of control for weeks at a time, and digital monitoring.
As a result, Hacienda's dry aged beef can sit in prime conditions for 45 days, allowing for full enzymatic tenderization as well as an extra 17 days for steaks to develop a richer flavor.
Hacienda Sur then carefully packages these steaks and exports them in prime conditions for consumption, including a number of different cuts of meat that you can find on Copper & Stone’s shelves and online store and take home.
Hacienda Sur offers a number of recipes and helpful tips for you to enjoy preparation in your own home, and another option is town’s BBQ-to-Go option, where one of town’s expert chefs can come to your home and prepare the product for you. With the weekend ahead, you’d be hard pressed to find a better base for a late summer barbecue.
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