Food & Drink | October 20, 2021 10:45 am

The Simple, Slightly Sweet Joys of a Dry-Aged Rum Steak

Meat N’ Bone’s dry-aging process starts with Diplomatico’s award-winning Reserva Exclusiva rum

Meat N’ Bone’s dry-aging process starts with Diplomatico’s award-winning Reserva Exclusiva rum
Meat N’ Bone’s dry-aging process starts with Diplomatico’s award-winning Reserva Exclusiva rum.
Meat N’ Bone

 In the seventh season of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, in the episode titled “The Gang Goes to the Jersey Shore,” Frank Reynolds introduces the world to rum ham, which is exactly what it sounds like: a bone-in half ham that’s been soaked in rum and then outfitted with a pair of pineapple rings for eyes and a red cherry for a nose (here’s a recipe for the intrepid among you).

Recently, something slightly more refined but equally exotic came to our attention: the dry-aged rum steak.

Made with a bit more class and care than Frank’s rum ham, a new dry-aged steak from Florida-based meat company Meat N’ Bone carries on the proud tradition of using Caribbean spirits to infuse your supper. After experimenting with liquors like gin, bourbon and Scotch to add some flavor and sweetness to select Meat N’ Bone cuts during the pandemic, the company finally settled on treating its bone-in ribeyes with Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva rum.

Meat N’ Bone’s dry-aged prime ribs are a bit boozy thanks to Reserva Exclusiva rum.
Meat N’ Bone

Dry-aged for 60 days and in a controlled environment with a specific humidity level so the beef is drained of moisture and the flavor can concentrate, the USDA-prime cuts are wrapped in tablecloths and sprayed with Diplomático rum every 24 hours by a particularly fortunate Meat N’ Bone employee.

“We actually used to do 90 days, but it was way too much and we didn’t find an added value to it. So now, the entire muscle gets sprayed for just 60 days,” company co-founder Gabriel Llaurado tells InsideHook. “We make sure they’re positioned at an angle so that the rum can stay and they’re completely moist every day. I don’t know how this guy is not drinking the entire time. After aging and being sprayed for the 60 days, the piece of meat becomes rock solid. We remove that tablecloth and then trim the entire thing for a few hours. Then we separate the steaks and hand-butcher each one.”

The result of that process is a tender steak weighing between 22 and 26 ounces (including the bone) with a strong aged flavor complemented by notes of maple syrup, orange peel, brown sugar and licorice that the rum adds to the equation. Distilled in copper pot stills and then aged in oak for up to 12 years, the Reserva Exclusiva also adds some peatiness to the steak, which is large enough to feed two.

Rum ham isn't real but rum steak is and it's tasty
Rum ham isn’t real, but rum steak is, and it’s tasty
Meat N’ Bone

“The rum brings a higher sugar level, but also adds a little of woodiness,” Llaurado says, “Are you going to open the steak and smell rum or anything like that? Not quite. You detect a scent of it when you open it or when you cook it. When you taste it, it will taste like a USDA-prime steak. But the sugar in there and you will taste that there’s something different to the steak. You’ll be like, ‘Okay, this is interesting.’ The first time we tried the steak, it was like night and day compared to some of our others. We don’t make a lot of the steaks every month. There’s some real craftsmanship.”

With Meat N’ Bone producing anywhere from 40 to 80 of the limited-edition steaks per month at a price point of $77, the rum-soaked ribeyes are best cooked in a cast iron pan with nothing added but a dash of salt.

“When COVID started, a lot of people started cooking at home. Ingredients are very important. They matter,” Llaurado says. “It’s important if you’ve taken the time to cook that you get the right stuff and get things that can make a difference. This is a thick steak that’s meant to sort of bring the experience of a steakhouse home. With this particular steak, you don’t need to go anywhere. You can do it at home and it probably will be much, much better than anything you can have anywhere else.”

Just don’t take one to the Jersey Shore with Frank Reynolds and the rest of the It’s Always Sunny gang. That’ll surely be the end of it.