As a major supplier of meat to leading hotels and high–end restaurants in Northern Ireland, London and other UK cities, Hannan Meats is using a 12ft high solid wall of Himalayan rock salt bricks to offer foodservice clients dry–aged beef with an exceptional flavour.
The translucent blocks which vary in colour from white to orange and a myriad of shades of pink were imported by Hannan Meats from mines in the foothills of the Himalayas in Pakistan’s Punjab region, which date back over 250 million years. Each of the 1,000 salt blocks was individually hand cut.
The health and therapeutic benefits of Himalayan salt have been known for centuries, but its benefits in the dry–ageing of meat are only a recent phenomenon.
Through a process called ionisation, the negative ions from the salt counteract the positive ions of meat, and result in a totally unique sweet and flavoursome end product. It is not the salt alone, but a combination of temperature, humidity, and UV light combined, that deliver supreme dry–aged meat.
Peter Hannan, managing director of Hannan Meats, commenting on the company’s decision to invest in the wall, says: “We’re really excited by the stunning flavour of the beef that we are now able to offer our chefs. The Himalayan salt is exceptional in terms of purity and its flavour enhancing qualities.
“The wall of salt enhances the overall ageing process over a period of 28–45 days. We’re using the new ageing room to dry–age premium beef sourced from local suppliers which ensures provenance. All of our Glenarm Shorthorn, and European Angus beef loins and ribs will now be aged in the Salt Chamber.
The salt wall creates the perfect environment over the ageing period, and concentrates the flavour of the meat. It purifies the air in the room, producing a clean and fresh atmosphere,” . “Working in the Chamber is like going for a walk on the beach”.
Whether it’s science or alchemy, or a combination of both, the result is aged beef with a purity of flavour not often encountered before