CLOSING THE CIRCLE
At Cárnicas El Capricho, we are committed to excellence, with roots in and respect for our artisan processes.
Search and selection of the best animals
Care and attention at our farm
Supervision of dignified slaughter
Careful dressing of the meat
Individualized dry ageing of the meat as an art
AGEING PROCESS FOR THE MEAT
What is the ageing of meat?
Ageing is a drying process that consists of keeping the meat at constant temperatures and precise humidity levels.
Where does ageing begin?
The process begins with the selection of the animal and depends on its ability to accumulate amounts of subcutaneous fat. However, that is not enough, as it is important to identify the right moment for slaughter. This is when those fats that have been generated have accumulated for long enough and are of the right quality and consistency, since they are what will nourish and protect the muscle, to help the meat liquids to infiltrate over time.
What happens during ageing?
When the ox is slaughtered, oxygen stops reaching the blood and there is an accumulation of physical and chemical reactions that culminate in rigor mortis, which is tension of the muscle tissue. The carcass must be cooled properly and we have to wait until it is completely cold so that the surfaces, which we will expose to ageing later, are uniform and we can do a better drying job.
At the same time, an enzymatic process develops that will cause the protein to alter, breaking the molecular structure and releasing the water within the protein (exudation).
What difference does ageing the meat make?
The fats have nourished the muscle, giving smoothness and in some way they have merged with it and have evolved, taking on subtle, elegant, slightly sweet nuances, giving incomparable complexity.
With the changes in the protein, the fibre structure breaks down and we achieve a more pleasant texture.
By releasing the water from the protein and losing the surface water from the meat, flavours become concentrated.
Why is Cárnicas El Capricho the best for your provider of aged meat?
Because we have moved with the times. Because we have been pioneers and have been researching for 40 years. Because we have searched for the limits and we understand that each animal is unique and as such, it requires its own precise ageing. Because we have learned that an excess of ageing goes nowhere, and because we know our animals, we know everything about them and that makes things easier.
SALT OX CURING PROCESSES
In our process of curing cecina, the main factors are time and experience of the master cecina curer.
At Cárnicas El Capricho, we specialize in cecina made from ox and beef.
Our cecina is a dish fit for a monarch, obtained from the enormous legs of our oxen, cut with skill. They are immersed in a mountain of salt, and then we gauge the precise time needed for each one. After a settling process of about 5 months, slow ageing will take place in subterranean storage.
The process of curing salt ox cecina takes place in our centuries-old, austere wineries. Here under the ground everything stops. The constancy of the temperature, the generosity of the natural humidity and the breeze from its windows will do slow, careful work so that our cecina expresses unequalled aromas and complexity.
DEEP FREEZING PROCESS
Why do we deep-freeze some cuts of meat?
Deep freezing is the best way to preserve meat without using chemicals. Freezing is the only system that can ensure that the flavour, colour, natural smell and appearance of the product do not differ from the fresh product. Through the action of low temperatures on food, it is possible to eliminate the microbial action that destroys it.
The important thing to preserve the quality is to freeze it very quickly, at very low temperatures (deep-freezing). We deep-freeze our products using liquid nitrogen at -86ºC, guaranteeing absolute quality. When the freezing is done slowly, at higher temperatures, large ice crystals form inside the food and break the cell membrane, with the consequent loss of aromas, flavour and nutritional elements. This does not happen with deep freezing.