Recipe by Damon Porter, Head Chef at Vaquero Brisbane

Ageing is everything

With media surrounding the food industry and shows such as Master Chef, My Kitchen Rules and celebrity chef programs, we are led to believe that “fresh is best” with everything, however this is not always the case. The most important part of quality beef after the farming and production process is the ageing. And while dry ageing is popular now, it’s actually quite an old technique.

The process

Without the wet ageing in the bag or whole beast ageing, it can be useless. Ageing first in the bag is important for the enzymes present in the muscle fibres to break down the proteins in the muscle tissue making the meat more tender and capable of holding its natural juiciness during cooking. Then comes the dry ageing process. Dry ageing evaporates water from the flesh and thus concentrates the flavour along with slow oxidisation of fat in the meat to bring out these funky delicious flavours.

The process we take at Vaquero for a Wagyu rump cap starts with a great product that spends a minimum of 60-120 days at a temperature below 4°C in a cryo-vac bag, then the meat will be removed from the cryo-vac bag and dry aged for a further 15-30 days depending on the size of the meat. Normally it will lose 10-20% of its weight and bring the fat-to-meat ratio higher due to loss of moisture. After the beef is dried to our satisfaction, the meat around the outside will be shaved off and cut into portions. This meat from the outside can be brined, smoked and dehydrated to make delicious beef jerky.

Dry aged rump


  • 2-4 dry aged Wagyu rump caps (dry aged yourself or from any good butcher, like Peter Augustus)

For the beef fat mash

  • 1kg potatoes
  • 100g butter
  • 100g smoked rendered beef fat
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 sprigs of thyme

For the black garlic oil

  • 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 40 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup roasted sesame oil

For the roasted mushrooms

  • 10 Portobello mushrooms
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 150ml olive oil
  • Sea salt


For the beef fat potatoes

Step 1

Infuse the butter and fat in a pot with some thyme and crushed garlic.

Step 2

Bring the potatoes to the boil in 4L of water with 80 grams of salt. Turn down to a half simmer and cook for 30 mins.

Step 3

Pass through a potato ricer and fold through the infused butter and fat.

For the black garlic oil

Step 1

Combine canola oil and garlic in a small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until it starts to brown.

Step 2

Reduce heat to low and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until garlic turns completely black, about 10 minutes (garlic will become very sticky in the process).

Step 3

Transfer mixture to a heat-proof bowl and add sesame oil.

Step 4

Transfer to a blender and blend on high speed until completely pulverised, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a sealable container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

For the mushrooms

Step 1

Place mushrooms on a baking tray and season well with sea salt and cover with herbs and olive oil.

Step 2

Cover and roast for 30 minutes to release the mushroom juices then roast for a further 20 minutes uncovered to reduce the mushroom juice into itself intensifying the flavour.

For the steak

Step 1

Cook over coals or wood fire for the natural smoky finish. If you’re cooking indoors, grill the rump cap to your liking.