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The Secret to This Dish’s Deep Flavor

THE BEST STEAK I’ve ever eaten was a chuletón—a rib steak from a 6-year-old ox. I had it this summer in the scrublands of León province, Spain, at Bodega El Capricho, considered by many the best steakhouse in the world. It had been dry-aged for about 120 days and was cooked bloody rare. It tasted of iron and sweetgrass, and the fat smelled intoxicatingly like buttered popcorn.

Many factors contributed to the intense flavor of the steak at El Capricho. The most important was time—not in the kitchen or the dry-aging room,…

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