A pure delight for meat-eaters, this steak costs about US $3,000.
By J.M. Towers
It has become increasingly common to find—in the menus of the world’s top restaurants—beef that is highly valued for its organoleptic properties and for a taste that has captivated meat lovers.
We are talking about the beef marketed by Polmard Eleveur Boucher, a French family firm whose adventure began in the mid-19th century when Henry and Marie Charlotte Thiesse founded the company. After more than 150 years of continuous work, the company is managed by François Polmard, with close collaboration with his young son Alexandre.
They are the owners of a breeding farm in Saint-Mihiel, a French commune in the Lorraine region, where they raise cows of the variety Blonde d'Aquitaine, a lineage emerged from a cross of three breeds: Garonnais, Quercy, and Blonde des Pyrénées. These cattle have the peculiarity of producing meat with the best genetic lineage of France.
They select only the best specimens for breeding. The animals grow peacefully in the green pastures of a wooded area. The combination of the right exercise with a balanced diet of fodder, seeds, and grain of the highest quality—tailored to each life stage of the animal—makes the fat penetrate the flesh, and the result is unique tenderness, juiciness, and flavor.
Top: On the farm
Bottom: Maison Polmard staff
Moreover, during their last six months on the farm, the animals benefit from a high-calorie diet that allows them to renew collagen and even more tender meat.
Thanks to several years of laboratory research, technology, and knowledge of genetics— along with a familiar experience transmitted with passion for six generations—la Maison Polmard has been able to achieve a remarkable product. In their 120-hectares farm, the breeding techniques show full respect for animal welfare, minimizing the stress at the time of slaughter so it will not affect the benefits of the meat.
Aware that maturation is the essential step to achieving optimum quality, Polmard uses the vacuum aging method that produces adequate humidity and oxygen, ensuring full control of the meat’s oxidation. During maturation, the Polmard beef is wrapped in UV sunscreen sheets to protect it from any deterioration caused by light.
They also use the hibernation technique as a method of preservation, which—unlike freezing—does not change the taste of the juices or the tenderness of the piece. The meat is frozen at its optimum ripeness (four to eight weeks, depending on the cuts and PH) in the firm’s laboratory at Saint-Mihiel, at a temperature of -43 ° C.
The result is beef with glorious properties that can reach a price of $3,000 per kilogram (2.2 lbs), providing maximum enjoyment for meat lovers—or those who claim to be serious carnivores.
Photos: Polmard Eleveur Boucher. ■
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