The Surprising Age of the World’s Most Expensive Steak

For that price it should taste like heaven, too.

A couple of years ago Grub Street ranked New York City’s oldest dry-aged steaks in age order, some of them aged up to five months and change. None of them came close to French butcher Alexandre Polmard’s rib steak. According to Food and Wine—and a report on CNN—Polmard dry-ages his cuts for an astonishing fifteen years. Pay for a Polmard cut and you’re purchasing meat that’s been in storage since the turn of the century.

The CNN report on Polmard’s amazing meat explains how he clearly believes good steak begins in the pasture, keeping his Blonde Aquitaine cattle free and frolicking in the countryside until they meet their fate. “My family wouldn’t dream of raising animals in sheds where they have no space or room to roam,” Polmard told CNN. His cattle are well-treated in general, he said, and “the love and attention we give our animals comes through on the plate when you taste it.” 

As for how Polmard ages his uber expensive and rare steaks—$3200 and served in only a handful of fine restaurants worldwide—CNN reports his family developed their own special process late last century:

(. . .) Polmard’s grandfather and father investigated and ultimately introduced a meat treatment called “hibernation.”

The way it works is cold air is blown at speeds of 120 kilometers per hour over the meat in a -43 C environment.

This allows meat to be kept for any length of time—and, according to Polmard, with absolutely no loss of quality.

If you’re up to the financial and gastronomic challenge of a Polmard cut that was first wrapped and stored when the iPhone was a gleam in Steve Jobs’s eye and there was still ash from Bill Clinton’s cigars in the White House, know that there’s a waiting list to buy from the vendor. Or just hop on over to the Caprice, inside Hong Kong’s Four Seasons, and order up the Polmard’s Rare Millesime Cote de Boeuf, Vintage 2000.  If Polmard is right about the condition of his cattle, hopefully you’ll taste the kindness they were shown and not the years in storage.

Photos by Moritz Hoffmann / LOOK-foto / Getty