Saturday, August 4, 2012

Taureau de Camargue AOC.AOP. Choose from Among the Best Beef Cattle in France.

Behind the French Menu
Bryan Newman

The Taureau de Camargue 
Photograph by Courtesy of Sean Rowe.     

Taureau de Camargue  are the black or dark brown bulls and cows of the Camargue and the first breed of  French cattle to be awarded an AOC for the excellent and consistent quality of their meat.
gardien  rounding up strays.
Photograph by courtesy of Susan Ware.    
This breed descended from the great Spanish fighting bulls, but now care considered a completely separate species; physically they are much smaller. When they are on the menu their meat offers a unique opportunity for ordering some of the best steaks or roasts that France can offer.  In the winter excellent stews from the Taureau de Camargue AOC/AOP will be on the menu.

A French cowboy, a gardien
Photograph by courtesy of Susuan Ware
The Taureau de Camargue AOC/AOPare raised in a completely open environment.  They spend the whole year on France’s Mediterranean Provençal Camargue nature reserve; they are looked after the whole year by French cowboys, who are, in French called the gardiens.

To hold their AOC these animals are not fed anti-biotics nor growth hormones, and 90% of their food is natural grazing. Your first bite will tell you that the texture and taste  of this meat is different. 


Your menu may offer:


Côte de Taureau de Camargue Grillée au Thym, Sauté de Pomme de Terre à la Ciboule A rib roast of Camargue beef grilled with thyme and served with potatoes fried with scallions. A French rib roast has four ribs and will weigh 3 kilos or more, so you will be served slices.
Entrecôte de Taureau  de Camargue, Sauce Béarnaise, Pommes de Terre Rate au Four, Légumes du moment. An entrecote steak, a US or UK rib-eye and in the UK can also be a UK fore-rib. An entrecote is nearly always grilled and here it is served with that fabulous sauce the Sauce Béarnaise.   Accompanying the steak are baked rate potatoes, one of France’s most popular potatoes and vegetable that were in the market that day. To see more about entrecote steaks see my post : Searching for the perfect Entrecote steak in France; published 16 June 201
Filet de Taureau de Camargue Rôti, Gratin de Blettes au   Parmesan, Jus aux Airelles. Filet of Taureau de Camargue roasted. A whole  fillet can easily weigh 2 kilos and cut that size must be roasted.  The dish offered is the roasted fillet served with a chard, also called Swiss chard which just before serving will be given a thin covering of Parmesan cheese and then lightly grilled. The slices of fillet that you will be served will be accompanies by a sauce made with the European cranberry.
Among the Camargue’s many traditions and one in which the Taureau de Camargue AOC take part is the Course Camarguaise, the Camargue acrobatic competition or contest.  The Course Camarguaise is certainly not a bull-fight as some translations suggest. The Course Camarguaise is a unique acrobatic attraction and the gardiens do not let their Taureau de Camargue AOC bulls, or, more often, the cows, get hurt or wounded; these  animals are trained professionals. To see more on the Camargue see the post: The Camargue, France. The land, its people and its own unique cuisine.

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Bryan G Newman
Behind the French Menu
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