THE winners from this year’s Australian Meat Industry Council NSW/ACT Sausage King and Best Butchers Burger Far South Coast Competitions were announced on Wednesday.
Barrabarroo Farm Fresh Meats from Quaama took three firsts - in poultry with its duck, orange and pistachio sausage, in continental for a German bratwurst and in gourmet for its exotic coconut curry sausage.
Bega Valley Meats won the traditional Australian pork category.
Meanwhile, JD’s Meats Pambula won in traditional Australian sausage and Brown’s Eden Butchery took out the first prize for best butcher’s burger, with its homestyle burger.
Bayside Meats and Deli from Batemans Bay won the first in Australia lamb/open for its lamb, fresh olives, garlic, herbs and fetta cheese.
The winners will go on to the state finals in Wollongong in October, and the winners from there will go onto the national finals in Adelaide, February 2015.
JD’s Meats from Pambula has previously gone to the nationals, and Barrabarroo and Brown’s have been to the state finals.
THE mingling smells of a large variety of cooked sausages filled the air of the Illawarra TAFE Bega Campus Hospitality kitchen on Wednesday.
The Australian Meat Industry Council NSW/ACT Sausage King and Best Butchers Burger Competitions were on again, and sausage after sausage made by butchers around the region was brought out to be judged.
Head teacher of Hospitality and Tourism at Bega TAFE Deirdre Jory, community cookery teacher Michael Burbidge and ex-butcher Graeme Dixon were the judges on the day and carefully examined each entry.
“I think overall, the quality of sausages is better this year,” Mr Burbidge said.
The Sausage King competition has been held in Bega on and off for over 15 years, and AMIC member services officer Craig Wright said this year there had been an increased number of entries.
Ten butchers entered, ranging from Greenwell Point to Eden, and including shops from Bega, Merimbula and Quaama.
There were 68 sausage entries in the six categories of traditional Australian, traditional pork, lamb, poultry, continental and gourmet.
Also there were nine in the hamburger section, and the patties featured such ingredients as chicken, ricotta, bacon and herbs.
“Entrants seem to be getting more adventurous with burgers, and they are becoming quite popular,” Mr Wright said.
The exotic-tasting sausages featured such combinations as beef, pineapple, bacon and cheese, and a breakfast-inspired one of lamb, bacon, eggs, mushroom and shallots.
There was even an Asian-styled coconut curry sausage.
Mr Wright said one of the most interesting combinations he has tried was bourbon and coke, although it was a bit too adventurous.
Uncooked sausages are judged on their appeal for the consumer, texture, colour, size and overall appeal, Mr Burbidge said.
When cooked they are judged on their colour, the way they are cooked, if they have held their shape after cooking and while being cut, as well as if they match the flavour they say they are.
“Everyone likes to know where their product stands in the market place,” Mr Dixon said.
“It makes you think about your product and what you put into it.
“It is a competition – you are the winner if you prepare for it.
“It keeps you in touch with other butchers around the region, and it’s good for community – hopefully the meat you put in should reflect the standard of where you buy it from.
“And there’s no better meat than what you get at a butcher’s shop.”