Tararua farm­ers bring home gold

Bush Telegraph - - Focus On Farming - By STEVE CARLE´

Two gold medals came Tararua’s way at the Steak of Origin awards grand final.

The an­nual com­pe­ti­tion is open to all New Zealand beef farm­ers, re­tail­ers, whole­salers and food­ser­vice sup­pli­ers. Now in its 16th year, the PGG Wright­son Steak of Origin is the pin­na­cle for beef pro­duc­ers in New Zealand, cel­e­brat­ing a prod­uct that is in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned for its qual­ity. It was held on June 13 at Fiel­d­ays.

For the en­tries to even reach the grand final they must have passed a se­ries of strin­gent ex­am­i­na­tions. Ini­tially, all 266 en­tries were sent to Carne Tech­nolo­gies where they were sci­en­tif­i­cally tested on ten­der­ness, per­cent­age cook­ing loss in weight, mar­bling, colour, wa­ter bind­ing ca­pac­ity and pH.

From there, only the very best 53 steaks went for­ward to the semi­fi­nal judg­ing round where a 16-strong panel of chefs came to­gether in Auck­land to whit­tle that num­ber down to the top three medal­lists in each of the eight cat­e­gories.

Class 4: Best of breed — Bri­tish: other. Gold: Graeme John Dyke, Pahiatua (Red Devon), Sil­ver: Graeme John Dyke, Pahiatua (Red Devon), Bronze: Graeme John Dyke, Pahiatua (Red Devon), pro­cessed at Pro­gres­sive Meats.

Class 5: Best of breed — Cross­breed and other. Gold: Nick Perry, Pahiatua (An­gus / Gel­b­vieh), pro­cessed at Al­liance Levin.

The PGG Wright­son Steak of Origin Com­pe­ti­tion aims to find the most ten­der and tasty sir­loin beef steak in New Zealand. It is open to beef farm­ers, re­tail­ers, whole­salers and food­ser­vice sup­pli­ers. It orig­i­nated from a na­tional car­cass com­pe­ti­tion, when a taste el­e­ment was in­tro­duced to raise con­sumer aware­ness of the qual­i­ties of beef steak. This is the 16th year the com­pe­ti­tion has been run­ning.

Farmer classes are open to New Zealand beef farm­ers and in­clude six classes for the dif­fer­ent breeds — Euro­pean, Bri­tish An­gus, Bri­tish Here­ford, Bri­tish Other, Cross­breed & Other and Lifestyle. This year there were 138 en­tries into the farmer classes. The brand com­pe­ti­tion had 128 en­tries, this com­pe­ti­tion in­cludes two classes — Re­tail and Whole­sale & Food­ser­vice.

The com­pe­ti­tion process in­volves an ini­tial as­sess­ment of the sir­loin steak at Carne Tech­nolo­gies in Cam­bridge. Each steak is aged for three weeks be­fore be­ing tested for ten­der­ness, pH, mar­bling and per­cent­age cook­ing loss. The most ten­der sir­loin steaks reach the semi­fi­nal and are cooked to medium rare in a neu­tral flavoured oil with­out sea­son­ing, be­fore be­ing tasted by a panel of judges com­pris­ing food writ­ers and chefs.

The fi­nal­ists (the top steak from each of the eight classes) are tasted at the grand final by a panel of chefs. The judg­ing cri­te­ria in­cludes aroma, tex­ture, flavour, ten­der­ness and juici­ness.

Peter Moore from PGG Wright­son with Nick and Car­ron Perry, Pahiatua — Gold medal, Class 5: Best of breed — Cross­breed and other (An­gus / Gel­b­vieh), pro­cessed at Al­liance Levin.

Peter Moore from PGG Wright­son with Graeme John Dyke, Pahiatua — Gold, Sil­ver and Bronze medals, Class 4: Best of breed — Bri­tish: other (Red Devon), pro­cessed at Pro­gres­sive Meats.

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