I make no apologies for being a meat eater. My body functions best on protein and meat is a great source, besides I really like a thick, juicy steak - just thinking about it makes my mouth water.
However, I do make an effort to source organic and responsibly farmed and killed produce. I believe we all have an obligation to ensure the animals we eat have had a good life up until the last moment of their existence.
So when I was asked to be a judge in the MLA's Queensland Beef Tongmaster competition I was enthusiastic. Sample five great steaks at lunch time in the Queen Street Mall - I'm there.
That's how I came to be sitting on a stage in the mall a couple of Fridays ago with chef Dominique Risso and Brisbane Times food writer Georgia Waters.
All beef jokes aside, this was very serious judging as the winner went straight into an Australian team as Queensland's representative heading to Lexington USA to compete in the BBQ Capital Cook-off in April 2012. The prize was valued at up to $6,900 which almost made me want to enter myself.
Finalists Dan McHugh, Chris Luxton, Nathan Thompson, Helen Biddle and Jon Condon lined up in the mall and cooked their recipe in 15 minutes. We tasted and scored, judging presentation, flavour, tenderness, innovation and overall impression, while the next cook hit the stage.
The results were surprisingly close in the end but the winner was Graceville Butcher Chris Luxton from Gordon & Luxton Gourmet Butchers.
Here's his recipe -
BBQ Beef Rib Fillet with a Roast Potato & Sweet Potato Salad, together with Tomato & Bean Salad and finished with Caramelised Onions and Lime Aoli w rocket to garnish.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
· One X 15 – 20mm thick rib fillet steak
· Two roast potatoes diced
· One sweet potato diced
· Three quarters cup of parsley
· Half red onion cut into rings
· Half cup mayonnaise and three tablespoons of seasoned mustard
· Half cup of sour cream – toss together
1. Season with salt & pepper then put steak on BBQ
2. Whilst on BBQ, swish a dash of Sweet Worcestershire sauce on steak – cook for 4 minutes on high heat – then add another tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
3. While steak is cooking, put onions on the BBQ – add 2 tbsp of water + 1 teaspoon of brown sugar plus a pinch of salt and one teaspoon of balsamic vinegar to the onions and cook off.
4. Combine ingredients of potatoes, parsley, red onion, mayonnaise and mustard with cream – toss together (this will be pre-prepared)
5. Simmer beans and cool
6. Cut tomatoes and garlic
7. Toss beans, tomatoes & garlic – season with lemon salt & pepper (pre-prepared)
8. Serve on plate with rocket garnish and finish with Lime/Aoli
“If there’s one ingredient I insist on using, it’s good-quality beef. I don’t cook for my friends or family with sub-standard product. I do, however, prefer to use a smaller piece of beef of the highest quality as I prefer quality over quantity.” Christopher Luxton
Here are the other finalists and their dishes -
|Dan McHugh with Cinnamon & coriander rubbed rib eye steak and caesar salad|
|Helen Biddle - Thai Beef Salad|
|Nathan Thompson - Homemade Bourbon BBQ Sauce glazed fillet steak|
|Jon Condon - Vietnamese BBQ beef rolls with Asian greens|