Queensland's best sausages

A barbecue that refused to light wasn't a good start to the sausage judging, but persistance won and there were sausages sizzling a plenty by the time I arrived to judge the gourmet section on Sunday morning.

Stockmans bar at the Ekka, scene of many a beer and steak combo, was filled with a crowd that all looked well fed.  They were butchers, many of them country folk enjoying a city break, and there was not a pasty looking vego in sight. 

It's been a tough year in the meat industry according to competition organiser and AMIC representative Gail Butler. She says this is a hard working industry with many butchers working 12 hour days, some of them also open seven days a week.

I was one of three judges in the gourmet section of the 2012 Royal Queensland Food and Wine Show (RQFWS) and Australian Meat Industry Council’s (AMIC) State Sausage King Competition in Brisbane on Sunday. 

 “The standard that we have seen since starting the regional competitions in February has been outstanding,” Gail said.

“The sausages which have won today tick all the boxes – full of fresh and quality ingredients, follow perfect procedure and demonstrate immaculate presentation.

“When all of those aspects are achieved it becomes a very close competition.”

Ms Butler said the judging panel of 17 cooked and tasted 42 of the state’s best sausages.

“The overall competition is the largest of its kind in Australia and some competitors have had to beat more than 50 entries at a regional level alone, so it’s a major achievement when they take home the Queensland title,” she said.

Ms Butler said the butchers were chasing the highest number of points out of 50.

“The judging process is quite stringent – we firstly grade the sausages visually, both cooked and uncooked, then how well it is made and integrated, and lastly the flavour,” she said.

The winners from the Queensland final will go on to compete against other states in Perth next year.

The State Sausage King Competition is one of eight contests in the RQFWS – an initiative of the RNA which showcases the best of the best from dairy, to ice-cream, wine, steak, lamb, chocolate, sausages and beer.

The hunt for top food and wine offerings continues this October with the RQFWS Beer Competition.

Full list of the 2012 State Sausage King Competition winners:

o    Queensland’s best: Wavell Heights Quality Meats at Wavell Heights
o   Second place: Master Meats Queensland at Mooloolaba
o   Third place: Richmond Butchery at Richmond

o   Queensland’s best: Mundubbera Butchering at Mundubbera
o   Second place: Terry Orreal's Quality Meats at Brendale
o   Third place: Gatton Meat Centre at Gatton

•         LAMB
o   Queensland’s best: Carey Brothers Butchers at Warwick for their Lamb, Honey and Mint Sausage
o   Second place: Murrumba Downs Gourmet Meats at Murrumba Downs for their Kashmir Curry and Coconut Sausage
o   Third place: Mundubbera Butchering at Mundubbera for their Australian Moroccan Lamb Sausage

•         POULTRY
o   Queensland’s best: Zac's Meats at Bundaberg for their Kashmir Curry and Coconut Sausage
o   Second place: Nothling Brothers Prime Meats at Woody Point for their Chicken, Spinach and Pine Nuts Sausage
o   Third place: Coombabah Meat Man at Coombabah for their Honey Macadamia, Seeded Mustard and Turkey Sausage

o   Queensland’s best: Circle T Meats at Raceview for their Spanish Chorizo Sausage
o   Second place: Zac's Meats at Bundaberg for their Greek Loukaniko Sausage
o   Third place: Barrow Lane at Mitchelton for their Classical Italian Sausage

•         GOURMET 

o   Queensland’s best: Zac's Meats at Bundaberg for their Pork, Maple and Pistachio Sausage

o   Second place: Prime Specialty Meats at Southport for their Greek Lamb Sausage

o   Third place: Westridge Meats at Toowoomba for their Apple, Sultana and Pork Sausage