Issue Four Summer
Beef
With guest chef editor
Jordan Toft

Contents

Editor’s Letters

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Editor’s
Letters

 

Summer – you either love it or loathe it and personally, I love it. In this issue, we tackle summer head-on with a man renowned for his sultry summer venues – Jordan Toft of Merivale Group – whose sprawling waterside dining and drinking destinations have summer written all over them.

Drought continues to be a topic of much discussion in the media with its effects felt far and wide through rural Australia. However, it’s not all doom and gloom and in our producer story, we learn how station managers mitigate and prepare for drought by understanding and managing their stock to feed ratio well in advance and make the necessary changes to ensure land and livestock do not suffer.

This issue is stuffed like a family beach bag when it comes to menu ideas and inspiration for summer – Australian beef truly is the greatest and the on-menu opportunities are literally limitless. We visit top chefs and venues doing great things with Aussie beef, take a road trip around some iconic QLD pubs and head north with Australia’s largest integrated cattle and beef producer, managing a mind-blowing 17.3 million acres of land and a cattle herd of around 500,000 head. This is big beef.

Our fourth and final issue for the year packs a punch so read, watch, learn and maybe even have a bit of a laugh. There is so much to enjoy about our incredible Australian beef industry and we’re proud to be able to share these stories with you. As always, your feedback is welcomed and encouraged.

See you in 2019!

 

Mary-Jane Morse
Foodservice Marketing Manager
Meat & Livestock Australia
raremedium@mla.com.au
@_raremedium

As a big user of beef throughout my venues, the opportunity to be chef editor for this Summer Beef issue and to tell the story of what we do has been great. Beef is such a versatile menu item from grass to grain, primary and secondary cuts to marble scores and ageing – there are so many variables. The chance to learn more about the production side of things was pretty incredible and I started this adventure with an inquisitive mind:

  • Bos Indicus versus Bos Taurus, what’s the difference and why don’t we eat more of the drought-hardy/tropic loving stuff from the north?
  • Country Australian culture, how does food play a part?
  • And will this city kid be accepted if I turn up in my brand-new R.M.Williams boots?

I wanted to see the vast open spaces and the dry season in the North, experience cattle stations the size of some Asian and European countries and to see how they raise cattle in the driest continent in the world behind Antarctica.

Our first stop was Surat in QLD where a brisk morning welcomed us, along with our first of many country hospitality experiences. Driving the paddocks, we met the first of AACo’s Wagyu X cattle grazing on introduced buffel grass. I quickly learnt that these guys are grass farmers first and cattlemen second. It was dry alright, but there was no panic about the drought and they seemed to be resolute that they’d managed their land right with comments like “look at that, the buffel is ready to shoot over ya head with a shower or two”.

Off to the NT via Longreach was next. I’d never been to the Territory and with a station the size of Singapore plus 90,000 head of cattle waiting, it didn’t disappoint. Brunette Downs on the Barkly Tablelands – it was FLAT! The family homestead was surrounded by a vast level vista, from horizon to horizon and beyond. It’s here I learnt how Bos Indicus genetics play their part when mixed with the Wagyu, how the 45-strong team wrangle the land and the cattle it sustains, and how a beautiful family treats this part of Australia as their home and livelihood.

In central Queensland, amongst the dead Ironbark, I got to see more cattle grazing on buffel and not too far from that was the feedlot that ‘completed’ the circle this business works so hard at. But it’s not feed and hope, it’s an exact science and a term I heard repeated with so much vigour – ‘a rising plane of nutrition’. The feed, partly grown on site, was a rich mix of steamed grass grains, natural probiotic silage, forage and other nutrients and it was great to see this done right, whichever side of the grass or grain discussion you sit.

I got to cook Brahman and Wagyu over Gidgee wood. I got to experience a culture different to my own yet one that was inherently Australian, passionate and driven. They welcomed me, taught me, let me ride their horse and introduced me to Bundy rum. Most importantly, they didn’t even laugh at city kid in his shiny new RM’s!

Thanks to those on the land for having me and for all you do to bring quality Australian beef to our restaurants – and thanks to the team that travelled with me, it was an experience I won’t ever forget.

 

Jordan Toft
Executive Chef
Merivale
@jordanwtoft

Copyright: this publication is published by Meat & Livestock Australia Limited ABN 39 081 678 364 (MLA).

 

Guest Chef Profile

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Jordan Toft Merivale Executive Chef

Now with more than 70 venues dotted across the Sydney landscape, Merivale and its CEO Justin Hemmes are synonymous with Sydney dining and nightlife. The opulent operation employs more than 3,000 staff across a huge range of fine and casual dining, pubs, bars, nightclubs and more.
Behind the glitz and glamour are a number of exceptionally skilled people that make that Merivale magic happen. People like executive chef Jordan Toft – our incredibly talented, tenacious and far-from-typical Summer Beef chef editor.

Jordan left school at 15 to pursue his apprenticeship, a proud Westie, he has paved out a successful 22-year career around the globe including five years in Europe and five years in California. He now overseas some of Sydney’s most popular venues including the Coogee Pavilion, The Newport, Bert’s Bar & Brasserie, The Collaroy and recently opened Bar Topa.

With multiple food offerings, a team of 200-450 chefs depending on the season and in the process of opening another venue – Jordan has a lot on his plate. Pun intended.

“There’s a difference between responsibility and accountability and as such my time has to be spent wisely so I can have maximum impact. Ultimately I am responsible for 450 staff but I work most closely with my nine head chefs because the effort that I put into those guys to succeed, to grow in their careers and develop will give me satisfaction and the success that we strive for,” Jordan said

Jordan and Bert’s head chef Sam Kane

“Ultimately I am responsible for 450 staff but I work most closely with my nine head chefs because the effort that I put into those guys to succeed, to grow in their careers and develop will give me satisfaction and the success that we strive for.”

In addition to heading up multiple venues, Jordan manages several other responsibilities within the Merivale group. Executive chef teams work together towards company goals while maintaining autonomy in their own venues; leadership and mentoring programs, as well as a masterclass series, aim to upskill and keep the next generation of chefs interested and engaged in the business.

“The restaurants are the most important thing because we are customer based and want people to have amazing experiences. However, that only comes from us going above and beyond and forging ahead in what we are trying to achieve. You’re constantly looking forward, but you can’t do anything without people and my success is driven by the success of those under and around me.”

“Each of my venues has a unique identity but what they all have in common is the ability to offer different experiences for different people. What I strive to generate across all of them regardless of their location or offering, is a sense of authenticity,” Jordan said.

Working closely alongside Hemmes from conception to execution is an important part of Jordan’s role as executive chef – and he has had a determining stake in the development of each of his venues, ensuring firsthand that his sense of authenticity is woven into the very fabric of the venue’s DNA.

Bert’s – wine, dine and step back in time!

“Each of my venues has a unique identity but what they all have in common is the ability to offer different experiences for different people. What I strive to generate across all of them regardless of their location or offering, is a sense of authenticity.”

Hanger steak over charcoal at Coogee Rooftop

“Everything has been done before so it’s about how you can reinvent it, to show respect but put your own stamp on it. It’s about collaboratively coming up with the concepts and ensuring everything from the menus through to the table settings is on brief. Whilst the food is ultimately my responsibility, creating a holistic experience where people feel like everything is connected is really important.”

“We’re just staying true and making sure that each experience is unique in its own way and feels right for the guest – ultimately it’s about creating an experience for guests so they want to come back and that approach has longevity.”

Jordan gives the Beef Carpaccio a once over before service

“Whilst the food is ultimately my responsibility, creating a holistic experience where people feel like everything is connected is really important.”

When it comes to beef in Jordan’s venues, he again looks for that sense of authenticity – ensuring the right cut, the right dish, in the right place – working across a range of primary and secondary cuts, grass and grain fed, fast casual through to classic long lunch dishes.

“We do everything from a steak frites to a beef meatball, from a whole hanger steak to a premium ribeye. At Coogee Pavilion, customers can come off the beach, grab a burger and a beer and spend half an hour, or at the same venue, they can settle in with a long lunch, enjoy multiple different dishes and finish up with a 270-day grain fed Fiorentina.”

“Then at Bert’s, it’s a whole other level again with different types of dry ageing, grass fed, grain fed – and we try to find the best versions of them that we can. Grass fed is fantastic for us at certain times of the year and grain fed done well is a fantastic product that gives consistency and that’s what your customers want.”

Name a more iconic duo, we’ll wait…

Steak on the grill at Bert’s

“Grass fed is fantastic for us at certain times of the year and grain fed done well is a fantastic product that gives consistency and that’s what your customers want.”

“Generally, it’s about finding best practice through the supply chain and doing things well the whole way through and I think there is a place for both grass and grain fed in my restaurants and in the industry. Having the ability to give excellent examples of both on menus and allowing the guest to choose is where I am at the moment,” Jordan said.

Currently working on a new project, which will be another addition to his already impressive portfolio of venues – Coogee middle floor is expected to open in the New Year.

“This amazing project has been in the works for the better part of four years and I think it’s going to be a pretty phenomenal concept and space – the Hemmes family don’t do things by halves and they are really going for it with this one. I’ve got a pretty large breadth of venues and places that I look after now, my career is progressing at a nice pace and I work with fantastic teams and you can’t do it without them,” Jordan concluded.

Working under the Merivale mantle certainly has its advantages for a chef but also its challenges. Is there capacity to leave your mark, to imprint individuality – to be the lead act in someone else’s drama? When it comes to Jordan and his venues; that is a resounding yes. His obsessive pursuit of authenticity and the centricity of the customer experience effortlessly moves throughout his venues – and that is the unwavering standard he sets and the legacy he leaves.

Whole Hanger at Bert’s

 
 
 
 
 

Paddock Story

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Big
Beef

When it comes to business, be that a beef business or any other sizeable corporate entity, as a society, we tend to think that big somehow means bad.

Large-scale operations from all industries tend to get a bad rap with assumptions that they are not as passionate as small operators, that they don’t adhere to certain standards, that they cut corners just to make a profit and that the end product is not as good.

But we are not here to discuss the scruples of big business in general, we are here to talk beef. In this case, broad-scale intensive beef production.

How does it stack up? We went to find out.

For this story, we went big all right. We covered 8,000kms on a supply chain journey with a company managing 17.3 million acres of land (roughly 1% of Australia’s land mass) and a herd of 500,000 cattle.

 
 

This is big, and it’s beautiful.

Wagyu grazing on an AACo station near Springsure in QLD

Australian Agricultural Company (AACo)

 

Established in 1824, the Australian Agricultural Company (AACo) is Australia’s largest cattle and beef producer and the oldest continually operating company in Australia.

AACo owns and operates a strategic balance of stations throughout Queensland and the Northern Territory – employing up to 600 people across its integrated supply chain model to produce luxury product at scale.

We visited four AACo properties experiencing an intricate insight into the company and witnessing firsthand the depth of passion, the pinpoint precision and the incredible people behind this big business.

Trying to surmise succinctly in words what we saw and learnt is almost as daunting as the vastness of the Barkly Tablelands itself. However, what resonated most was the overwhelming scale that never compromises on quality, consistency or care; the emphasis on animal nutrition; and the people.

In the Business of People

A business is only as good as its people and in the business of intensive beef production, perhaps this is even more apparent. AACo’s people and their pastoral expertise is one of its most important assets and each of the properties is stewarded by families who dedicate their lives to the land and cattle. It is their expertise and commitment that underpins everything the company sets out to achieve.

At each stop along the way, the passion and knowledge was remarkable. Subject matter experts without a doubt but all acutely aware of their role within the broader operation.

There is a proud Australian history and a sense of cultural belonging that resonates so explicitly – an authenticity you don’t find anywhere else. Days are long and stifling hot, the work is physically demanding and there is not much in the way of life’s little luxuries. Yet at the end of a hard day, the teams always find the time to share a story and a laugh, and enjoy a meal together.

Brunette Downs, as pictured during wet season in the article’s opening image, is an epic 3-million-acre station located 2,500km west of Brisbane on the Northern Territory’s Barkly Tablelands. In this incredibly isolated location, the logistics of looking after staff are dramatically amplified.

They don’t come into work each day, clock in, knock off and head home. There’s no supermarket, no local store and certainly no Uber Eats. The nearest serviceable town is Mt Isa, 660km away.

Jordan and Michael Johnson at Brunette Downs

There is a proud Australian history and a sense of cultural belonging that resonates so explicitly – an authenticity you don’t find anywhere else.

Kitchen rules at Brunette Downs

Looking after employees in this working environment extends far beyond the usual employer duty of care. “We have a community of 45-50 full-time employees living here at the station so the community environment is really important. They work very hard and very long hours so it is vital that they are well looked after and have a place to rest and socialise.”

“We host the annual Brunette Downs Races, Campdraft & Rodeo, a key social event on the calendar for our staff and also the wider Barkly region with visitors from all over the country. It’s a great four days of competition and comradery and we have a bit of fun while we’re at it,” said Michael Johnson, Brunette Downs Station Manager.

Groceries and supplies come in once a week from Mt Isa and fortunately, there is a good supply of premium protein on hand. The station employs a full time butcher who selects two animals a week for camp consumption. There is a full-time cook, and a kitchen and dining area with strict rules around meal times and manners – breakfast is served between 5-6am, lunch 12-1pm and dinner from 7pm.

There is a small school serviced via School of the Air for children living on the property, a medical clinic with a doctor flying in for consults once a week. Then there is the cherished social club – a bar, a pool table and a place to kick back with a drink and relax – all proceeds go back into the club for events and activities throughout the year.

Everything is run by generators, there is no electricity here. There is no mobile service and communication across the 3 million acres is only via two-way radios. You don’t want to get lost out here. However, there is WIFI at the homestead and lodgings providing much-needed connectivity to reach friends and family.

We had but a taste of station life and for many, it may seem an impossible notion – but the comradery, the laughter, the hospitality and the community spirit was very much alive. Beef doesn’t come from the packet. It comes from places like this – from hard-working people who take pride in what they do to ensure quality in your kitchens and on the plate.

Returning home after a long day at Brunette Downs

 

The Rising Plane of Nutrition

It may seem obvious that animal nutrition is important. Everyone knows diet is a key driver in quality and consistency of the end product. What many may not know is the breadth of scientifically informed decisions that determine animal nutrition through the entire supply chain.

From tracking and recording genetic performance data to the development of fat cells in utero; from the inoculation of silage to the scientific balance of grain-fed rations; from stringent land and grass management to broad acre cropping – it all comes down to one key term.

A rising plane of nutrition (RPN) refers to the animal’s nutrition over time and ensuring it never goes backwards – regardless of seasonal conditions such as drought. With significant impact on productivity, RPN was a key point of discussion throughout the supply chain and a key contributor to business decisions.

Inquisitive Wagyu at one of AACo’s stations in QLD

"Through continued investment in innovation and cutting-edge genetic technologies, our herd gene pool is continually improving."

Whilst the availability of good feed is key to RPN, an animal’s genetic capacity to convert food to energy and contribute to Average Daily Gain (ADG) is also a critical element. The importance of genetics and performance is therefore crucial to business productivity, as is the ability to record and analyse that data.

Performance recording at AACo is on a scale that has the company leading global genetic gain and significantly influences breeding decisions. Cattle are tracked and recorded against 20 different traits at various times over their lifespan, from weight, marbling, eye muscle area, fat depth, calving ease, gestation and more – all can be traced back to parentage and lineage.

“Through continued investment in innovation and cutting-edge genetic technologies, our herd gene pool is continually improving, further driving quality yields and reliability of supply. This ensures we can consistently produce a product that meets the highest standards of eating quality. It is this capability that ultimately uniquely positions AACo to deliver luxury product consistently around the world,” said AACo Chairman Donald McGauchie AO.

AACo’s Westholme beef

Market ready 700kg steers at Goonoo Feedlot

A key AACo advantage is the geographical spread of its properties with the ability to move stock to more plentiful pasture or to bring them on to feed at one of the company’s two feedlots.

“Fundamentally, we are grass managers first and cattle managers second. Grass is our air and our blood for the cattle and without it, we don’t have much. We do grass audits monthly to check levels and quality which informs our decisions and ensures our cattle are always on that rising plane of nutrition, never going backwards and just steadily growing,” said Greg Gibbons, General Manager South East QLD Wagyu & Feedlots.

Finally, animal nutrition in the feedlot is the final piece of the RPN puzzle. Goonoo consists of a feedlot, station and farm and is a major component of the business.

“Essentially, the cattle come here to be finished. During their lifetime, we want them on a constant rising plane of nutrition and when they arrive to Goonoo, nutrition is the key to providing the marbling in the end product. Our cattle receive only the best – we have full-time nutritionists who ensure they have the best possible opportunity to marble. Coming through the feedlot process guarantees the consistency and quality of our product to the customer,” said Jamie Raven, Goonoo Feedlot Manager.

The farm component at Goonoo runs an extensive program of dryland cropping and irrigation to provide year-round high-quality feed for the feedlot. The farming operation aims to provide all the fodder and silage for the feedlot and 20% of the grain requirements.

Jordan assesses the barley crop at Goonoo

Big – It Isn’t Bad

An operation of this size is difficult to comprehend – AACo ensures 1 million people around the world every single day, can enjoy the best quality Australian Wagyu. To achieve this takes not only size and scale, it takes responsibility; it takes leadership; and it takes the utmost care and respect for the land, the environment and the animals.

Quality production relies on a healthy environment and AACo aims to manage operations to have minimal impact on air, water, land, flora, fauna, and on cultural heritage and values. Environmentally and socially sustainable practices are a crucial part to not only AACo, but also the broader Australian beef industry’s ability to deliver outstanding-quality beef.

AACo also has a strong commitment to animal welfare that was abundantly clear throughout our trip. The care and respect for the cattle is paramount and the company has clear policies in place to ensure best practice in animal husbandry and handling through the supply chain.

Carefully selected nutrition ensures the best possible opportunity to marble.

"Our cattle are everything and training our people to understand and respect them is paramount. You need to be able to understand their natural behaviours and at every interaction and every stage of their life, aim to minimise their stress. Respecting and caring for our cattle is not optional, it’s essential.”

AACo is an exemplary model of big business done well. Through best practice, innovation, unwavering commitment to people, land, environment and animals – it is certainly something we should all be proud to have in our own backyard.

 

Roadies

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JT and MJ at Nindigully Pub – home of the 5kg Road Train Burger

ROADIES

Queensland Pub Grub

 

What happens when you take a city-slicker chef on a pub-crawl around outback Queensland? Well, you eat a lot of steak, crush a few mangoes (that’s QLD slang for XXXX) and meet some truly unique Aussie larrikins.

With Jordan’s new R.M.Williams boots procured and polished, we hitched an early flight to Brisbane, picked up our wheels and hit the road.

Fish out of water? Possibly. Beef, beer and banter? Definitely.

 
 
 
 
 

Up Front

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Up Front

 

Ben Wainwright

Bar Manager
– The Newport

Run us through a day in the life for you?

 

The beauty of this industry is that literally every day is different and there are always unexpected surprises or challenges. However, there are constants that I consider my favourite part of the job – and that’s the regular face time and interaction with the teams I work with across The Newport and Merivale.

Generally, my day starts with the management team, discussing the day ahead before I make my way through the four bar outlets in the Lower Ground area of The Newport; looking at the weather and predicting changes according to the trade we think we will encounter. Once the Lower Ground bars are in a good place, I swing past Arms Bar, our local community’s favourite watering hole, then on to Bert’s Bar & Brasserie for the pre-service briefing.

The rest of the day sees me move from bar to bar for service periods whilst working with the teams to identify areas that need attention around product, people and guest experience.

Once a fortnight I enjoy my trip to Head Office in the city to touch-base with other Bar Managers across the group to discuss new initiatives and development opportunities in the beverage department.

What inspires you about a career in hospitality – how did you get started?

 

I was a classic case of working in a bar to support myself through university, then before I knew it, my growing obsession with the industry coincided directly with a steady decrease in my university grades.

My first gig was pulling beers at a golf club, which led me to a small wine bar where I had my first taste of putting together a cocktail menu and I instantly fell in love with the creative process. It wasn’t until I stepped into Merivale that I decided this was the career direction I wanted and the rest is history.

There is a lot about hospitality that inspires me but what really gets me out of bed each morning is the people, the atmosphere and the feeling of walking away from a pumping service where everything just worked!

The Newport has an array of bar offerings throughout – how do the drinks differ across the venue and which is your favourite to work in?

 

It’s impossible to choose a favourite but what I love most about The Newport is that within half an hour, I can be pouring a beer for a few tradies in the Arms bar, making 20 Aperol Spritzes for a group by the water or taking a table through our impressive range of Australian spirits at Bert’s.

The brief for the menu in The Newport Lower Ground area are drinks that suit a coastal dining environment and can be enjoyed on any occasion or at any stage of the day or night.

Bert’s menu was designed in line with some of the cocktail menus you would have encountered at some of the world’s best hotels around the 1930s and ‘40s, whilst also maintaining a theme and appreciation for the incredible native flora we see in Australia and especially on the Northern Beaches.

This issue is all about summer – what are your top three summer drinks and what kind of beef dish would you smash them with?

 

This Summer you can’t go passed a carafe of the ‘Red Snapper’ (Gin, Tawny Port, tomato juice, house spice mix, Sriracha, citrus) or maybe a Newport favourite, the ‘Jalapeno Margarita’ (Tequila, Cointreau, Mezcal, jalapeno, citrus) – both easily paired with a Double Diner burger from the Shack or maybe a Black Pepper Beef Roll from our Kiosk.

At Bert’s, our signature Negroni has been flash-infused with fresh tomatoes and tomato vine to introduce an incredible herbaceous dimension to an international favourite. Accompanied by a juicy 1kg grain-fed hanger steak cooked to perfection over the Josper ovens – you can’t go wrong!

Any hot tips or words of advice for those considering a career in the industry?

 

Hospitality is an industry that requires a huge amount of resilience and hard work, and as cliché as it may seem, the age-old adage of ‘you only get out of it what you are willing to put in’ could not be more relevant.

Each day I get to work with my best friends, my partner and some of the most talented and inspiring people in the country and I couldn’t be more thankful that this was the direction I chose to take.

Cut Showcase

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12 Summer Steaks

 

Take a detour from the luxurious loin and set your summer menu to sizzle with steaks from around the carcase, each naturally varying in texture, tenderness and flavour. Experiment with different ageing methods, practice with preparations like dry rubs or marinades and challenge your cooking techniques from water baths to binchotan – it’s time to stake your claim on a unique summer steak.

 
 
 
 
 

Two Under Ten

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Turn up the summer heat and hose down those costs by thinking differently about beef this season. With a little cut innovation or a twist on tradition, you can plate up a beefy banger without it costing the big bucks. We throw the challenge out to the head chefs at swanky two-hatted Bert’s and beachside beauty The Collaroy to get you started. They do say imitation is the greatest form of flattery – so what’s your beef this summer?

1.

Grilled Beef Rib

Pickled Sugarloaf Cabbage & Black Bean Gremolata

 

Sam Kane
Head Chef
Bert’s Bar & Brasserie

 

@chefsamkane

 

Sam’s dish takes on all the delicious flavour of short ribs without the long cooking time by cutting horizontally instead of vertically across the rib. The 1cm thick rib slices are seasoned then cooked above the grill until about 60 degrees, allowing the fats and sinew to gently breakdown. They are then seared over a hot grill to caramelise on the outside while remaining juicy and soft on the inside. Served with a simple pickled sugarloaf cabbage salad to cut through the richness and a black bean gremolata for added umami and complexity.

Ingredients

 

Short ribs sliced across the bone
Sugarloaf cabbage
Granny Smith
Onion
Green onion
Flat leaf parsley
Fermented black beans
Garlic
Chilli
Chives

 

Total cost — $9.25

2.

Topside Kibbe Nayeh

 

Simon Zalloua
Head Chef
The Collaroy

 

@simonz1979

 

  The late Anthony Bourdain declared kibbe nayeh to be the best tartare in the world – a claim Simon fully supports, adding that it would be his death row dish. Kibbe nayeh is his family’s celebration dish and on special occasions, they make up 2-3kgs, hand grinding the meat in huge mortar and pestles made by his grandfather who was a stonemason in the Middle East. Simon uses the traditional technique to delicately grind the beef and adds a little iced water for consistency. The beef is then dressed with oil and served with fermented chillies, spices, fresh vegetables and crispy flatbread. Scoop, eat, repeat.

Ingredients

 

Topside
Cracked wheat (burghul)
Fermented chilli
Isot pepper
Middle Eastern roast pepper blend
Flat bread
Mint
Shallot
Cucumber
Radish
Onion
Pickles
Parsley

 

Total cost — $5.40

 
 
 
 
 

On The Menu

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Summer is the official season of fun and frivolity with parties, festivals and summer sport maxing out the diary and those all-important ‘new year-new you’ vibes, FOMOs and YOLOs keeping the Aussie dream alive. We caught up with some venues that speak fluent summer to see how they’re making beef the true hero this silly season.

Summer Sambos

 

Salted Beef Bagel

 

A1 Canteen, Chippendale
Clayton Wells

 
Inspired by Brick Lane’s Beigel Bake in London, Clayton has done Aussies a favour and created his own version at A1 Canteen. Silverside is brined for four days with a range of secret spices then slowly poached with vegetables in stock. The vibrant red beef is thinly shaved and a generous amount of the warm salty goodness loaded into a soft seeded bagel – the result of many a bagel trial.

Clayton says traditional bagels were a bit too chewy and hard to eat when stuffed full of beef, so this one is bagel-sticky on the outside but soft on the inside, holding everything perfectly in place. Lashings of a punchy mix of yellow American and Dijon mustards and zesty dill pickles offset the warm salty beef. It’s a salty, soft, crunchy, tangy hell of a good time.

Festival Food

 

The Manwich

 

Bovine & Swine, Newtown
Wes Griffiths

 

The sun is shining, the music is pumping and the punters are drinking and dancing up a ravenous hunger. Insert Sydney’s bosses of BBQ and you have the perfect festival hunger buster.

Juicy hunks of brisket are seasoned with flossy salt and cracked black pepper then smoked over an all-wood fire for 12 hours. The combination of rendered fats with the salt and pepper forms a semi-crunchy bark while the gentle smoke brings a smoky sweetness.

Not meaty enough? Enter the Hot Link Sausage – a hand-crafted meaty tube mincing together the brisket trimmings with pork on a coarse grind then mixed with salt, pepper, jack cheese and jalapenos and hand pressed into a natural casing.

Stuffed into a soft brioche bun and topped with house-made coffee barbeque sauce and a vinegar-based slaw – this flavour bomb of goodness will soak up the booze and keep them going well into the night.

Smoked Brisket

Hot-link Sausages

Summer Snacks & Sundowners

 

Tongue, Empanadas, Tartare & Steak

 

Asado, Southbank
Ollie Gould

 

That summer sun is turning it on and the tourists pounding the South Bank pavement have worked up a sweat, a hunger and a thirst. Asado’s big arch windows are thrown open and the smell of beef over fire is on the breeze – it’s the perfect spot to settle in and replenish. A round of signature G&Ts are accompanied perfectly with a couple of punchy pintxos. Beef tongue is brined overnight and slow cooked for 12 hours, then thinly sliced and grilled over searing fire; empanadas stick to tradition; encasing slow cooked beef mince, olives and boiled egg in flaky empanada pastry.

Next, order up a round of sangria and dig in to Ollie’s take on beef tartare – highly marbled hand diced flank steak is mixed with nine ingredients including fish sauce and Tabasco. Served with pickled mushrooms, anchovy mayonnaise, mojama and crispy potato chips – the ultimate snacking scoop. They came for the snacks but they would be mad not to stay for the steaks – grilled to smoky perfection over the custom-made charcoal parrilla. With grass and grain fed options including flank, inside skirt, eye fillet, bone-in sirloin and rib-eye; it’s a smoky, summery good time.

Beef Tongue Pintxos

Beef Tartare and Empanadas

New Year’s Eve

 

Chuck Tail Flap, Smoked Eel, Burnt Cucumber & Black Bean

 

Aria, Sydney
Joel Bickford

 

Sydney Harbour on New Year’s Eve, it’s the quintessential Sydney experience – step up the sophistication with a front row seat to the fireworks and dinner at Aria. Marble score 5 chuck tail flap takes a leisurely 2.5 hour bath before hitting the pan for a heavy char. It is then coated in fermented black bean and flashed in the oven so it sticks before taking a nice long rest.

A golden beef crumb is made by cooking down beef fat until crunchy then draining and drying slowly overnight – adding a textural element to the dish. Served with charred cucumber, compressed beetroot, smoked eel and fresh mulberries – it well and truly sets the standard for the year ahead. Cheers to that.

Summer Rooftop Sessions

 

Beef Rendang Skewers & Szechuan Brisket

 

Heroes, Melbourne
Mike Patrick

 

Colourful drinks and food on sticks – it really writes itself. Add an open-air rooftop, summer sunshine and a hit of karaoke – and you have the recipe for the ultimate summer session. From the team behind Melbourne’s best BBQ joint Fancy Hanks, comes a three-level Southeast Asian hawker inspired party palace. Head chef Alicia Choeng cooks everything to order over the custom-made charcoal grill – tender cubes of rump in rendang dry spice rub are skilfully twisted over red-hot binchotan – sending the sizzling scent of beef through the venue.

Topped with coconut curry sauce, they pack a flavour punch and the one-hand-drive makes them the ultimate bar snack. When those colourful cocktails are starting to kick in, Alicia cranks it up a notch with Szechuan peppercorn brisket – smoked for twelve hours at Fancy Hanks then diced into perfect bite-size pieces, deep-fried and served with smoked garlic puree and pickled radish. Sing it to me baby.

Summer of Sport

 

Summer in Australia sure is a lot of things – but really, summer in Australia is all about leather on willow, aces and tiebreakers, champions and chumps – we just love our summer sport. We visited two of our greatest summer sports venues to chew the fat and see how they’re keeping the punters, the public and the VIPs fed this summer.

Sydney Cricket Ground

 

Moore Park, Sydney
Stuart Webb

 

Feeding approximately 4,000 customers a day during the test series, SCG catering is managed by Delaware North and includes retail and corporate food offerings ranging from general admission and members retail offerings through to high end a la carte, cocktail chef stations, suites buffets and grazing and plated function rooms to name a few. Corporate catering includes 120 chefs across 14 kitchens servicing 10 function rooms, 73 sites, and 112 open boxes.

Over the course of the summer, the corporate team will serve up over 4 tonnes of beef including whole beef butts, beef brisket smoked in-house, tenderloin, beef cheeks and sirloin. Retail food offerings include 81 food and beverage locations with up to 700 game day staff and 20 different F&B concepts.

Beef Hat Trick

 
For those rubbing VIP shoulders at the cricket this summer – the boys are serving up a beef hat trick on a plate. MS6+ Tajima Wagyu tenderloin is gently sous vide then finished on a hot buttery grill and seasoned with hickory salt. It is joined by oxtail braised overnight until unctuous and crispy bone marrow pieces coated in beef fat and panko crumbs. Served with carrots, smoked potato puree, peas and stinging nettles and an oxtail reduction. Howzat?!
 
 

Butcher’s Block

 
Weighing in at around 32kgs, this whole beef butt is rubbed with saltbush and native thyme then cooked low and slow for 18 hours until reaching an internal temperature of 62 degrees. Carved at the station, this showstopper is served in a ciabatta baguette with celeriac slaw and a selection of premium condiments, sauces and relishes. It’ll knock em for six.
 

Rod Laver Arena

 

Melbourne Park
Asif Mamun

 

The Australian Open is the pinnacle of tennis in Australia – one of the world’s four grand slams and a huge drawcard on the summer sporting calendar offering $55 million in prize money. With food hospitality services managed by Delaware North and consisting of corporate, VIP, function, suites, boxes and general admission retail – over the course of the event, a huge amount of meals will be served utilising 32 tonnes of protein, 16 of which is beef.

Trio of Beef

 

Wagyu Striploin, Surf & Turf, Japanese-Style Brisket

 
Beef aces the menu at corporate catering and functions with this trio of offerings. Half-blood wagyu striploin is removed from its packaging and aged in the fridge for a couple of days to dry out and concentrate the flavour of the beef. Already rich in flavour, Asif keeps the cooking process simple, adding a touch of seasoning and grilling on a hot grill for about 3 minutes each side then serving with wasabi mousse, saffron sauce, beetroot puree, heirloom carrots and charred onions. Add a banana prawn for Asif’s take on the classic Surf & Turf. Inspired by Melbourne’s cultural diversity, Asif plays on Japanese flavours for his brisket dish. Brisket is aged in the fridge then marinated with sake, a dry rub of secret Japanese ingredients and white miso and then smoked overnight at low temperature using honey brick. Served with miso mustard to give sharpness and cut through richness, truss tomato, nasturtium leaf and sijime mushroom.

Loaded Beef Flatbread

 
For the general admission fans sweating it out in the sun, there is plenty to love about Rod Laver Arena’s retail food offerings including this flavour loaded beef beauty. Beef brisket is rested in the fridge then rubbed with a secret selection of herbs and spices before an overnight smoke on honey brick. It is then moved to a low oven and cooked for a further three hours until it is melt-in-the-mouth tender. Shredded for service, the brisket is stuffed into a locally produced pita bread with house-made tzatziki and a fresh salad of pickled cucumber and daikon, capers, dill and oregano.

Fast Facts

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Fast Facts

Australia accounts for 2% of the global cattle herd and 3% of global beef production.

Australia’s red meat industry has reduced its emissions by 14% in the last 30 years.

191,800 people are directly employed within the Australian red meat and livestock industry.

Much of Australia’s beef producing regions are in drought – receiving only 30-60% of average rainfall.

During Jan-Jun 2018, Australian cattle slaughter increased 11% year on year but still sits 7% below the five-year average.

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Celebrating the fact that we are back where we started with Autumn Lamb – that’s four epic issues under our belt and many more to come. 2019 is going to be BIG.