There’s a reason why Australian beef is the greatest meat on earth. Australia’s unique climate and environment provides perfect growing conditions to raise premium cattle and when it comes to taste, tenderness, flavour and quality, nothing comes close.
Australian beef is internationally recognised for being safe, wholesome, natural, tender, juicy and high-quality. Australia produces 3% of the world’s beef supply and is the third largest beef exporter in the world (USDA 2017). The majority of cattle in Australia (up to 97%) are raised on natural pastures and this meat is described as ‘grass fed’, ‘pasture fed’ or ‘free range’. Grass fed meat usually has a more complex flavour since the cattle receives a varied pastoral diet.
It’s great to see so many restaurants supporting local and celebrating Australian beef. Recently consumers are becoming much more savvy and want to understand where the meat they are eating comes from and the journey from paddock to plate. Pastuso is a Peruvian restaurant, in the heart of the Melbourne’s CBD, which celebrates Victorian beef in all its glory. Head chef, Peruvian born Alejando Saravia, is particularly passionate about supporting local farmers. He is the official food and beverage ambassador for Gippsland Victoria and the successful Renascence Gippsland program, which focuses on promoting the amazing Victorian region, widely known for its green pastures and high quality grass-fed beef and their producers. Saravia has crafted a beautiful menu which showcases the greatness of Australian beef and has made a conscious effort to cook sustainably by reducing food wastage; for example using a whole cow rather than buying separate cuts of steak.
But restaurants aren’t the only ones getting behind the local food movement: Consumers are getting smarter too by shopping at local markets and buying directly from the farmer and producer. Buying locally has the benefit of supporting local communities which means that more money is put straight back into the community’s pocket. When buying at a supermarket, approximately 18 cents of every dollar go to the grower and 82 cents go to various unnecessary middlemen. Local food usually is fresher and tastes better since it hasn’t been transported for days on end. Consumers are looking at new ways to reduce their carbon footprint and buying locally is definitely a greener way to shop since it reduces food miles.
The concept of paddock to plate is becoming more mainstream as more and more consumers demand more transparency in the food process and want to know where their food comes from and the story behind how it was produced. Whether it’s the local baker who bakes your sourdough, or the farmer who supplies your eye fillets, knowing the story about food has become an essential part of enoying a meal.
Thanks to the Meat Standards Australia (MSA) Program, Australia is leading the pack in the agricultural industry by giving consumers the best information on getting the most quality out of their purchases. This program was specifically developed by the Australian red meat industry to improve the eating quality consistency of beef and sheepmeat and takes into account all factors that affect eating quality from the paddock to the plate.
I love cooking with Australian beef, it’s so versatile to cook with and always packed full of flavour. To take full advantage of the flavour of the beef, I love cooking a beef tartare and, of course, there’s nothing better than cooking a barbeque with premium beef in the summer months. Here is one of my favourite Greek inspired beef recipes. Happy cooking!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 500g beef mince
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 100g of breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- Handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt and pepper to season
- 50g feta, crumbled
- 4 medium sized flatbreads or wraps
- 200g tzatziki
- 1 lebanese cucumber, finely sliced
- 1 red onion, finely sliced
- Handful of fresh herbs including parsley, mint or micro greens
- Salt and pepper to season
- To make the meatballs, combine all the ingredients (except olive oil) into a medium sized mixing bowl. Mix well until mixture is well combined. Using a tablespoon, scoop a heaped tablespoon of the mince mixture and roll into a ball. Repeat until all the mince is used up.
- Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Cook the meatballs for 10 – 12 minutes until well browned and cooked through.
- Top the flatbreads with tzatziki, meatballs, cucumber, onion, fresh herbs and crumbled feta. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with extra tzatziki if desired.
For more beef inspired recipes visit australianbeef.com.au
This post has been in partnership with Australian Beef.