It’s no secret that we do food very well here Down-Under.
Historically, our whole colony was founded upon literally putting animals out to pasture and we didn’t pay Paul Hogan to stand around a ‘barbie’ in a pair of short-shorts for nothing.
What we’re saying is it’s not a surprise that producing the finest cuts of prime rib has become a matter of national pride.
However, there’s also no denying that most of us in the cities have a somewhat detached relationship with our livestock. We’re happy to chomp on the burger but perhaps don’t give as much thought as we should to the amount of hard work, ethics and passion behind the meat patty.
That’s understandable to a certain extent but we believe that half of being a responsible diner is having a solid respect for the animals and the people who raise them. Leaning in and learning to appreciate our food on a much deeper level.
And it’s in this spirit that we were more than happy to join cook, author, host and hardcore carnivore Jess Pryles on a journey across the country, meeting the chefs, farmers and seeing the unique landscapes that help give Australian meat its unique flavour.
Pastuso, Melbourne & Gippsland Natural
19 ACDC Lane, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, 3000
Hailing from Peru, chef Alejandro Saravia (formerly of The Fat Duck and The Pier) already has a special respect for sirloin but it’s in the kitchen of Melbourne’s Pastuso that he gets to marry the dramatic flavours of South American dishes with natural Aussie livestock.
As a media spokesperson and advocate for Latin American cuisine, every dish Saravia produces is personal and an opportunity to educate the diner while simultaneously indulging his penchant for protein. For instance, his sassy take on surf and turf Saravia sets cubes of Gippsland Natural beef alongside fresh swordfish, layered with aji amarillo chillies and Peruvian huacatay mint.
It’s an approach echoes Gippsland Natural’s passion for embracing the natural elements that surround rural Victoria to raise cattle that are nourished by the crisp salt air and lush green plains of rural Victoria.
The Smoking Brothers / Elwood’s Eatery, Orange, New South Wales & Rosedale Charolais / Providore Global
170-174 Lord’s Place, Orange, NSW, Australia, 2800
It might sound like hyperbole but if you visit the town of Orange and don’t get your teeth around a piece of braised beef-cheek marinated to perfection by identical twins David and Ben Allcock then you haven’t truly tasted the local flavour.
Because even though much of the menu at Elwood’s Eatery is heavily inspired by the smokehouses of America’s deep south, there’s pure Australian spirit at the heart.
Before opening Elwood’s Eatery, the Allcock twins took great efforts to find a meat supplier that matches their high-standards. Enter Rosedale Charolais, a family run estate about 5km from Bayney in Central West New South Wales run by Sam and James Millner.
Both third-generation farmers, the Millner brothers firmly believe in a free-range approach to raising cattle. This means plenty of room to explore, graze and thrive in the wide elevated plains of rural New South Wales.
The Lost Farm Restaurant, Barnbougle & Barbougle Farm, Tasmania.
Set amongst Tasmania’s dramatic north eastern coastline, The Lost Farm’s head chef Tyler Blackberry is spoiled for inspiration and so are the cattle that are free to explore the pockets of pasture that nestle between the dunes forged into shape by the wild coastal winds.
And so it would be impossible for Blackberry to do anything but let his menu be formed by the iconic local landscape, allowing the local array of growers, foragers and farmers to forge the direction of his menu based on seasonality.
With this in mind diners at The Lost Farm are treated to a three-dimensional tour of the region with every bite and glance out the window out towards the sea.
But let’s be real, you’re not going to travel all across Australia just for a steak… Or maybe you would, in which case hats off to you and can we come?
The good news is you can have your own brilliant beef moment at home by visiting here and trying one of these amazing beef recipes, designed by some of our country’s best chefs.
COTW Partner Content Produced In Collaboration With The MLA