An eye for premium fillets
MEAT eaters in Lismore have the chance to buy a prime cut of beef taken from the champion steer sold at the North Coast National.
Twelve independent butchers and three wholesalers from Lismore, Casino, Coraki and Woodburn cast their eyes over 67 steers entered in the show and sale.
Rob Barnham from Lismore Premium Meats successfully picked the champion carcass, which he purchased for $4.40/kg.
Weighing 419kg, the 12-month-old Limousin/Angus steer was bred by Peter and Pauline Grant of Stanthorpe in Queensland and prepared by students from Stanthorpe High School.
The carcasses were judged by Don Riley of Tamworth against Meat Standards Australia classifications
Mr Barnham said the champion carcass would be cut into prime rump, rib fillet and T-bone steaks.
"Since we won we've had people coming and reserving the parts they want," he said.
"I suppose it's been judged the best and they want to eat the best."
Mr Barnham has been a beef farmer for 10 years and owns four farms at Jiggi, Larnook, and Yorklea.
He said his farming background helped him choose a steer with depth in its body and an even fat covering.
"There were just under 70 steers to choose from in the auction and we tried to pick the best ones out.
"We bought four and one of them happened to be the best one, so we're pretty happy about that."
It was only the second time Mr Barnham had entered the competition and he admitted he was "pretty chuffed" to take home a show ribbon and $100 in prize money.
"We'll donate the prize money back to the agricultural society because we want to support them and the local farmers," he said.
"All of our products are as local as we can get them."
Kevin Cocciola conducted the steer sale on behalf of stock agents Ian Weir & Son and Bishop & Company.
Mr Cocciola encouraged meat eaters to seek out meat purchased by local butchers at the North Coast National steer show and sale.
"The smaller butchers are battling and the sale gives them a chance to show the quality of the meat they buy," he said.
Mr Cocciola said his favourite cut of meat was either a thick T-bone steak or eye fillet.
"If you cut them about to about an inch and a half (3-4cm) they are just beautiful," he said.
"The thicker the steak the better.
"You could safely say that any of the private butchers who bought from the Lismore show will get some very nice meat for sale."