When you get an invite for a luncheon from the MLA (Meat & Livestock Australia) combined with a great beef producer that is Enviromeat, it is hard to imagine what the day will entail.
The venue was The Royal Saxon at 545 Church Street in Richmond. This venue is one of my fav spots around town as I enjoy the location, the staff, the atmosphere and more importantly the food.
On hand during the day was Paul Crook (Producer/Director) of Enviromeat, a company that aims to be carbon neutral by mid 2012, Bob Davie, a beef producer from Phillp Island and Greg from the MLA, who is quite handy with the knife.
Enviromeat are aiming for a Carbon Neutral Practise by mid 2012, and are Enviromentally Certified, do not use hormones or anti-biotics and are MSA (Meat Standards Australia) graded and tenderness guaranteed.
So I was quite excited about heading downstairs for a 7 course beef lunch as I love my beef. I have been fortunate over the years spent in and around Gippsland to have known some great beef producers and more importantly their product.
The chef, Glenn prepared the seven courses based on an Italian style of cooking, so I was eager to get into the menu and taste away.
First two dishes were the Carne Crudo (steak tartare) and the Bresaola (air dried beef) which were sublime. The Carne Crudo was delicate and strong in flavour, it had a hint of fennel and was great with the lardo bruschetta. The Bresaola was completed perfectly, it was tender and sat perfectly with the heritage rocket and parmigiano salad.
Next to try was the corned brisket and silverside. This raised the topic again about secondary cuts of meat and how we as consumers can make the difference to see more of these on our menus. So we tucked into this dish which was nicely complimented with spinach, lentils and mustard fruits. I have always been a fan of corning, and although it’s not a dish we will find on many menus, it’s something I love to cook at home.
The braised shin and knuckle was on it’s way out soon after the corned goods, and might I add that the smell from this dish took me back to a time as a young child living in New Zealand. There was this slight hint of a Hangi style flavour through the tender shin and knuckle. Served on a Bruschetta, this dish would be great for an upmarket BBQ.
Roasted topside was on our table within minutes of finishing the previous dish, at first I was sceptical as I like my meat to be rare-ish. Glenn delivered this roast cooked completely, so I was astonished at the tenderness and flavour of this dish. Served with some wild spring mushrooms and potatoes I was thinking that this is the end of my tasting, as I have now consumed my monthly intake of beef in roughly 1 hour.
At this point in the day, I was more than happy to sit and discuss ways, we, as the consumer can make a real difference in what beef items are on menus, whilst I enjoying a 2009 Terras Gauda O Rosal Albanirino and not partake in further consumption of beef.
Thats when the piece de resistance arrived. I thought I could not sit here and not try these two awesome looking dishes, the first being a rib eye, wood grilled and a succulent porterhouse. I mean Dino from the Flinstones would never had seen such a thing, the bone was longer than my forearm.
Often I find myself making sacrifices when dining, you may find something that looks great, but tastes ok, or it looks fine, but tastes amazing. The Rib Eye looked amazing, yet the taste, texture and flavour were out of this world. If only I had not eaten 3 kilo’s of beef already, I could have been quite chuffed to sit and tuck into this one alone. Served with cannellini and broad beans, it added a texture and flavour that can only be described as wicked.
This might sound a little snobby, but you can tell when everyone from the producer to the chef care about the beef as it results in an amazing product.
The day was knowledgable, informative and breathtakingly tasty.
I could talk more about Carbon Neutral farming and various ways to hang meat, but I urge you to flick onto the website for a quick browsy and see how we as consumers can make the difference. http://www.enviromeat.com.au/