FROM Thai beef with tomato, pepper, garlic, ginger, chilli and coriander to pork with cider, apple and sage, the central west’s butchers offered a smorgasbord of entries at the 2014 Sausage King and Best Butcher’s Burger competitions.
TAFE Western’s March Street campus was filled with the tantalising smell of sizzling sausages and burger patties on Thursday morning as a panel of three judges tasted their way through about 50 entries from Gilgandra through to Bathurst.
The competition was open to independent butchers who were members of the Australian Meat Industry Council.
Entries were judged on visual appearance before and after cooking, as well as their flavour and texture.
The traditional Australian beef and traditional Australian pork sausage sections could contain spices and meal, but no other additives, while the Australian lamb, poultry and continental sections permitted additional ingredients like garlic and tomato.
AMIC member services officer Richard Taylor, who oversaw the heat in Orange, said the gourmet/open class section was “open slather”.
“If you can mince it, that’s what you get,” he said.
Mr Taylor said the most unusual sausage he had ever tasted was a bourbon and cola entry from a different region.
“It was green and disgusting,” he said.
“In previous years, we’ve had crocodile and emu and kangaroo, but this year it’s pretty sedate, flavour-wise.”
Mr Taylor said the number of entries in any given year depended on how creative butchers were in experimenting with new flavours.
Judge Steve Fleming said the panel had tasted a couple of standout entries during the morning, but the gourmet section was always the most interesting.
Winners from the central west heat will compete in the state final in Wollongong on October 25 for a place in the national final in Adelaide on February 7.
MICHAEL Borg of M&J Butchery was Orange’s sole award winner in the 2014 Sausage King Competition, coming second in the traditional Australian pork category.
The business was one of eight independent central west butchers recognised as first, second or third place-getters.
Following the judging yesterday morning, Diggs Butchery in Gilgandra took out the gourmet/open section for its Texan chilli cheese sausage, while Gulgong Butchery won the traditional Australian Pork category, and the poultry category for its Thai chicken sausage.
Gilgandra’s Johnson’s Gourmet Butchery’s lamb, spinach and cheese sausage won the Australian lamb/open section and Parkes Central Butchery’s Italian spicy sausage won the continental category.
The best-judged traditional Australian beef sausage in the central west was awarded to S&S Meats in Mudgee.
In the Best Butcher’s Burger competition, Dwyer’s Fresh in Parkes won for its sate beef burger.
First place-getters will progress to the state final in October.