The 2017 World Steak Challenge, held in London, awarded an English Longhorn-cross the 2017 title of ‘Best Grass-Fed Steak’.
This title confirms what South Australian entrepreneur and owner of Feast! Fine Foods, Richard Gunner, knew when he took his first bite and started the journey back in 2009 to build Australia’s only herd of the prized breed.
Gunner was on the hunt for a steak that was “next-level” in flavour after Angus beef started to become the most popular breed across the country and appear on supermarket shelves and fast food menus.
Next stop: United Kingdom.
With the likes of Heston Blumenthal and Jock Zonfrillo hailing English Longhorns as producing the “best tasting beef in the world” it was time to start the long, arduous journey of breeding Australia’s only herd of English Longhorn.
Importing a breed of cattle into Australia is no mean feat. With biosecurity restrictions, copious red tape and the vagaries of dealing with animals, the first embryos were finally successfully imported in 2011 after several years of development, relationship building and a dogged focus on the end goal.
Enter: Willock Park English Longhorns.
Richard Gunner’s Fine Meats provides meat to customers and restaurants across Australia. Known throughout the food industry for their innovation , 2011 saw RGFM launch their brand ‘Willock Park English Longhorn’ and prepare to show Australians what all the fuss was about.
Since then Gunner has been treating the prized meat to dry-aging time in his custom-built Hinalayan salt room, just as the winning ‘World’s Best Grass-fed Steak’ enjoyed, with the salt bricks drawing moisture from the beef and intensifying its flavour.
Richard Gunner was delighted, though not surprised, to hear that it was an English Longhorn which took out one of the top prizes at this year’s World Steak Challenge, making the blood, sweat and tears even more satisfying.
“English Longhorns are all about taste” said Gunner “there’s no messing around, it’s an absolute must for anyone who loves a good steak” though he warns that you may never be able to go back to your former ways. “It’s the type of eating-experience that can really spark the beginning of your own personal journey into the different breeds, cuts and qualities of beef, it can become an obsession” he laughs.
Next Stop: South Australia.
South Australians are lucky enough to find themselves in the enviable position of being able to get their hands on some of this prized beef. While still in scarce supply as the herd grows, you can drop into your local Feast! Fine Foods store at either The Central Market, Unley, Norwood or Victor Harbor and take some home to try!
Alternatively, it can often be seen on the menus at some of Australia’s favourite restaurants including recently crowned ‘Best Restaurant in Australia’ Brae in Victoria, Jock Zonfrillo’s Orana in Adelaide and Neil Perry’s Rockpool Bar and Grill in Sydney.