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European Angus Cattle Society puts taste to the test at annual Steak Tasting event

26th February 2013

The quality of Northern Ireland beef has been put to the test with the staging of the 2013 European Angus Steak Tasting competition.

Staged at CAFRE Loughry Campus, this was the third year of the event which aims to find the best Fillet steak, best Sirloin steak and best Rib-Eye steak in Northern Ireland.

The results of the heats are in and the six finalists in the two categories, under 15 employees and over 15 employees, will now battle it out this Monday the 4th of March when John Thompson, Past President of the Ulster Farmers Union (UFU) does the tasting honours in the final.

“John has been brought in to find the Supreme Champion steak in this year’s competition, and like the heats, it will be carried out as a blind tasting,” explained European Angus Cattle Society Secretary, Harry McGaffin. “Representatives of the various competitors were involved in the blind tastings of the heats and again this year the standard of the entries was extremely high.
“This is the third year of the competition and feedback has shown that this participation element with regards to the tasting is extremely popular amongst competitors.”

The competition has become recognised as a major event in the agri-food calendar and this year there was a particularly good response from local butchers.

“A win in a competition like ours is an opportunity to underline the quality of the product,” continued Harry. “It offers considerable competitive advantage if you can come away with an EACS award.
“The fact that the competition is open to all breeds of cattle makes it even more attractive.”

Chef in charge of this year’s Steak Tasting was Gary Scott of Salt Restaurant in Portadown.

As well as the judging of the six steaks that have made it through to the final this Monday
members of various Young Farmers Clubs will be on hand to blind taste the beef sausages, gourmet sausages and beefburgers that have been entered in this year’s competition.

“We have representatives from Collone, Rathfriland and Moneyrea Young Farmers Clubs coming along to participate in the judging and it’s an evening we are all looking forward to,” continued Harry. “This is the first year that beefburgers have featured in the competition and the category has proved to be very popular.”

The winners of all categories, along with the ‘Supreme Champion’, will be revealed at a special Charity Gala Dinner and Awards presentation evening being held at Tandragee Golf Club on Saturday, March 16.

Dinner and entertainment is being provided and on the night an auction and raffle will be held in aid of the European Angus Cattle Society’s chosen charity, ‘the Make a Wish Foundation’.

Tickets are already on sale and can be purchased by contacting Secretary, Harry McGaffin on 077 1558 4887.

Raising the Steaks at this year’s European Angus Steak Tasting competition are, from left, competition chef, Gary Scott of Salt Restaurant, Portadown, Harry McGaffin, European Angus Cattle Society Secretary and Des Brady of CAFRE Loughry Campus where the competition was held.

Participants and officials at the recent Steak Tasting competition organised by the European Angus Cattle Society and staged at CAFRE Loughry Campus.

Tasting the Sirloin Steaks at this year’s European Angus Steak Tasting Competition are, from left, Seamus Gallagher, Gallagher Meats, Strabane; Michael McWhinney, Dunbia, Dungannon; Donald Bell, Abbotts Meats, Belfast; Bob Walker, M.A. Quail Butchers, Dromore and Stephen Millar, Millar Meats, Irvinestown.

Pictured at the European Angus Steak Tasting Competition 2013 are, from left, John Hoy of John C. Hoy Butchers, Portadown; Mark McAtamney, McAtamney’s Butchers, Kilrea; Clayton Moore, M & W Farm Meats, Portadown and Dean  Irwin, Greenmount Farm Shop, Richhill.

Representatives of entrants at this year’s European Angus Steak Tasting Competition, from left, Samuel Carson, Prime Cuts, Ballymena; Eddie Scott, W. J. Holmes & Son, Donaghcloney; Nigel Logan, Hillstown Farm Shop, Randalstown; Matthew Holmes, W. J. Holmes & Son, Donaghcloney, Wayne Morrow, Morrows Butchers, Aughnacloy, Neil McCallum and Stephen Sandford from McCallum Butchers, Belfast.


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