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Best Beef in Australia revealed

Posted on April 13th, 2015

The best steaks in Australia’s ‘beef capital’ have been revealed at the Tourism & Events Queensland Awards of Excellence presentation in Rockhampton today.

The local food service industry has embraced the opportunity provided by Beef Australia 2015 to showcase its skills to the thousands of visitors from around Australia and the world headed to Rockhampton for the national beef industry exposition in May.

And the competition has also unearthed a new talent, with local resident Amanda Lawrence winning the Tourism & Events Queensland Signature Dish Street Food Competition, with her Sichuan Steamed Buns to be served to visitors at the expo.

“Beef Australia’s Awards of Excellence program has an important role in raising an awareness of the health and economic benefits of eating our world class Australian product, as well as promoting the talent of local chefs, restaurant staff and business owners to the general public,” Beef Australia chief executive Denis Cox said.

“The quality of beef dishes served by Central Queensland’s cafes, restaurants and take-away outlets is just outstanding. These awards recognise the high calibre of their work and provide restaurateurs the chance to further promote their businesses.”

Rockhampton’s Central Park Motel and its ‘Rocky’s Top Restaurant’ was named winner of the restaurant class for the prestigious best steak category, while The Great Western Hotel won best steak in the pubs and clubs category.

The Great Western dominated the pubs and clubs classes, also winning Best Beef Signature Dish, Best Low & Slow Beef Dish and Best Beef Pie or Burger.

Meanwhile, the Tourism & Events Queensland Signature Dish Street Food Competition attracted entries from all over Australia, with entrants required to provide recipes for a ready-to-eat beef dish that showcased the flavour and versatility of beef by featuring secondary cuts.

Amanda Lawrence’s Sichuan Steamed Buns recipe will be served at the Rockhampton Showgrounds throughout Beef Australia 2015, with profits to be donated to the Cancer Council Queensland.

Amanda’s prize includes the opportunity to demonstrate the dish on stage alongside some of the best Australian and international chefs.

Entries were showcased on Beef Australia’s Facebook page – Amanda’s steamed buns were not only the popular selection from Facebook followers, but also a clear winner when the recipes were reviewed by Beef Australia’s consultant chef Shane Bailey, from Noosa’s Boathouse Restaurant.

Tourism & Events Queensland Awards of Excellence Winners

  • Beef Australia Signature Dish Street Food Competition: Amanda Lawrence – Sichuan beef steamed buns
  • Best Steak – A La Carte Restaurants: Central Park Motel – Rocky’s Top Restaurant; runner up to Restaurant 98 and highly commended to the Waterline Restaurant Yeppoon.
  • Best Steak – Pubs and Clubs: The Great Western Hotel; runner up the Ascot Hotel; and highly commended to The Ginger Mule.
  • Best Beef Signature Dish – A La Carte Restaurants: Waterline Restaurant; runner up Restaurant 98; highly commended Centrepoint Motor Inn – Signatures Restaurant.
  • Best Beef Signature Dish – Pubs and Clubs: The Great Western Hotel
  • Best Beef Signature Dish – Cafes & Take-aways: Coffee House
  • Best Low & Slow Beef Dish – A La Carte Restaurants: Restaurant 98.
  • Best Low & Slow Beef Dish – Pubs and Clubs: The Great Western Hotel
  • Best Beef Pie or Burger – A La Carte Restaurants: Central Park Motel – Rocky’s Top Restaurant; runner up Waterline Restaurant
  • Best Beef Pie or Burger – Pubs and Clubs: The Great Western Hotel; runner up Glenmore Tavern; highly commended the PA Hotel.
  • Best Beef Pie or Burger – Cafes & Take-aways: Coffee House; highly commended Big G’s Takeaway

Sichuan Beef Steamed Buns – Amanda Lawrence

Filling

Ingredients:

  • 4 Beef cheeks
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoon Sichuan pepper*
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper*
  • 1 teaspoon chilli*
  • 2/3 cup dry sherry or rice wine
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 10 star anise
  • 2 tablespoon ginger
  • 3 ½ tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • finely grated rind and juice of 1 orange
  • 4 large flat mushrooms

Method

Mix flour, peppers and chilli in a plastic bag. Add beef cheeks and coat with seasoned flour.

Heat a pan, add oil and seal the beef cheeks. Place in a slow cooker (or roasting pan if you don’t own a slow cooker).

Add the combined remaining ingredients (you may need to add water so that the liquid just covers the meat).

Cover and cook on high for 5 to 6 hours (or at 150ºC in the oven if using a roasting pan). Remove the lid and cook for a further hour to reduce the liquid (meat should come apart with a fork). Cool in the liquid.

Remove the beef cheeks and mushrooms and shred. Combine with a little of the liquid to make the filling for the buns.

Buns (makes 16)

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 ½ teaspoon instant yeast
  • 2 2/3 cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil

Method

Dissolve sugar in warm water in large bowl. Add yeast, stir to combine and let rest until frothy.

Add sesame oil and flour. Mix to a dough and knead until smooth and elastic.

Oil the bowl, place dough in the bowl and cover with cling wrap. Rest in a warm area until doubled in size (approx 1 hour).

Divide into 16 pieces. Flatten each piece into a circle, add a spoonful of the meat filling and pinch closed.

Steam for 10 minutes.

  • If you don’t have a steamer you can bake these in the oven as well – just
  • brush with egg before baking at 180ºC. This will, obviously, give a different
  • texture to the buns but they are still tasty.
  • The cooked steamed buns can be frozen to be reheated at a later date.
  • You will have left-over meat. The meat can be frozen and used at a later
  • date or you can double the bread recipe.