It’s starting to heat up in the world of the Australian Wagyu Association’s Wagyu Branded Beef Competition with entries already received for three classes of beef and the coveted sausage category. The crème de la crème is the Grand Champion of Wagyu – the best of the best across the three beef categories.
To find out just what it means to be a Grand Champion, we spoke with Mort & Co, 2018 Grand Champion for their Wagyu Branded Beef, The Phoenix.
In the past two years, Mort & Co have entered The Phoenix into the Wagyu Branded Beef Competition and gained Gold (2018) and Bronze (2017) in the Crossbred Class with Silver in both years for the Commercial Steak categories.
The Phoenix was described by the judges as having a glorious beefy flavour that was extremely tender and juicy. The Crossbred Class entry grading analysis showed the cut to have a marbling of 44% and a fineness index of 2.90, with a rib eye area of 123.7cm2.
Bred by Hamilton Park, The Phoenix offered for the competition was F2 – which has a minimum of 75% Wagyu content and grainfed for 400 days to give a carcase weight of 420kg. Raised on Mort & Co’s specially formulated grainfed diet, the company aims to produce the softest, sweetest Wagyu to create an unforgettable cuisine experience
“Being a medal winner of the AWA’s WBBC has been a fantastic marketing tool for Mort & Co,” says Scott Mcdouall, general manager meat and livestock, Mort & Co.
“As a highly regarded, well supported and independently run industry competition, the awards carry weight with our global distributors as well as end consumers in terms of validating our product quality, specification and presentation claims.
“It also helps to differentiate our Phoenix Wagyu brand in a niche but competitive global market. Our Wagyu Branded Beef Competition successes also help validate the breeding, procurement and feeding decisions we make as a business whilst also providing a valuable mechanism to showcase some of our supporting wagyu vendors without whom we couldn’t produce the quality product that we do.”
In determining which carcase to submit into the competition, Mort & Co prefer to choose an entry that is representative of their business models for The Phoenix from a normal Wagyu pen rather than a specific carcase. By doing so, the entry is representative of the quality of Wagyu and gives consumers a true indication of the consistent product that they can expect in terms of marbling, fineness, colour and eating experience.
The Wagyu Branded Beef Competition has four categories: Fullblood Wagyu, Crossbred Wagyu, Commercial Wagyu and Gourmet Sausage, with the Grand Champion awarded across the three steak categories.
Judging is based on juiciness, flavour and aroma, while the Gourmet Sausage is assessed on visual appeal (raw and cooked) and overall taste.
The 2019 judging will take place 14 March, 2019 with entries closing 15 February, 2019.
For more information on the Wagyu Branded Beef Competition, visit the Australian Wagyu Association Branded Beef Competition website.