We can tell you the secret to Robert Brown’s prize-winning burgers, but it won’t do you much good.
“After being here for 100 years, you sort of work out what’s what,” Robert says, referring to the generations of family butchery experience that run in his blood.
Brown’s Eden Butchery took out the first prize for best butcher’s burger with its homestyle burger, in Wednesday’s judging at the Australian Meat Industry Council NSW/ACT Sausage King and Best Butchers Burger Far South Coast Competition.
Brown’s beef and vegetable burger beat nine other entries in the hamburger section.
They now progress to the State finals to be held in October in Wollongong, and if successful there, the national finals to be held in Adelaide in February 2015.
“It was good, when I got the news,” Robert said on Wednesday morning.
“Now the pressure mounts for the next stage, the State comp in October.”
Standing under a portrait of his dad and butcher-before-him, Max Brown, Robert Brown talks with passion about his winning rissole/burger.
“Texture is a big thing; you can’t have it too crumbly, but you don’t want it too sloppy either.
“When you put your veggies in, they can dry it out a bit, so you’ve got to have the right amount of veg.
“You’ve got to season it with some mixed herbs and then I actually marinate them,” he says.
Robert Brown also pays attention to sourcing the right meat for the right cuts and products.
“The beef comes from Milton,” he explains.
“I source the beef for what I want; sometimes I get it over the border in Orbost, sometimes in Milton, it just depends on the specific carcass I’ve been looking for.”
The Milton beef seems to be winning out over its Victorian counterpart.
“The last ones I’ve been getting from Milton have been fantastic,” Robert Brown says.
“I like to stick with Hereford cattle. I like a grass-fed beast, that’s finished with grain, probably for 100 days.”
In more good news for local butchers, JD’s Meats from Pambula won a first in the traditional Australian sausage category and Barrabarroo Farm Fresh Meats from Quaama took three firsts - in poultry with its duck, orange and pistachio sausage, in continental for a German bratwurst and in gourmet for its exotic coconut curry sausage.