It was tender, juicy and full of meaty flavour. Just as it should be, because this was no ordinary steak , but a cut from a champion that I enjoyed at the Norman Hotel.
I ate a champion — no bull!
Well, actually it was a bull, and it was in the carnivore’s sanctuary of the Norman Hotel that I devoured a thick slab of medium sirloin steak, dug into an Idaho potato topped with crisp bacon and moved some salad around my plate.
Sitting across the table from me were Graham and Rhondda Bridle who were as proud as punch when their champion pen of steers took out the prestigious Grand Champion title at the recent Brisbane Royal Show (better know to us as the Ekka).
It’s a second win for the Bridle family, who have been farming Santa Gertrudis cattle for 35 years at their family run operation. They have six properties on the Western Downs.
Graham told me that the competition was stiff and it’s wins like these that give the family spirit and the strength to carry on through the bad times as well as the good.
The Bridle family’s champion pen of steers sold for $3.60 per kilo. With an average live weight of 672 kilo per steer, the cattle returned $2,419.20 on an individual price basis a which pleased the Bridles.
Grain or grass fed, medium or rare, sirloin or fillet — these are the questions I usually ask myself when I sit down to order a steak. Norman Hotel General Manager Andrew Ford has a competition to change that with a guest survey to see which breed of beef its patrons enjoy most. Diners are asked to choose from Black Angus, Hereford, Santa Gertrudis and Red Angus and rate the steak’s tenderness, juiciness, flavour and overall like on a scale of one to 10.
Ask the Bridles and they will naturally tell you that Santa Gertrudis are great eating. This breed came to Australia from King Ranch, Texas, where it was developed so that other cattlemen could enjoy the benefits of increased production even in harsh conditions. Since arriving in Australia, Santa Gertrudis have gone on to become one of the leading breeds of beef cattle, excelling in the areas of cross breeding, weight-for-age, food conversion efficiency and daily weight gain.
Best of all, they make a fine steak. Head to the Norman Hotel and put your taste buds to the steak testing challenge. Which will be your favourite breed?