Search is on for the best beef in town

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The search is on once again to find the best steaks, the best beef sausages and the best beefburgers in Northern Ireland.

The dates have been set for the European Angus Steak Tasting Competition sponsored by Devenish Nutrition and now its all systems go as the society calls for entries.

The Gilford-based European Angus Cattle Society, organisers of the competition, are hoping for a record entry now that the event has the backing of a sponsor, Devenish Nutrition, the Belfast-based agri-technology company.

This is the fourth year that the Society has staged the competition but the first that a major sponsor has been on board.

“We are absolutely delighted to have the support of Devenish Nutrition in organising this year’s event as the competition has grown significantly over the last three years,” said European Angus secretary, Harry McGaffin. “The format remains the same with the competition being held in two categories; under 15 employees and over 15 employees, with three beef classes - Fillet Steak, Sirloin Steak and Rib-eye Steak.

“Again we are also continuing with our beef sausage categories, both traditional and gourmet, and with our beefburger category.”

Once again CAFRE Loughry Campus is the venue for the staging of the blind tastings and Michele Shirlow, Chief Executive of Food NI, has been appointed as this year’s guest judge responsible for the selection of the overall Supreme Champion Steak.

The heats and the main steak tasting will take place on February 24 at CAFRE with the tasting of the sausages and beefburgers scheduled for March 3.

The winners will be announced at a Special Awards Evening and Dinner which is being held at the Bannville House Hotel near Banbridge on March 15.

“Those entering steaks in the competition will participate in the blind tastings while once again we hope to engage various Young Farmers’ Club members in the blind tasting of the sausages and the beefburgers,” continued Harry. “The competition is open to anyone involved in the beef industry sector, and very importantly, all breeds of cattle. We have enjoyed great support from farmers, butchers, processors and retailers over the last three years and we very much hope that trend will continue.”

The competition cost is £15 per entry and entry forms are available from the European Angus Cattle Society, phone 07715 584 887 or email: