GALLERY: South Coast's best sausage-maker named

A Shoalhaven butcher with fancy tendencies has trumped Illawarra snag-sellers for the title of South Coast sausage king. 

Nathan Alcock wooed judges of the Regional Sausage King Competition with a series of fat, gourmet creations and was rewarded with nine awards in seven categories, including four golds.

Mr Alcock’s creations included chicken, spinach and oven roasted pine nuts; macadamia satay and fresh coriander and lamb curry with coconut and coriander. 

His were among more than 90 entries at the Australian Meat Industry Council event, at Wollongong TAFE campus today. 

The council’s spokesman, Craig Wright, said independent butchers had grown more experimental with gourmet ingredients as a way of differentiating their products from supermarket sausages.

‘‘If they can produce these fancy sausages that the supermarkets don’t necessarily do, it gets the customer in the door,’’ he said. 

Mr Wright said quality meat and fresh ingredients were key to making an award-winning sausage. 

Industry awards were increasingly prized by butchers, he said.  

‘‘Even if they’re getting a second or third place, they might increase their sales from 50kgs of sausage to 250kg with the publicity they can get,’’ he said. 

The council merged the Illawarra and Shoalhaven contests after the latter attracted too few entries to make the competition meaningful. 

The Illawarra’s most successful entrants were Dandaloo Meats’ Paul Thomas and John Hastie from Hastie’s Toptaste Meats, each with three awards. 

The competition forms the regional leg of the National Sausage King Competition, with category winners advancing to a state final.

Southern Highlands butchers, whose competition was judged in the same venue yesterday, produced some of the day’s most unconventional sausages, with duck, alpaca and rabbit all on the menu.

Illawarra/Shoalhaven winners

Traditional Australian (made of beef and/or lamb and/or pork, plus meal (optional) spices and/or flavourings and water.)

1st: Ben Kerr, Thirroul Plaza Meats

2nd: Nathan Alcock, Mountain Side Meats (Shoalhaven Heads)

3rd: John Hastie, Hastie’s Toptaste Meats (Wollongong)

Traditional Australian Pork (100 per cent pork)

1st: David While, Tarrawanna Meats

2nd: John Hastie, Hastie’s Toptaste Meats (Wollongong)

3rd: Nathan Alcock, Mountain Side Meats (Shoalhaven Heads)

Poultry

1st: Paul Thomas, Dandaloo Meats - plain chicken

2nd: Nathan Alcock, Mountain Side Meats (Shoalhaven Heads) - chicken, spinach and oven roasted pine nuts

3rd: John Hastie, Hastie’s Toptaste Meats (Wollongong) - duck and orange

Australian Lamb

1st: Nathan Alcock, Mountain Side Meats (Shoalhaven Heads) - Lamb curry with coconut and coriander

2nd: Michael Wedd, Berry Butchery - lamb, tomato, onion and rosemary

3rd: Nathan Alcock, Mountain Side Meats (Shoalhaven Heads) - lamb, lemon, coriander and cracked pepper

Continental

1st: Nathan Alcock, Mountain Side Meats (Shoalhaven Heads) - continental Italian

2nd: Paul Thomas, Dandaloo Meats, German Bratwurst

3rd: David White, Tarrawanna Meats, Bratwurst with garlic

Gourmet

1st: Nathan Alcock, Mountain Side Meats (Shoalhaven Heads) - macadamia satay and fresh coriander

2nd: Paul Thomas, Dandaloo Meats - wild mushroom and garlic

3rd: Ben Kerr, Thirroul Plaza Meats - Texan chilli

Best Butchers Burger Winners

1st: Nathan Alcock, Mountain Side Meats (Shoalhaven Heads) - gourmet lamb with mint, rosemary and mozzarella cheese

2nd: Nathan Alcock, Mountain Side Meats (Shoalhaven Heads) - beef and vegetable

3rd: Mark Lavender, Lakeline Butchery (Kanahooka) - gourmet lamb and parsley

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