Always a bridesmaid but never the bride – not anymore for Illawarra meat man John Hastie. All hail the new Sausage King.
The third generation butcher has finally won the much coveted title after beating other state finalists hands down in a national sausage fest in Healesville in Victoria on Saturday.
In what has been dubbed “the Oscars of the meat world”, Mr Hastie of Hastie’s Top Taste Meats in Wollongong snagged the grand final trophy in the Traditional Australian Beef sausage category – a category he has been a finalist many times but never the king.
“We’ve actually used the same [ingredients] for last 30 years, so it’s ironic that it’s taken us this long to get to where we are but you get the balance of a decent judge and decent sausage and it came through on the weekend,” he said, also thanking the hard work of his dozen employees.
When plating up the Australian delicacy at home, Mr Hastie said the sauce depends totally on the preference of the foodie though barbecue or tomato sauces paired well with the thin sausage made of locally sourced beef.
Mr Hastie’s top tip for cooking any sausages is to keep them on low heat and never prick holes in them.
Organised by the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) the competition attracts huge interest from the nation’s 3200 independent butchers and is widely regarded as the meat industry’s premier competition.
Other local butchers who made it to the NSW State finals alongside Hastie’s in August were Purebred Meats from Thirroul and Hot Canary Gourmet Meats and Bowral.