IF YOU'RE aiming to make the best pies in Queensland then you are going to need to start with the best lump of beef.
Old Fernvale Bakery owner Bill Rose went to extraordinary lengths to obtain a much sought after Charolais steer at this year's Brisbane Exhibition, outbidding several major restaurants and butcheries to claim the beast for a price of $36 a kilo.
With the big white steer - the Grand Champion led steer at this year's Ekka - tipping the scales at just a tad under 250kg, that worked out to almost $9000.
According to Kalbar auctioneer Neil Goetsch, the price was second only to the Australian record, but Mr Rose said the prize-winning beast would be more than worth its weight in hot, chunky gold.
It will be butchered in Esk and prepared to be made into some very special meat pies in less than a week's time.
"I would suspect that we will get close to a couple thousand pies out of it," Mr Rose said.
"They will be sold for a little bit more than our normal chunky steak pie, but we still want to ensure people get good value for money. Our pies weigh between 300 and 350g, with a meat content of at least 200g per pie."
The bakery's successful bid for the Charolais steer was something of a coincidence, with Mr Rose himself a breeder of that particular variety of cattle for the past 30 years.
He currently has more than 100 head at his property near Wivenhoe Dam.
"I know what good cattle are - I certainly don't accept anything that is below par and occasionally I will slaughter my own beasts if necessary," he said.