TASTE SENSATION: Gary Middlebrook with his award-winning scalded sausages.
TASTE SENSATION: Gary Middlebrook with his award-winning scalded sausages. Claudia Baxter

Ipswich butchers snag top awards in Brisbane

BOONAH butcher Gary Middlebrook is the sovereign of snags.

His scalded sausages won gold in the Royal Queensland Food and Wine Show and Australian Meat Industry Council's Ham, Bacon and Smallgoods Competition in Brisbane.

The Ipswich corridor dominated the podium with Mr Middlebrook's High St business Elite Meats, Raceview's Circle T Meats and Plainland's Schulte's Meat Tavern taking out three of the six champion titles.

"We were the first shop to win the bone and the boneless ham categories in 2009 and then in 2011 we won both categories again," Mr Middlebrook said. "This year we also received third in Queensland for our bacon rashers."

Elite Meat's innovation is a point of difference in Boonah which is well-serviced by butchers.

Mr Middlebrooke has 17 different flavours of gourmet sausages, as well as kabana and chorizo varieties, which have snagged him a string of the awards over the past few years.

"I'm pretty much self-taught. I asked a few question, did a bit of research and started playing," he said.

"We don't cut any corners. We use only lean mince and fresh produce in our sausages."

His recipes include duck and mandarin, Guinness and sage and pumpkin, fetta and pinenut lamb snags. "The most exotic sausages I've done were for Tattersall's Club - I had to do chicken and duck sausages with sweet chilli plum and cranberry with roasted pecan nuts in it," he said.

Circle T Meats received a first for its boneless leg ham, while Schulte's Meat Tavern was named Kabana King and received a second for its bacon.



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