Twelve North-east beef producers will be vying for the accolade of producing Scotland’s best steak in the McIntosh Donald/Tesco best Scotch steak competition at the Royal Highland Show.
The short-leet of 12 sirloins was selected on visual appearance by a panel of expert judges at the preliminary judging at McIntosh Donald’s Portlethen meat plant and will now go forward to the final cook-off at the show.
The 12 sirloins will be grilled on the Tesco stand at Ingliston on Friday, June 22, and the top eating steaks selected by a tasting panel.
The McIntosh Rosebowl and cash prize of £1000 will be presented for the champion by Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, and Jim McLaren, chairman of red meat promotional body, Jim McLaren.
“We thought the standard was high last year but it is fantastic this year,” said Steve Lamb, operations director with mail order meat company, Donald Russell of Inverurie, who judged along with, Craig Millar, manager of Tesco’s new Falkirk store, and Mike Stoddart, executive chef at Aberdeen’s Marcliffe Hotel and Spa
“The sirloins were better finished with more marbling and just the right amount of fat cover. The standard was consistently high and I’m confident all the sirloins will eat superbly well. Any one of the 12 could lift the title.”
The final 12 were selected from 110 sirloins from a total of 180 cattle consigned for the competition from North-east farms. Others were eliminated from the judging as a result of failing to meet the weight or grading standards set for the competition.
All the short-leeted sirloins are from cattle by Continental sires with Limousin leading the way with eight followed by Charolais and Simmental each with two.
The 12 finalists are as follows (breed, carcase weight and grade in brackets) – A C Grubb, Piketillum, Ellon (Limousin cross, 286.2kg, -U4L), G J and A Robertson, Titaboutie, Coull, Tarland (Limousin cross, 283kg, R4L), A C Brown (Farms) Ltd, Reidhall, Stracathro, Brechin (Charolais cross, 372.2kg, -U4L), Learmonth Farmers, Greens of Savoch, Auchnagatt (Charolais cross, 341.8kg, -U4L), D N Jackson, Mains of Melgund, Aberlemno, Brechin (Simmental cross, 337.2kg, -U4L), D M Cameron and Son, Allanglach, North Kessock, Inverness (Simmental cross, 367.5kg, -U4L), A Low, Mossneuk, Ellon (Limousin cross, 364.8kg, R4L), J Townsend, Berrytop, Netherley, Stonehaven (Limousin cross, 397.2kg, -U4L), I and A Beaton, Newton of Drum, Drumoak, Banchory (Limousin cross, 344.4kg, U+4L), R Morrison, Nether Blairock, Deskford, Buckie (Limousin cross, 320.6kg, R4L), Smart and Wilson, South Camaloun, Fuvie, Turriff (Limousin cross, 364.6kg, R4L) and nether Balfour Farms, Drumoak, Banchory (Limousin cross, 326kg, -U4L).