“Buried somewhere deep in the Food Act 2001, is the rule that mince cannot be served with any visible signs of pink,” writes dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON
I’VE cut back on meat, choosing quality over quantity. It’s not just for my health and the environment. It’s because I’m not keen on eating chemicals. And I want taste and experience with my food.
So when I stumbled across Urban Meat Co I wondered if the lad behind this new Canberra, online, home-delivery service – a blue-blood carnivore – was true to his word that he was bringing some of Australia’s most premium meat to the capital, delivered straight to the doorstep. The answer is “yes”.
Director Patrick Madden says Urban Meat Co is the first local business providing direct service of this grade of product to Canberra’s domestic market. Patrick sources chemical and hormone-free meat from those who supply internationally renowned restaurants such as Aria in Sydney. Suppliers include Jack'”s Creek, a two-time winner of the World’s Best Steak, and Rangers Valley, both from NSW.
“We have exclusive access to some of the country’s best wholesalers and producers, which means we can curate selections of premium Australian meat,” says Patrick. “Our meat is for the discerning buyer.”
Patrick has cooked professionally for close to two decades. His passion for premium meat was ignited in London, in the kitchen of “Smiths” of Smithfield, where he worked with Australian celebrity chef John Torode. Patrick has also operated his own high-end catering company, Sydney-based Urban Food Design.
Meat is individually vacuum sealed and delivered in custom-made, environmentally friendly packaging in refrigerated vans. Each insulated box contains a medical-grade gel pack that stays frozen in ambient temperatures for up to four hours (they can be reused).
Cuts change regularly, based on supply. Urban Meat Co launched its third series just last week, including dry-aged ribeye; dry-aged bone-in-sirloins; wagyu and dry-aged black Angus products.
I’ve barbecued two cuts from the third series and while I won’t say the meat is cheap, I will say it’s worth every bite.
The sirloin on the bone is from Pinnacle by Great Southern in Tasmania (6 x 300g for $118). Great Southern cattle are grass-fed and enjoy a free-range life. The cut had been dry aged for six weeks, producing a unique and intense flavour – absolutely heavenly.
Then there was the Rangers Valley score 5 Wagyu scotch fillet, one of my all-time favourite cuts (4 x 300g for $139). The meat was exceptionally tender, delicious and moist – no surprise given that Rangers Valley is one of the world’s most respected premium marbled-eat producers. I dined on half of the 300-gram fillet for dinner, dreamt about the experience all night and enjoyed the other half the next day for lunch.
Urban Meat Co delivers twice a week through trading partner Bayldon Meats, a meat-packing plant in Queanbeyan (set times Wednesdays and Saturdays).
More information at urbanmeatco.com.au