Beef Central News briefs 3 May 2013

Beef Central, 03/05/2013


Wagyu burger crowned Dish of the Year


The winning HuxtaburgerA Wagyu burger from Daniel Wilson’s Huxtaburger premium burger outlets in Melbourne has been named the 2013 Burger Dish of the Year by the influential Food Service News publication. Judges searched Australia-wide for the best burger and found it in Huxtaburger’s Collingwood and CBD outlets. According to the judges, the genius of the Huxtaburger lies in its simplicity and the superb Wagyu flavour. “The use of fullblood grassfed Moondarra Tajima Wagyu beef seasoned simply with salt and pepper, coupled with a slightly sweet, soft, pliable bun brushed with clarified butter and crisped on the flat grill, is the key to its success,” said the judges. “The core ingredient in the award winning Huxtaburger is the Moondarra Wagyu and that is the only beef we use in our complete range of burgers,” said owner Daniel Wilson, who opened his first Huxtaburger outlet in Smith Street Collingwood in late 2011. He has since opened another in Fulham Place behind 357 Collins Street in Melbourne’s CBD with plans to expand to another outlet, which should see weekly throughput jump to 5000 burgers a week. The beef is supplied through specialist wholesaler Gamekeepers. Jerome Hoban from Gamekeepers said the program used a fine 7mm grind, utilising all full muscles instead of trim, including chuck, knuckle and some forequarter. Moondarra Wagyu is produced by Neil Prentice in Victoria’s East Gippsland.

Huxtaburger’s Wagyu burger recipe (makes 10)


  • 1kg Wagyu beef mince
  • 15g salt, 4g pepper
  • 1 iceberg lettuce, torn and washed
  • 4 tomatoes, sliced
  • 10 slices cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • tomato ketchup
  • mustard
  • pickles
  • 10 75g soft buns (Asian Bakery)
  • clarified butter


Mix salt and pepper through mince and weigh out to 50g patties, flatten and lay out on grease-proof paper. Cook patties on a flat grill and put the cheese on top when you turn it over. Brush buns with clarified butter and toast on the flat grill. Build burger using ingredients.



Donated steers will support good causes

Tony Clift, the principal of Kilburnie Cattle Co, which operates 600,000ha Mt Margaret Station near Quilpie, is donating 20 steers to be auctioned at the Inaugural Kilburnie Weaner sale in Gunnedah on May 9. Proceeds from the sale will go to will go to the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Angel Flight. The donation is a dedication for Peter Whiteman, manager of Mount Margaret who was tragically killed in a flying accident whilst mustering for the sale. The steers will be the top of the drop off Mount Margaret, and will be offered as the first pen in the sale. Agents are hoping for strong bidding support, given the worthy cause. Contact Elders Brisbane livestock sales manager Cameron Wilson or phone 0428 657 334.


Australia/NZ step up joint FMD defence plan

Australia and New Zealand have signed a new action plan designed to strengthen defences against the threat of Foot and Mouth Disease between the two countries. Key activities under the joint trans-Tasman FMD Action Plan plan include sharing intelligence on emerging animal health risks facing the region; developing and improving training activities and FMD detection capabilities, including training in exotic animal disease recognition and participating in joint exercises; sharing and comparing economic and disease models of FMD to inform management strategies; collaborating on policy development, approaches and operational plans for vaccination and carcass disposal; and participating in simulation exercises to explore support response efforts in the event of an incursion.  The plan was announced on Friday by Australian agriculture minister Joe Ludwig and NZ minister for primary industries Nathan Guy. 


Millah Murrah females set $7960 record

What was arguably the strongest registered female sale ever held in Australia was recorded by Millah Murrah Angus recently, when 112 registered females averaged a phenomenal $7960 at the stud’s annual female sale. Cows and calves peaked at an extraordinary $28,000, but rather than being inflated by a handful of high prices, the consistency of support right through the cow catalogue saw 61 cows and calves average $8943. A further 51 PTIC Spring calving cows sold to a top of $24,000 to average $6784. The sale grossed $891,500 for 112 lots. Buyers seeking quality embryo donor females strongly underpinned the result. “It was a wonderful vote of confidence, not only in our program, but in the future prospects of the Angus breed,” stud principal Ross Thompson said afterwards.


US beef prices hit ten-year high

Beef prices in the US hit a decade-long high this week, as the arrival of warmer weather over much of the country stimulated backyard chefs to fire-up their grills after a long, hard winter. Until this week, spring weather in north America has been a mixture of cold, snow, frost and rain, none of which is conducive for picnics or backyard burger or steak cookouts.

But as temperatures rose across much of the country this week, analysts anticipate a seasonal surge in beef sales. The wholesale cut-out price of USDA Choice grade beef jumped US$3.10 to US$199.49 per 100 lbs (cwt) on Wednesday (in Australian terms, about A$4340/tonne, or A$4.34/kg) the highest since October 2003, according to US Department of Agriculture data.

"We've not yet seen the big demand push we normally get by this time of year because of weather issues. But the cut-out surge suggests a kick-start for grilling, Mother's Day features and Memorial Day bookings," said US commodities analyst Don Roose. US consumers are already paying record high prices for beef, and the latest surge in the wholesale market may push supermarket prices even higher, analysts suggest.

In US supermarkets, the average beef price in March was a record US$5.30/lb (A$11.38c/kg), eclipsing the previous record set in November, according to USDA's Economic Research Service.

Those higher beef costs and reduced consumer discretionary spending may cause some US consumers to switch from beef to other competitively priced meats. "We saw a lot of cheap pork and poultry in stores and we've not seen very good beef features in a long time, which may explain what's driving beef demand now," said David Hales, president of Texas-based Hales Trading Co.

Analysts were divided about whether current beef demand will be strong enough to hoist the cut-out above the 2003 record, which followed the detection of BSE in Canada, and a subsequent beef shortage in the US. Those predicting even more gains in wholesale beef prices say domestic beef production will inevitably decline, as the US cattle herd is the smallest in 61 years, due to drought pressures, high feed costs and land sue changes.

Agribusiness company Cargill Inc last month said pressure from the historic US drought had hurt its meat and grain operations, knocking quarterly earnings down 42 percent. Others believe US wholesale beef values may have peaked, arguing that cattle weights continue to rise, to compensate for smaller numbers.


Agreement allows China, Brazil to trade in own currencies

China and Brazil signed an agreement to do billions of dollars of trade in their local currencies, as the five-nation BRICS forum of emerging market powers work to lessen dependence on the US dollar and Euro. Finance ministers of China and from Brazil signed the agreement ahead of the official opening of the summit of leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The first four countries established the forum in 2009, amid the economic meltdown in the West, saying they were uniting to work toward a more equitable world economic order and one that makes them less dependent on the volatility of the US$ and the Euro. South Africa joined the forum two years ago. Under the agreement Brazil will be trading with China using local currencies for up to US$30 billion which is half the value of the country’s bilateral trade with Beijing. Brazil hopes to promote such arrangements with other countries.





Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


Get Beef Central's news headlines emailed to you -