THE Speckle Park breed’s ability to produce a high yielding carcase with good fat cover has been recognised in many carcase competitions and those meat qualities are becoming sought after in the food service industry.
The good meat quality comes down to a combination of yield, fat cover and marbling, according to stud and commercial producer Mark Constable, Tambar Springs.
“Speckle Park cattle have been doing well in carcase competitions but they’re also performing in feedlots as far as conversion rates go,” Mr Constable said.
Mr Constable had the champion export carcase at the 2016 Royal Canberra Show and was equal second in the carcase comp at EKKA last year.
Fellow stud and commercial producer Dennis Power, Minnamurra Pastoral Company, has had the top carcase in the Beef Spectacular Feedback Trial for the past two years.
“They’re consistently performing over the hook and it’s all being done with minimal numbers of Speckle Park cattle compared to other breeds,” Mr Constable said.
Mr Constable said the high consistency of fat cover was a big benefit of the Speckle Park breed.
“They don’t lay down a lot of fat, but it’s an even cover and they marble well with good intramuscular fat, which you gives you the flavour and juicyness of the meat,” he said.
Victor Churchill Meats head butcher Darren O’Rourke, Sydney, has just taken delivery of his first Speckle Park bodies in a few years, but he’s keen to see how they perform.
“I used a lot of Speckle Park meat at a restaurant in Melbourne and it’s really tender, especially considering it’s usually grass-fed,” Mr O’Rourke said.
“It’s got all the characteristics of grain-fed beef, with a pure, beefy flavour.
“Once people start eating Speckle Park beef there’s no reason why demand won’t increase.”
The even fat cover is a big advantage for Mr O’Rourke.
“We’ll dry age this meat for a minimum of three weeks but because it’s got such good coverage, we could extend that to four or five weeks.”