Only the Masters in this Selection - Mort & Co launches its first-ever Paddock to Palate offering

Posted on Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Darling Downs based company, Mort & Co Ltd, has officially released its first-ever Paddock to Palate limited edition beef brand for the Australian market.

Available from this weekend, The Phoenix Master Selection, is a once-a-year limited edition opportunity to sample beef sourced directly from the 2018 RNA Paddock to Palate Wagyu Challenge presented by Mort & Co.

The Wagyu Challenge was first incorporated into the annual RNA Paddock to Palate competition in 2017 when it was decided that a separate class needed to be dedicated to this premium breed of cattle.

The RNA Paddock to Palate has been an annual fixture on the Ekka Beef Cattle Competition calendar for over 21 years and is run by the Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland.  Mort & Co has hosted this event since 2012 and has been the official presenting partner for the last 3 years.

The first Wagyu Challenge processed in 2017 was primarily exported to Mort & Co’s main market, China, so this year’s Paddock to Palate is the first time Australians have been given the opportunity to enjoy the finished product of the nation’s finest Wagyu cattle producers.

The Phoenix Master Selection is sourced exclusively from the 112 head of cattle that were entered in this year’s wagyu challenge, making it truly a limited opportunity for beef connoisseurs to sample it.  The competition attracts some of the best Wagyu producers in the country and includes some of the largest pastoral companies and most of the highly respected farming families across the nation.  It is a once-a-year opportunity for these producers to benchmark their Wagyu genetics against one another and compete for the most prestigious paddock to palate award in Australia.

The Wagyu Challenge is a 4-phase competition.  Beginning with best aggregate weight gain, followed by a carcase value component, which is evaluated using Meat Standards Australia (MSA) grading protocol, and Japanese digital camera technology which objectively measures marbling fineness.  The final component is a beef taste-off that accounts for 20% of the total score, and is judged using MSA sensory criteria – juiciness, tenderness, flavour and overall liking.

A total prize pool of $10,000 is up for grabs in the Wagyu Challenge, making it amongst one of the richest Wagyu beef competitions in Australia.  The producer who polls the highest aggregate score in Class 39 will be awarded their overall prize at a dedicated award presentation at the opening of the Royal Queensland Show (Ekka) on Friday 10 August.

All the Wagyu have been fed at Mort & Co’s Grassdale feedlot, one of the largest and most innovative in Australia.  The 400 day diet they are each fed is based on Mort & Co’s exclusive steam flaked wheat based ration.

Mort & Co has reserved hand-selected cuts from the prestigious 400-day grainfed Paddock to Palate wagyu challenge class for one exclusive retailer in Australia, Meat at Billy’s.  With two stores located in the Brisbane suburbs of Ashgrove and Rosalie, consumers will get the chance to dine on some of this elite wagyu for the first time on a first-come first-serve basis.  Made up of high-end F1 and F2+ wagyu, and with marble scores 8-9, Meat at Billy’s will be offering their customers some of the finest and highly marbled wagyu rib-eye and sirloin steaks available in Australia.  The Master Selection is also 100% hormone free.

Commenting on the release of this limited edition beef brand, general manager of meat and livestock, Scott McDouall, said “We have hand-selected and reserved some of the best Wagyu from The Phoenix Master Selection for our local market.

“We are excited to have partnered with Australian businesses such as Meat at Billy’s to offer this exclusive Wagyu product which is normally reserved for the best chefs around the world.  With the offering only being available once a year we are certain it will be highly sought after.”

The Phoenix Master Selection is named in honour of the ‘Masters’ involved in the Paddock to Palate journey – the elite producers who raise the cattle, the Wagyu breed itself, the world-class Grassdale feedlot where the cattle are accommodated and fed under the supervision of Mort & Co’s experienced team, the exclusive Mort & Co grainfed diet and the resulting high quality marbling.

The RNA Paddock to Palate competition presented by Mort & Co is an international award-winning competition, receiving the accolade of Best in Show title at the International Association of Fairs and Expositions Awards (IAFE) in 2013.