Best steak in the world? Here’s the answer from this year’s World Steak Challenge in London – where I got to help judge and have a taste of it and 16 of the other runners up.
Last week I sat in as one of 10 consumer judges at the World Steak Challenge.
Held at the Magic Roundabout on Old Street, this was the third year for the event, which presents the opportunity for producers, suppliers, farmers and processors “to compete on an international level with their steaks.” Entrants first submit their cuts to be judged by a panel of meat scientists, chefs, butchers and farmers. Then, the best of those are awarded Gold Medal status from the technical judging stage to go through to the second and final round with a panel of consumer judges comprised of food writers, chefs, and professionals working in the meat industry such as Robert Proctor, company secretary at William Reid Business Media and creator of the World Steak Challenge competition rules.
Our lead judge was Accredited Master Butcher Marco Peederman, aka the Orange Butcher, who led the rest of us through the scoring process and what to observe while judging. Essentially we were taking note of how tasty, juicy and tender each piece was while giving consideration to colour and aroma as well.
Out of hundreds of entries, Gold Medal status was given to only 17 steaks, and those were the ones I helped judge. And no I didn’t eat 17 whole steaks – just a bite or two (or three) of each. Steaks judged were all one of three cuts: filet, rib eye and sirloin. For me it was fascinating to taste how varied the flavours were even among the same cuts. It was also amazing to see how Marco could discern provenance of a steak with no information given about it.
Top prize went a cut of sirloin, grain fed and reared by F&M Frackowiak of Woj. Wielkopolskie from Poland, entered by ABP Poland. For more about the winners have a look at this article by Xanthe Clay in the Telegraph: telegraph.co.uk/food-and-drink/news/best-steak-world-revealed.
The Magic Roundabout is located at Old Street Roundabout, EC1Y 1BE.
Find out more about World Steak Challenge at worldsteakchallenge.com.