Saturday, September 4, 2010

My Own Personal Beef Week...Jesus!

Greetings, gentle readers. It's been a while, I know. I've been busy saving the world, one sausage at a time. But I thought y'all might like to know of a recent trip I took to Rockhampton.

Now you might recall this is not my first trip to the Beef Capital of Australia. My last trip was in Beef Week in 2009. You can read about the best carpetbag steak ever, here.

This time was just a day trip, unfortunately. But after some wheeling and dealing in the morning your correspondent clocked off and took a long lunch at Cassidy's, a local steakhouse. Here I sampled the very excellent local Teys Brothers Black Angus rib fillet, cooked to a perfect medium rare and didn't it go down a treat with a New Zealand Pinot? Well, yes. Resisting the urge to have a post luncheon Highland Park from the extensive choice of single malts at this fine establishment, my colleague and I made our way cross town to Wiggo's fine meat emporium at Allenstown shopping centre, where I stuffed a Woolies esky bag full of about 8 kgs of beef and a couple of kilos of ice. Craig Wiggo looked after me like an old mate (which he wasn't. Although one of my brothers used to buy his beef there when he lived in our nation's beef capital) and salted my ice down and chilled my meaty selections down in the freezer for half an hour while we downed a couple of beers at the pub before our long flight(s) home.

Resisting the urge to sneak said beef onto the flight as hand luggage, I fessed up to the check-in chap. Unfortunately (and here is the really important moral of the story folks, so read up, get yourself educated and BE PREPARED) the way to ship any foodstuffs like raw meat or seafood is to bring it in a foam box with a lid, but leave the box unsealed. The ground staff are happy to do the packing and sealing for you, but you must check it in and it has to be in a foam box. This left me with a problem, as I had no foam box. So I left my colleague behind and raced out to the taxi rank, where a local cabbie agreed to drive me to a fruit and veg store to find me one. Sure enough, after explaining my predicament to the checkout chap at Tancred's fruit and veg, I was just about to buy the broccoli box he produced when my colleague rang from the airport to tell me that the helpful Virgin Blue guy had found me a polystyrene box.

Sweet, I thought, as I raced back to the waiting cab, leaving the checkout chap somewhat relieved (5 minutes of tapping on his machine had not revealed how much he should charge me for an empty foam box) and $30 later I made it back to the airport, where I was greeted by the beaming Virgin Blue man again, proudly holding the world's smallest polystyrene box.

The look on my face must have been priceless when I revealed the 8 kilos of beef I had stashed in my little esky, as I told him I HAD HAD THE RIGHT SIZED BOX IN MY HANDS ONLY 5 MINUTES PRIOR at the fruit and veg store.

Luckily, he agreed to have another look out the back and to my great relief, he returned 5 minutes later with the right box. He then proceeded to pack my beefy package and I made it into the departure lounge with about 5 minutes to spare. I still don't know whether the whole song and dance routine was just to terrorise the shiny bum visitor (and to stimulate the local taxi industry) or whether he was just trying to be helpful, albeit a little slow (given he had seen the size and weight of my esky).

Anyway, the first leg of my homeward journey was uneventful and I could feel my blood pressure returning to a more reasonable level. Later, in Brisvegas, I watched the baggage handlers loading up the luggage for the Canberra flight. They must have heard from their collegue in Rocky, as they saw me watching them and pretended to make off with the well marked and well wrapped box of food. They must have thought it was a great joke to see me jumping up and down upstairs behind the glass as they kept putting the box on the loading device and taking it off. Putting it on. Taking it off. Over and fucking over.

Eventually they took pity on me and packed my fucking meat.

After the world's longest 80 minute flight I made it home with said meat. God knows how I didn't get a speeding ticket driving along Pialligo Avenue, but all was fine as the meat was still chilled when it arrived home some 5 hours after leaving Wiggo's house of fun.

Now after tonight's roast rib fillet of Black Angus yearling from Nolan's, served with roast chats and carrots, and a pear, rocket, parmesan and balsalmic salad, I'd have to say all the hassle was worth it.

I still have a little bit more meat kicking around the bottom of the fridge...some Nolan's eye fillet, supposedly from their Brisbane Exhibition display (not sure if it was from the 'before' or 'after' display, as I was too excited to ask Wiggo) and some Nolan's Black Angus rib eye.

Not to mention some 3.5 kilos of Teys Brothers Rib Eye, which I'm planning to roast up for a dinner party in the coming weeks. (BOTTOM)

So there you have it, folks. If you're planning on flying with beef, remember to take a polystyrene box and some double bagged ice to the airport. The check-in staff have all the big bags and gaffer tape you need and will want to pack it themselves to ensure you're not carrying a dismembered body. So learn from my own mistakes how NOT to do it, gentle readers. And save your blood pressure for eating the beef, rather than just getting it home. Mind you, I've always wanted to conduct a public auction in an airport terminal, but I guess that can wait for another day!

Rockhampton Beef: Good enough to make a man blog again!


  1. Nice. What was the NZ pinot? (obvious question from me I realise)

  2. Another trick is to get the butcher to vac up the Ice for you. Lasts forever.

  3. good to see you back in the blogosphere.

  4. I'm gonna put a small wager on Te Kairanga. They're prominent enough to be exporters. Pity it's only Martinborough stuff.

  5. Nope Kupa- something maybe?


  6. Kupe by Escarpment? about 2/3 the way down

    I'm conditioned by experience to believe all non-Central Otago NZ pinot to be crap, but there's bound to be exceptions of course.

  7. I really like your writing style, excellent info, appreciate it for posting .
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