KeNako’s delicious ‘Trouble in the Roast’ dried dried beef was the biggest hit from Northern Ireland at the International Awards in London.
The judges described KeNako’s beefy biltong as “a nice-looking, moist farmhouse salami with a slight venison flavor and good texture all the way through.”
Global success came for one of our smallest beef processors when Dungannon-based ABP Linden Foods, among the largest, won ‘Britain’s Best Burger’ at the UK Meat Industry Awards in Birmingham for its artisanal Wagyu beef burger. For Marks & Spencer (M&S) Foods. .
Linden, part of ABP Ireland, a globally successful beef company, has used beef from a number of Northern Irish farms in its award-winning burgers. Hence, this award is also a big boost for beef farms here.
The recognition in both awards was a major development for Northern Ireland’s £1 billion meat processing industry, one of the region’s largest exporters. Two other major wizards, Dunbia in Dungannon and Downpatrick’s Finnebrogue, were also shortlisted for the awards.
“ABP Linden Foods in collaboration with M&S set out to push the boundaries of beef available on retail shelves. The aim was to develop something new and different that other retailers were not doing at the time. “The result is our wagyu beef, which is a cut Lean is wonderfully marbled with distinctive smooth white layers of fat running through it to enhance flavour,” explains Diane Christie, Head of Innovation at ABP Linden.
KeNako was part of the first-ever World Charcuterie Awards (WCA) which featured more than 400 products submitted from 17 countries and were judged by more than 40 experts.
It was the first time that all countries pitted their products against each other – the traditional producers of Italy, Spain and France against the New World innovators of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland.
Commenting on this prestigious global recognition, Alang says: “We are pleased to receive this important award. “It is great to see Kinako Beef, and of course Northern Ireland, on the international map in this important cold cuts competition.”
Elsie and Allanagh cut, dry and produce delicious, spicy beef snacks, rolled sausages and other cured meats, such as salami and chorizo, at their Ballyllagan Organic Farm, near Ballyclare, using 100% Northern Irish meat from the farm and beyond. Local suppliers to customers here, in Great Britain and the Republic.
They have created a unique biltong recipe using organic beef brisket and silverside that has been cured in organic red wine vinegar with a rich spice blend of salt, black pepper, coriander seeds, nutmeg and cloves before being air-dried in designated areas on the farm. . They also use Dr Trouble hot sauces from a supplier in South Africa.
KeNako has successfully established biltong, in particular, for healthy snacks here, a direct result of its involvement in a range of events such as markets in Belfast, Hillsborough and Antrim.
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“Biltong is growing in popularity because it is rich in protein and is particularly popular with rugby players and other athletes as a recovery aid after training and matches,” says Alanagh. “This is because it is an excellent source of vital minerals such as zinc, iron, magnesium and vitamin B12; all of them are essential for the body to function.”
Biltong is also wheat and gluten free.
“Because biltong is processed and not cooked, it retains more nutrients than cooked meat, as the cooking process can break down some of these,” explains Alanagh, a nutritional nutritionist.
Elsie, a butcher and chef originally from Pretoria, South Africa, continues: “We were delighted to receive such important recognition for our biltong in an international competition which can be very beneficial as we seek to grow our business in Britain. It has become a very important market for us.
“The profile and endorsement is fantastic as it increases awareness of our new meat products among consumers here, in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland,” Allanagh adds.
The company is now at the forefront of the roast meat revolution in Northern Ireland which also includes other award-winning businesses such as Corndale Farm Free-Range in Limavady and Espinney in Moira. They have recently been joined by Curly Pigs in Tempo using heritage pigs. South Africa’s Moorcroft Foods has also set up a specialist biltong factory in Bangor. Moorcroft won a bronze medal at the World Charcuterie Awards.