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Spotlight on: Danny Preston of Bay Gourmet Meats

Spotlight on: Danny Preston of Bay Gourmet Meats

Trigger warning: this blog contains information that may not be fit for our herbivorous followers

After sampling meat from all over the Redlands (and much further afield), one thing I've learned is that not all meat is made equal, and just because a cut came from a local butcher doesn't guarantee its quality. This week we grabbed a minute with Danny Preston of Bay Gourmet Meats (Redlands' best Meatsmith) to ask him a thing or two about his premium meat and ready to cook meal range, to get to the bottom of why his entire offering is so darn tempting!

Dry Aged Beef in ager  Danny Preston in butcher shop  Butcher fridge full of premium cuts of meat

So, straight into it; here in Queensland, everyone loves their beef, but why is your meat of such a high quality, compared to other butchers?

There are three grades of beef - budget, basic and premium. I only ever source premium grade, and it's all from the same suppliers, which means consistency of quality - and also accountability. I have a good relationship with my suppliers, I know how they operate and what their values and standards are. 

Your sausages are consistently tastier, and your range of flavours is consistently wider, than other butchers. What's your secret?

I like to play around with flavours - I'm usually inspired by a dish I've had in a restaurant or by what my family is into - like the Canadian Maple thick pork sausages - my whole family loves maple syrup, so it inspired me to give that a go and they're now one of my best-sellers. 

The key to great quality sausages is to keep them lean, with just enough fat for great flavour. They stay the same size when they're cooked because they don't drip out too much fat. 

What factors do you consider when sourcing meat? 

I source local meat, primarily from Nolans Meats' Private Selection (meaning their very best) in Gympie and Stanbroke Angus in North Queensland.

By using these suppliers, I guarantee that I get consistently excellent quality grass-fed beef. 

Ethics play a big part too, and all my suppliers adhere to high standards of animal welfare.

Tell us a bit about you; what has your journey been?

I was actually destined to be a roofer - but as a hard working school leaver, I didn't like being rained off the job! I saw an ad for an apprentice butcher and thought... 'well, I like eating meat,' so I gave it shot.

The apprenticeship was at one of the best butchers in Brisbane. I then moved to James St Markets, and then Meat at Billy's in Ashgrove, before opening Bay Gourmet Meats in 2012. 

Right from my apprenticeship, I've only ever worked with gourmet meats, so it's all I've known. 

What do you recommend for Spring? 

Most people tend to go for beef at this time of year. The days are warming up, the nights are lighter, so we're all heading back outside to the BBQ.  

Is there a cut you think people are missing out on? Something you always think more shoppers should try? 

Definitely duck! Our Peking Duck is sensational, but people often default to what they know.  

Beef cheek is great too - it's seen as more of a winter cut, but in my house, we do awesome slow-cooked beef tacos. Beef cheeks go in the smoker for three hours, then I add a bit of seasoning, a cup of red wine and button mushrooms, then cover in a foil tray for another four or five hours, flipping them once. It's absolutely delicious.

What are your best selling ready to cook items?

Satay Chicken Breast Stir fry. And everyone loves the Smoked Hickory Pulled Pork Parcels too. (Note from Jeremy: Yes Danny, they really do!)

And finally, the eternal question - what's your go-to cut of steak and cooking method?

Black Angus Rib Fillet, on the BBQ. Season the steak with a light sprinkle of salt. Heat the BBQ to ¾ heat. Cook for 3 minutes on one side, then 4 minutes on other side.

So there you have it. There's no secret sauce (although there ARE some mighty tasty ones - like Lane's BBQ's Pineapple Chipotle!!) - just a passion for the craft, experience, taste, good supply, ethics and experimentation. It's no wonder not all meats are made equal... because not all butchers are made equal.

If you haven't tried Danny's meats, you don't know what you're missing, and you must remedy that immediately. Visit him in store at Birkdale Fair, or shop online with BBG!

Start shopping with BBG now.

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