Grounded pilots soaring with gourmet meat business
TWO pilot brothers grounded during the COVID lockdown are flying high with the launch of their paddock to plate meat subscription service that has taken off nation wide.
Damien and Rob Moffatt both flew for Jetstar prior to the coronavirus pandemic but found their wings clipped when the airline suspended most of their operations from late March.
The brothers hung up their wings and turned back to their shared pastoral heritage for their venture, Butcher Crowd.
The service drew on generations of Moffatts raising livestock on the Tablelands.
"We had a chance to get back to our roots and share good meat with Australia," Co director Damien Moffatt said.
"We were already sourcing meat from the Tablelands to share with family and friends."
But rather than slap any old slab of beef in a box, the pair had stringent benchmarks.
Every piece of beef, poultry and pork had to be non GMO free, humanely raised and hormone and antibiotic free.
"The challenge was finding producers that aligned with our values and ethics," Mr Moffatt said.
"Ninety-five per cent of Australian pork is pen raised, there is only seven per cent farm raised."
But six weeks of searching yielded results and Butcher Crowd was born.
"The response from farmers has been really good, we cut out the middleman and can pay them a higher price while offering a saving to customers." Mr Moffatt said.
In August, the venture went national, delivering restaurant grade meat to front doors in every state and territory barring WA and Tasmania.
"We are based in Cairns but our logistics manager is in Sydney," Mr Moffatt said.
"We still have a substantial base of customers here."
The company offers four boxes: beef, beef and chicken, beef and pork or a mixed box. Each curated box changes monthly.
"You get the experience of opening it all, it is like a surprise," Mr Moffatt said.
"We also cater to the one time purchaser."
The brothers are also planning a surf and turf box for Christmas, featuring NT's Skull Island tiger prawns, which also satisfy the company's's standards.
With the increasing consumer preference for ethical, organic, produce, the Butcher Crowd could soon be soaring again.
For more information visit www.butchercrowd.com.au
HOW TO COOK A STEAK WITH THE BUTCHER CROWD
"We recommend using grass-fed beef as it has more flavour and greater health benefits, with higher levels of Omega 3, CLA & vitamin E," Damien Moffatt said.
• 2 x 300g steaks (1 inch thickness) of Scotch Fillet, Sirloin, Rump, or Flat Iron
• Kosher salt and cracked pepper, to season
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 -3 garlic cloves lightly crushed with the back of a knife
• 3-4 thyme or rosemary sprigs
• Remove steak from the refrigerator 20 minutes before cooking and pat dry the steaks with paper towel.
• Heat a large cast-iron skillet or pan over medium-high heat.
Add 1 tablespoon of oil in and coat the skillet.
Season steaks with kosher salt and cracker pepper just before they go into the pan.
• When pan begins smoking, place the steak into the pan and cook for 2 minutes until crisp on the bottom, flipping and searing again for a further 2 minutes until you get a nice, even gold colour and crisp texture on the steaks.
• Reduce heat to medium; add 2 tablespoons of butter, 3-4 sprigs of thyme (or rosemary), and 3 garlic cloves to the pan. Allow the butter to foam a little while frying the herbs and garlic for 1 minute to release flavours into the pan.
• Place garlic cloves on top of steaks and baste with the butter. (Tilt the pan towards you and continue basting the melted butter over the steaks with a spoon.)
• Baste constantly while cooking on medium heat for 1-2 minutes each side or until done to your liking; for steaks well done, flip them a couple more times while cooking until done to your liking.
• Discard the thyme and garlic from the pan and transfer steaks to a plate. Pour the pan juices over the steaks and let rest for 8 minutes.
Originally published as Grounded Cairns pilots soaring with gourmet meat business