ROB and Elain McInnes’ unique meat selection and curing methods have resulted in their full rasher bacon claiming second place in the Australian PorkMark Bacon Awards.
The same cut placed first among the SA entrants, while their shortcut came second.
Claiming the awards is a great feat for the Kanmantoo Bacon and Quality Meats duo, who produce 600 kilograms of bacon weekly, along with 100kg of smallgoods, such as mettwurst, kranskys, chorizo and other smoked and fresh meat.
Mr and Mrs McInnes have entered the Australian PorkMark Bacon Awards since its inception seven years ago.
“It’s a great award,” Mr McInnes said. “And we haven’t changed anything we do, whereas other businesses try different things.”
If it is not up to standard the product goes back.
During the awards, their middle rasher bacon was described as having a beautiful appearance, perfectly cured and tasting as good as it looked.
One key to success is the use of female Australian pork which is sourced from the Murraylands and bought from O’Brien’s Wholesale Meat, Adelaide.
“We only buy from one wholesaler and it is pretty much hand-picked as it comes through,” Mrs McInnes said.
“If it is not up to standard the product goes back.”
Mr McInnes, who mixes his own brines, said the male meat was tougher.
“The meat needs to have a bit of fat with a nice big eye muscle and good appearance,” he said.
“Being female meat, it doesn’t have a rank taste, where as the male does.”
Kanmantoo Bacon and Quality Meat’s history began in 1975 in Dawesley.
Mr and Mrs McInnes bought the business in 1982 from Dave Davies, the grandson of Elais Davies, the founder of the company in 1875.
Mr McInnes learned his skills from Dave and other smallgoods creators and has been using a similar process for the past 35 years.
But a major difference between the McInnes’ operation and many other small-good manufacturers is their curing process.
“Rob’s process takes three weeks,” Mrs McInnes said.
“A lot of other businesses only take five days from the time they get their meat fresh to the time it is in the supermarket.”
On average, Mr McInnes selects about 60 middle-sections a week and during the lead up to Christmas, the production is doubled with the inclusion of 500 leg hams.