The average Australian eats approximately 33kg of beef per year, and it’s no surprise; Australian beef is among the best in the world.

As a result, overseas demand for Aussie beef is increasing year on year, which is great for local farmers, but not so great for retailers and restaurants who are feeling the pinch as the cost of beef increases.

And so rather than having chefs shy away from using Australian beef, or worse, using lower quality alternative products, Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) is advising chefs to get creative with beef by using different cuts which are cheaper for you and your customers.

According to Good Food, spending on eating out has jumped by more than 55 percent in real terms since the 1980s, with consumers inclined to eat out more often due to convenience. But rather than spending $40-$50 on a steak for lunch or dinner, they are far more likely to choose a cheaper option, opting for casual dining options that still offers versatility, and still have beef dishes on their menus.

Why do consumers love beef so much?

Besides from the fact it tastes so good, beef is also a nutritional powerhouse. When trimmed of visible fat, Australian beef is lean and relatively low in unhealthy saturated fats, making it an important source of protein, as well as being packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc and vitamin B12.

It is well known that a high protein diet helps to stave off hunger, which is why nutritionists recommend eating a serve of protein with every meal. However when it comes to midday eating, beef is not a typical lunch meat.

Working women sometimes avoid consuming red meat for lunch, with common reasons including that beef is ‘too heavy’ or more suitable for a weekend lunch, with many women preferring beef if it’s not served in a single large serve, for example as a steak, or if it’s not smothered in sauce.

In other words, it’s not the protein that the issue, it’s how restaurants are serving it.

Women and men alike are more likely to consume beef for lunch if chefs are creative with how it’s prepared and served. Now, before you pull out the liquid nitrogen and Bunsen burners, hear us out. Being creative with beef doesn’t have to be complicated or extravagant. After all, when it comes to lunch meals, time is of the essence!

Hey Chef, What’s Your Beef?

Australian chefs are some of the best in the world, but with your days spent running a kitchen, prepping and planning, it can be difficult to set aside time to be innovative.  We get that.

So to help get your creative beef juices flowing, we have compiled a collection of some of the best recipes for you try, as well as news, and easy-read blogs to help pass the time whilst on a break.

We also want to reward our chefs for a job well done, so let us know what you are cooking by uploading a photo and description of your beef dish to Instagram with the hashtag #whatsyourbeef.

The competition closes on 2 October, with the finalists earning themselves the chance to win coverage in Hospitality Magazine as well as plenty of other awesome prizes.

For recipes and more information on the #whatsyourbeef competition, click here.

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