Source: Con O’Donoghue Photography 

A grass and chocolate-fed Ayrshire sirloin has been crowned the World’s Best Steak at the 2021 World Steak Challenge (WSC) awards.

The winning cut, from a 16-month-old heifer reared in Finland, was fed between 300g-500g of chocolate daily alongside its usual diet, and was praised by judges for its “very sweet and tender taste”. It is the third time its supplier JN Meat International has won the overall title, having triumphed in the 2018 and 2019 awards.

The steak also collected 2021 gongs for World’s Best Sirloin and World’s Best Grass-fed in the competition, which gives steak producers and suppliers the opportunity to showcase their product quality, breed credentials and processing standards on an international stage.

“This sirloin was unlike any you’ve tasted before,” said Ioannis Grammenos, chair of the 50-strong panel of independent judges, and executive chef at the multi-award-winning Heliot Steak House in London.

“Unique and evenly distributed marbling throughout the meat meant it melted in your mouth but still retained some bite to it.

“Incredibly tender, juicy and flavoursome, this steak’s delicious and long-lasting taste lingered in the mouth, making you want to eat more and more of it. A well-deserved and worthy winner.”

The 2021 event was held at Dublin’s Fire Steakhouse & Bar in association with official host partner Bord Bia, and official supplier Synergy Grill Technology.

Other champions included Australia’s Jack’s Creek which won World’s Best Fillet for its 100% pure-bred and grain-fed Wagyu, as well as World’s Best Rib-Eye and World’s Best Grain-fed for its Wagyu/Angus cross.

“We were thrilled to once again hold the World Steak Challenge,” said Lorraine Hendle, MD of the retail, manufacturing & hospitality portfolio at William Reed Business Media, The Grocer’s publisher. 

“Not only did we receive a record number of entries but the calibre of steaks entered into this year’s event was absolutely exceptional and fiercely contested. 

“We didn’t think it was possible for the bar to be raised any higher. We were wrong and can’t wait to see what 2022 has in store.”