By Gabrielle Hall
He is three-times national Sausage King, and now Clare butcher Jason Mathie can add national Burger King to his titles.
His Bush Burgers have not only proven popular with the judges at the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC), where he was recently awarded national Best Butchers Burger, but they’re walking out the door of his Mathie’s Meat Shoppe in Clare’s main street.
“The Bush Burger is made from saltbush hogget sourced from two suppliers east of Burra, so the sheep are raised on station country and have a flavour that is unique to South Australia,” Jason says.
“Hogget has a slightly stronger flavour than lamb and the saltbush adds another dimension to it.
“We used to make about 20 kilograms a week of these burgers, in the week after winning the competition we made 100kg with people wanting to try them, and now we’re regularly making about 40kg of Bush Burgers a week.”
Jason is also well-known as the Clare Valley’s Sausage King, having won three consecutive national crowns in the AMIC competition.
Located about 90 minutes north of Adelaide, Mathie’s Meat Shoppe can make up to 45 flavours of sausages – everything from Blazin’ Texas Chilli and Thai green curry to basil, chilli, coriander and lime – but Jason says by far the most popular is the plain beef sausage.
“We make about 500kg of sausages a week, or about 5000 snags, and usually rotate between 12 different flavours a week,” he says.
According to Jason, the recipe of the store’s success is, quite simply, its locally-grown meat and South Australian flavours.
“What makes us stand out from the rest is the local produce,” he says.
“We have a good relationship with our local growers and are able to tell them exactly what we want, and can then tell the customer exactly where the meat has come from and how long it has been aged.
“Our hogget is unique to South Australia, it’s bush grown and has an outback and saltbush flavour.”
The New Zealand-born butcher says there is one other key to success for Mathie’s Meat Shoppe, and chatting with this passionate butcher, that becomes very clear.
“There’s a lot of pride that goes into our products,” Jason says.
“Our meat for competitions has to be perfect, but we don’t do anything differently, there’s no special batch made up for competitions, the burgers, sausages or bacon we enter in these competitions is exactly the same as what we sell to our customers.”