I’m a long time fan of Australian Pork Limited’s Porkstar program, which is designed to celebrate and encourage the use of Australian pigs across all categories of pork, ham and bacon. When I’m travelling, if there’s an award winning chef, farmer or butcher who has been recognised by this program, I make an effort to visit, which is how I came to be at Alstonville Quality Meats.
Set in the main street of this small country town in Northern NSW, Alstonville Quality Meats is a nicely appointed butcher. Despite the modern fit-out, branding and focus upon the retail experience, you’ll still be served by actual butchers, who were busy breaking down chickens during my visit.
The talented team here won third place in New South Wales in last year’s Australian PorkMark Bacon Awards, so bacon was definitely on my shopping list.
Made on locally produced Bangalow Sweet Pork, the bacon here is outstanding. I’d rank it as second behind my perennial favourite bacon from Campbell’s Superior Meats of West Pymble. It’s got a good balance between smokiness and big porky flavour, my only complaint being that these nicely shaped rashers drop about thirty percent in size when they hit the pan.
What did win me over completely was Alstonville Quality Meats' pork sausages, made on the same locally produced pork as their bacon. They’re the best straight up pork sausage I’ve tried, and I kicked myself for not bringing home more.
With a bit of distance to travel home to Sydney, I picked up some items like smoked chorizo and salted, lightly smoked Kassler chops that would travel well, while noting it would be very easy to drop some coin in this jam-packed store.
Along with a good range of well-presented meat, including a fridge full of dry-aged offerings, you’ll also find a wide range of other products running from cheeses to honey, pizza bases, sauces, eggs and even muesli. While much of the shelf space was given over to Xmas items at the time of my visit, it's clear that their well-considered product range will be a constantly evolving feast.
Alstonville Quality Meats
83A Main Street, Alstonville
Ph: (02) 6628 0825