Foodie Shots recently visited Uni Plaza Meats for a photo session. It was great to work with Lochlan and check out his produce, especially because Uni Plaza Meats prides themselves on only stocking quality meat and smallgoods produced within a 100km radius of Toowoomba. Such a business after my own heart!
Lochlan took over as owner of Uni Plaza Meats in 2021, at just 21 years of age. But, don’t let his age fool you—not only is he a local-lover, he loves teaching his customers about different kinds of meat (bison, goat, etc) and providing cooking tips as well.
Don’t take it from me though, Lochlan was kind enough to share his recipes and info for a soon to be published regional butcher’s cookbook, so of course we had to share it with you. Read on to find out more:
Who is Lochlan Waters
“My butchery story starts like most – at the age of 14 Grandma walked into the local butcher in St George doing her regular weekly shop. As she was leaving the butcher asked if she knew of any kids who would be keen to clean up after school.
It was school holidays, so Grandma called me to let me know, and I started at 3.30 that afternoon. Roughly 12 months later, my job as a clean-up kid led to a school-based apprenticeship, and once I finished school, I moved to Toowoomba to complete my apprenticeship at Uni Plaza Meats. After working there for around three years I was given the opportunity to buy the shop. So, at the age of 21, I became my own boss. It was something that I had always dreamed of but never thought would come so soon in my career. Now, twelve months down the track, I haven’t looked back.
It is important for me to source my produce from local farmers and only use ethically raised, pasture fed products. The advantage of sourcing locally is the ease of communication with the farmers and my ability to connect local families to our local farmers, helping to reduce the carbon footprint of our food.
I enjoy creating new value-add products and encouraging customers to try these new products or new cooking techniques, asking them how they went and having that product become a weekly purchase.”
Uni Plaza Meats
Uni Plaza Meats is a smaller shop that packs a punch within a shopping complex. When Lochie took on the shop, the business had been running for around seven years, with a diverse customer base that includes those in the low and slow scene, older folks with the weekly shop, and immigrant customers who purchase goat and buffalo meat. With continued housing development in the area, the business has continued to grow. Flexibility is part of the charm in that customers can buy in store, or order by phone for pickup or delivery.
Customers have come to trust that Uni Plaza Meats source their meat locally, within 100kms of Toowoomba including grass fed beef, lamb and goat and award winning pork. In addition, Uni Plaza Meats produces its own smallgoods, including wood-smoked bacon, beer sticks, and kabana, as well as a range of pastries, crumbed products, and gourmet sausages. The grass-fed beef continues to be the most popular product.
“Customers know that when they visit us they will get local produce, knowledge on how to cook the variety of cuts we offer and friendly service.”
Below is a recipe I have used for an upcoming national publication. No better smell than a piece of steak cooking on the BBQ.
Reversed-seared Rib on the Bone with a creamy garlic tomato prawn topper
Rib on Bone:
4 rib on the bone
2 tbs butter
8 garlic cloves
600ml thickened cream
4 tbs tomato paste
500g large green prawns
Rib on bone:
Preheat oven to 180oC
Season steak with salt, pepper, and olive oil.
Place steak on oven tray and place in oven for 30mins.
Cook Prawn Topper Sauce while steak is in oven and heat BBQ.
Remove steak from oven and place on hot BBQ grill. Cook 2 mins each side to sear and seal the fat.
melt butter in non-stick fry pan
Add garlic and sauté for 1 min, add prawns removing just before cooked through, set aside.
Add tomato paste and fry in garlic butter for 1min, slowly add cream stirring constantly.
Drizzle over steak and add prawns.
Serve with seasonal vegetables.