TWO Bassetlaw butchers have been hailed champions of the East Midlands.
The awards came after the BPEX butcher roadshow and product evaluation event rolled into town at the Newark Showground, where 220 products were put through their paces by some of the industry’s most respected judges.
Westlands Farm Shop in Retford picked were crowned champions for their home cured gammon.
And Mellors Farm Butchers in Tuxford won the Hot Eating Pie category for their steak pie.
It was a third consecutive triumph in the Home Cured Gammon category for Westlands Farm Shop.
Lindsay Dawes said: “It is so rewarding to get great results each time, particular as the judges are never the same. This proves we have a consistently good product and our customers can see that we are staying ahead of the competition each year.”
“We use a standard curing mix but of course, add our own special ‘je ne sais qois’. This combined with quality pork and care and attention to detail throughout the whole process makes our gammon, I believe, stand out.”
Westlands also picked up gold awards for home cured smoked bacon, which is smoked over English oak chips, as well as our traditional and cumberland sausages, traditional pork pie and pork pie with Bramley apple,
While Peter Mellors was pleased with his continued success. The butcher came away with a haul of 13 awards in total, including nine gold awards.
Peter said: “We’re very happy, this is the third outing recently in which we have come back with a prestigious title. The steak pie, which has previously been voted England’s Best received 100 out of 100 and you can’t ask for more than that. We’re very proud of our Champion pie; from the quality of the pastry to the tender chuck steak and rich gravy, all of which comes together and is cooked perfectly.”
Mellors received gold awards for their Christmas pie, pork pie, which scored 99 out of 100, and pork and vegetable pasty amongst others.
BPEX butchery and product development manager, Keith Fisher, said: “The champion titles are a real testament to the quality and skill on display from butchers in the region.”