Hampshire’s butchers turned out in force to showcase their talent at the Great Hampshire Sausage and Pie Competition. The annual meaty contest was organised by not-for-profit local food group, Hampshire Fare, to celebrate the county’s talented butchers.
The competition attracted an impressive 235 entries from 35 butchers, a 20% increase on last year’s figures. Contestants entered their products into thirteen different categories including; Hampshire Sausage, Hot Pie, Traditional Pork Pie, Black Pudding, Meatballs & Faggots, Charcuterie, Young Sausage Maker and Speciality Pork Sausage.
The entries were carefully examined and assessed by a panel of professional judges working alongside a number of guest judges. The strict national guidelines focused on external and internal appearance, texture, structure, colour, smell and taste.
It was a pork, bacon and tomato sausage which most impressed the critical eyes and experienced taste buds of the judges receiving a top score of 100 points. The sausage was made by brother and sister team, Pip and Donna Smith from L.J Smith Butchers, originally owned by their father Les Smith. They were awarded the title of Supreme Champion 2015 and presented with bespoke trophies created by Paul Kennedy Studios and a shield to display in their Eastleigh and Bishopstoke butchers. Pip Smith said: “We’re really surprised to have won! We put at least sixty man hours into getting our entries ready and yet we were still nervous dropping them off. It’s a tough business out there for butchers but we’re working really hard to continue to make a success of it and have recently managed to expand and open another shop in Bishopstoke. Customers come to us because they know they will get quality, everything is made by hand with great attention to detail. We encourage people to come in and use us and our expertise when buying their meat, we’re eager to help our customers and provide an exceptional level of service. Come and try our award-winning sausages!”
Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards were presented to the most impressive entries with a Champion chosen in each category. John from Buckwells of Southsea has been a butcher for over fifty years and was “chuffed” to be announced as the Champion of two categories, Meatballs and Faggots and the Hampshire Sausage. To celebrate British Sausage Week (2-8 November) his winning Hampshire Sausage will be served in Ideal Collection’s No.5 Bridge Street in Winchester, The White Star in Otterbourne and The Bugle in Hamble.
Jack Tuckley, professional judge of the Speciality Sausage category was impressed by the standard of the entries: “I gave 100 points to one of today’s entries. That is something I have only done on two other occasions in my fifty years of judging. You could tell a lot of TLC and attention to detail had gone into them.”
Tracy Nash, Commercial Manager of Hampshire Fare, commented on the event, “Hampshire has so many talented butchers and today’s event really celebrates their skills. It highlights the local meat products available across the county and the expertise and experience which goes into making them. Well done to everyone who entered today and thank you to all those who supported the event. Next week is British Sausage Week so we hope to see plenty of people tucking into some of today’s award-winning bangers!”
The event was supported by: Lucas Ingredients, Dalziel, AHDB, Eric Robinson Solicitors, The Meat Federation, Holiday Inn Winchester, Paul Kennedy Studio, Danebury Vineyard, New Forest Water, Chunky Wood, Southampton Trophies, Bowman Ales, Alexander Teas and Mozzo Coffee.
Supreme Champion 2015 – L.J Smith Butchers, Pip and Donna Smith (brother and sister, children of Les Smith) (Eastleigh & Bishopstoke)
Traditional Pork Sausage – Uptons of Bassett (Southampton)
Speciality Pork Sausage – L.J Smith – Pork, Bacon and Tomato (Eastleigh & Bishopstoke)
Lamb and Beef Sausage – L.J Smith – Arabian Lamb (Eastleigh & Bishopstoke)
Hampshire Sausage – Buckwells of Southsea – Sundowner (Southsea)
Home Cured Bacon – B. Drummond of Romsey – New Forest Oak Smoked (Romsey)
Meatballs and Faggots – Buckwells of Southsea (Southsea)
Traditional Pork Pies – Crow Farm Shop (Ringwood)
Speciality Pie – Cold-Eating – Mum and Dad’s Kitchen – Gluten Free Egg, Bacon and Chorizo (Southsea)
Speciality Pie – Hot-Eating – Mum and Dad’s Kitchen – Gluten Free Chicken and Chorizo (Southsea)
Ready Meals – Soles Butchers – Moroccan Lamb (Alresford)
Black Pudding – Owtons (Southampton)
Hampshire Charcuterie – Ambrose Sausages – Hampshire Salami (Eastleigh)
Young Sausage Maker – Grover Butchers – Dragon’s Breath made by Hayden Voller (Chandler’s Ford)
New Forest Marque Winner – Cobley Wood Farm (Ringwood)