When it comes to steak pies it seems that Coldstream butcher G.J. Sanderson, is hard to beat.
Used to winning awards for their innovative recipes and meat products the latest success for the Coldstream butchers came at the recent Scottish Craft Butchers awards, winning the South East of Scotland Championship for a traditional steak pie, plus a gold award for their steak and kidney pie.
Over 150 pies from across Scotland were tested for appearance, flavour, filling and appeal by a panel of experts, cooks and consumers at the event organised by the Scottish Federation of Meat Traders and Quality Meat Scotland and William Sword Ltd.
Confirming that they are now having to make extra steak pies as word spreads of their latest success Graham Sanderson said: “This is pretty major - it puts us in the top six in Scotland.
“The South East of Scotland covers Edinburgh, the Lothians and the Borders. We’ve entered the steak pie championships before and haven’t changed the pies much other than the pastry.
“This is the first time we’ve entered the speciality pies so to get a Gold Award has been a good start.”
Celebrity chef, Mark Heirs at the Monteith Dining Group in Stirling was one of the judges and he described what he was looking for in a good pie: “First of all it was the quality of the pastry; it has to be really nice, light, flaky and buttery. Then nice even sized pieces of steak, really tender with a consistent gravy.
“I wouldn’t say spicy but a nice level of seasoning and the gravy coated the meat but not running all over the plate.”
David Mooney, direct sales manager of William Sword, said: “These awards are extremely important in the Scottish meat industry calendar, celebrating excellence across the board.
“These winners represent the upper crust of the Scottish meat industry, tremendous given the high standard of produce across Scotland as a whole.”
Laurent Vernet at Quality Meat Scotland which runs the Scotch Butchers Club, sponsors of the competition, added: “Scotland’s beef is world-renowned thanks to its outstanding quality and exceptional taste. These awards offer a fantastic opportunity to see the energy, enthusiasm and skill our butchers have.”
Borders winners. Traditional steak pies - G J Sanderson, Coldstream, South East of Scotland Champion; silver award - Halliwells, Selkirk, James Pringle, Hawick. Speciality Pies: Gold Award (steak & kidney) - G J Sanderson, Coldstream; Silver Award (peppered steak) - G & L Archibald, Hawick.