Success for Royal butcher in pie competition

The Queen’s butcher has swept the board for the first time and taken the title of best pie-maker in Scotland.

Ballater butchers, HM Sheridan is the first company to ever take the top titles in both the Traditional Steak Pie and Speciality Pie competitions, organised for the past eight years by the Scottish Craft Butchers.

Business partners John Sinclair and Barry Florence have Royal Warrants for supplying Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Prince of Wales and said they were delighted to receive further recognition for their products.

Cranberry was the special ingredient that ensured their Venison and Cranberry Pie savoured sweet success in this year’s Scottish Butchers Speciality Pie Competition.

In the Traditional Steak Pie the Deeside pie was one of five regional winners mystery-shopped and then subjected to final scrutiny at Scotland’s Cook School at Kilmarnock.  

John Sinclair and Barry Florence of Sheridans were presented with their trophies and prize by Jack Broussine of the Scotch Butchers’ Club and David Mooney, Wm Sword in their shop this week.

John Sinclair said the combination for the pie was a request from a customer: “We have been making this pie for quite a while now, it is very popular and they sell well.  The venison comes from Glenmuick estate which is just along the road from us and we make the puff pastry ourselves.

“The success has really been earned by our pie-makers Kimberley Menzies and David McSkimming. They take great care in what is produced and pies have become a very important part of our business.

“This double success is unbelievable, everyone in the shop and every customer is absolutely thrilled.”

A total of 169 pies from throughout the country were tested for appearance, flavour, filling and appeal.  The panel of judges at Perth College included experts, cooks and interested consumers and the event was organised by the Scottish Federation of Meat Traders in conjunction with the Scotch Butchers Club and William Sword.

Laurent Vernet, head of marketing with Quality Meat Scotland, which runs the Scotch Butchers’ Club, sponsor of the Steak Pie Evaluation, congratulated the butchers on the quality of their entries.

“Scotch Beef, with its acclaimed European PGI status, is renowned throughout the world for its flavour.  This year we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the quality assurance schemes that underpin the Scotch Beef label, as well as Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork, and guarantee the quality and welfare behind its production.  It is wonderful that our butchers can combine both innovative and traditional skills to produce products such as these mouth-watering, top-quality steak pies, which make the most of our wonderful Scotch Beef.”

Of the Speciality Pie evaluation, sponsor David Mooney, direct sales manager of William Sword, stressed how significant it was for the businesses who come top in these evaluations:-

“These awards are extremely important in the Scottish meat industry calendar, celebrating excellence across the board. To receive an award is a fantastic achievement as these winners represent the upper crust of the Scottish meat industry – tremendous given the high standard of produce across Scotland as a whole.”