Corned beef scoops prestigious fine food award

A butcher from Northern Ireland has taken the Supreme Champion title for its traditional handmade corned beef at the Great Taste Awards 2011, held in London last night.

McCartney’s of Moira’s won a 3 star gold for its product, which was also named Best Speciality from Northern Ireland. The company said it was inspired to enter the competition after its success at the Butcher’s Fair at Newbury in April, where judges awarded the product 100 out of 100.  

The award celebrates the best fine foods on sale in delis, farm shops, food halls and supermarkets and is  judged by 300 food experts gathered by the Guild of Fine Foods. 

McCartney’s said: “We are truly delighted to have achieved such a prestigious and well-respected reward and would like to thank our staff for their continued hard work and all our customers for their support.”

George McCartney, who runs the business with his brother Gordon and daughters Judith and Sarah, said: “This is a product that is handmade and is very time-consuming both to make and to cure and press. All the fat has to be meticulously removed and the beef is dry-cured, weighed into the presses and cooked long and slow with natural gelatine.

“Quality meat and ingredients are the starting point. We know the source of our meat, and the names of the farmers who supply each week are displayed in the shop."