Retford farm shop's rather Excellent win

A Nottinghamshire farm shop has beaten off competition from across the UK butchery sector to take the title of National Champion in the BPEX final of its 'Excellence in British Meat Products' awards.

Lindsay and Mary Dawes, proprietors of Westlands Farm Shop, North Wheatley, Retford, Nottinghamshire, were up against six other regional finalists from across the UK, but triumphed with their Traditional Pork Pie, having already achieved success in the East Midlands heat.

Lindsay said: "It took several attempts to get the formula for our winning pie exactly right. I set the specification for the pork, which is all from specially selected gilts from farms within a 22-mile radius of our shop.

"My wife Mary perfected the pastry. In our view the worst thing about pork pies is that the pastry can go soggy after a couple of days, but Mary's recipe - a top secret formula - ensures it stays crisp for the life of the pie."

Keith Fisher, BPEX butchery and product development manager, said: "This year's awards final for 'Excellence in Meat Products' has been one of the toughest to judge to date.The Traditional Pork Pie went down a treat with our panel of judges, who gave it top marks for quality and flavour."

In addition to the National Champion title, this year, a special award was made by the British Pig Association for a product produced from a rare or pedigree breed of pig.

The winner of the award with a 'West Country Pork Sausage' was Overall Champion for the South West region, Coylton Butchers in East Devon. Their sausage was made with pork from a Large White.