JC Rook & Sons adds to trophy cabinet with BSW success

Fresh off the back of winning Meat Trades Journal’s Champion of Champions, Andrew Rook of JC Rook & Sons has been announced the winner of the Best British Banger. 

Hosted by the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board’s (AHDB) Pork division, the victory was announced at an awards ceremony held at London’s Smiths of Smithfield on Tuesday, 1 November.

Rook’s pork, black pudding and bacon sausage overcame competition from 500 entries in the independent butchers category. The winning recipe is the same one that was developed by Rook’s grandfather in the 1930s and is the most popular sausage at the butcher’s shop.

“We’ve already been named Champion of Champions 2016,” said Rook. “Winning British Sausage Week has just topped off what has been an absolutely phenomenal year – Grandad would be so proud!”

Altogether, 28 butchers from seven regions were awarded with bronze, silver and gold awards as part of British Sausage Week. Aldi, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose were all awarded gold in the multiple retailer category while Westaway Sausages, Rankin and Porky Whites were the brands that took home gold. Primrose Herd, Fairfax Meadow and Leathams were presented with a gold award from the catering division.

This year’s British Sausage Week ambassador was Jonathan Benjamin ‘JB’ Gill, former member of pop band JLS and now a farmer. He attended the event to congratulate the winners. “It’s a huge pleasure to be involved in British Sausage Week 2016, celebrating the amazing range of sausages from around the country,” he commented. “The quality of this year’s entries has been truly astounding and it’s a huge honour to be able to meet some of the butchers and producers behind the country’s best bangers.”

The event is now in its 19th year and has been growing in strength since its infancy. During its initial stages, it focused on celebrating pork sausages. However, as flavour trends have developed, the premium sausage category has gone from strength to strength. The aim of the week is to highlight to consumers how versatile sausages can be.

“Pork sausages offer busy families a quick and tasty meal solution, at any time of day,” said Kirsty Walker, head of marketing at AHDB Pork. “Sausages are incredibly versatile as they can be eaten during any meal occasion. Part of their appeal is that sausages can be eaten in more traditional dishes, like with mash or in casseroles, but they also lend themselves to being transformed into dishes from other cuisines.

“Made from fresh pork cuts, we are lucky enough in this country to have hundreds of varieties of sausages to choose from. British Sausage Week is all about celebrating the great British banger. Of course, quality meals start with quality products, which is why British Sausage Week aims to raise awareness for sausages produced using assured pork, such as Red Tractor.”

Meanwhile, Institute of Meat chief executive Keith Fisher, who has been involved with the week for several years, was awarded with a specially commissioned Services to Sausages award for his commitment to the industry.

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