Pork Pie Steals the Show

A 'Pork Pie with Chicken & Pate' was the pick of the products at the North West Product Evaluation Event and Regional Roadshow for butchers, held at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton last week.

The event, organised by the British Pig Executive (BPEX), attracted 42 butchers from across the region and a staggering 264 products were put forward for evaluation by the esteemed judges.

From the twelve category champions, it was Peter Middlemiss of Geo. Middlemiss & Son, from West Yorkshire, who walked away with the highly prized title of 'Overall Champion' for his Speciality Cold Eating Pie.

Peter Middlemiss said: "We've had a lot of success at the BPEX Roadshow before, but this is the first time we've come away as Overall Champion - it's fantastic! Coming from Yorkshire it was especially nice to come to Lancashire and win! I actually devised the recipe last week using local free range pork and chicken and a special pastry not normally used for pork pies."

"It was a real team effort for the roadshow - my brother makes the sausages and our apprentice helps out with lots of different tasks. Our hard work and dedication has paid off!"

Other success stories on the night were Ye Olde Sausage Shop of Lancashire, who went away with two category champion titles. Martin Teese triumphed in the Lamb or Beef Sausage category with his 'Beef, Horseradish & Mustard Sausage' while 15-year-old Jessica Leliuga was crowned Young Sausage Maker after really impressing the judges with her superb 'Cumberland Sausage'.

Martin Teese of Ye Olde Sausage Shop said: "We came home with eight gold awards last year, which we were really pleased with. We took on board the judge's comments and came back this year to do better; we got nine gold awards and two category champion titles - we're all still in shock."

"Jessica has been working with us for about 18 months now at the weekend and during school holidays - on her first day she was really interested in what we were doing and learnt so quickly that she ended up preparing 60lb of top notch sausage meat!

"She works so hard and is incredibly talented, we're so pleased for her and it's great for us too - her Cumberland Sausage is a great seller in the shop."

Brough Butchers of Ormskirk were delighted to receive a total of three category awards. They triumphed with their 'Traditional Dry Cure Bacon' in the Home Cured Bacon category, Italian Style Meatballs in the Meatballs & Faggots category and 'Orchard Pork Loin' in the Ready Meal category.

BPEX butchery and product development manager, Keith Fisher, said: "We thought it was going to be hard to match the turn out achieved at the West Midlands Roadshow last month, but the 42 butchers from across the North West region have done themselves proud.

"Of the 264 products entered for evaluation, 238 achieved awards, 106 of them which were gold. The standard of entry was so very high and our congratulations go to all that entered."

The final stop of the Regional Roadshow 2007-2008 tour will be at the South of England Showground in Ardingly, West Sussex on 27 March 2008. For more details and to download an entry form visit www.porkforbutchers.co.uk or contact Jackie Hawkes at BPEX on 01908 844 107.

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