Beef dripping reigns supreme

John Farrand (left) with Bruce Langlands (centre) presenting James Whelan with the top award
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The Great Taste Supreme Champion 2015 has been awarded to James Whelan Butchers Beef Dripping product.

The dripping, produced from the suet of grass-fed Angus and Hereford cattle, beat out 10,000 entries to take away the top accolade.

Recognising his mother as inspiration when accepting the award, Pat Whelan of James Whelan Butchers also acknowledged the hard work and commitment of his staff.

“Right in the heart of that is a genuine quest for excellence. I think the simplicity of this demonstrates that sincere conviction to deliver excellent products is a testament to the great team.”

The judges who decided the outcome of the event included Bruce Langlands, director of foods at Harrods; James Golding, chef director of The Pig Hotel Group; and MasterChef judge and restaurant critic Charles Campion, who claimed that he had never “seen such an outrageous reaction to a simple product”.

With 10,000 products to blind taste, there were over 400 judges in total who spent 49 days judging the entries.

Often considered a waste material, beef dripping has lost favour in many British households. However, the forgotten favourite can form part of a balanced diet and can be used in a range of dishes, from roast potatoes to shortcrust pastry, to even being served on toast.

“Great Taste recognises flavour above all else and James Whelan’s Beef Dripping is a perfect example of this, astonishing our panel of judges with its pure beefiness and savoury depth,” explained John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Foods which organises the event.

“The dripping is a simple, quite humble product made exceptionally well by a master of butchery. It succeeded through day-after-day of blind-tasting, winning favour at every stage of Great Taste and wowing expert judges who really know their stuff. As one of our judges said, just a spoonful would add sheer magnificence, however it was used.”  

Producers at the awards ceremony are awarded by a three-star system. One star is an accolade worth celebrating, two stars means the judges were particularly impressed with the product, whereas three stars is considered the equivalent to a Michelin star.

Meat products and producers that were acknowledged in the top 50 winners were:

Chicken, bacon & leek pie – William Dyer

West Country choice PGI tomahawk rib steak – Dawn Meats

Jacobs Ladder – Martins Meats

Longhorn rib of beef – Martins Meats

Gloucester Old Spot spare rib pork joint – Martins Meats

Free-range belly pork – Redhill Farm Free Range Pork

Fiocco Fiocco – Greedy Little Pig

Wild Sika Venison French Rack – Baronscourt Estate

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