14th January 2019
Tasty pastry takes top pork honours for Weymss Bay butcher
A mouth-watering Pork Fillet En Croute crafted by Weymss Bay butcher Mearns T McCaskie has been named the best pork product in Scotland.
The tasty pastry has won the coveted Diamond accolade in the Scottish Craft Butchers Specially Selected Pork Products Awards 2019, marking it out as the best of its type in the country.
The awards, which launched in October, complement Quality Meat Scotland's Specially Selected Pork campaign which is due to launch next week and highlights the versatility, tastiness and health benefits of pork.
Delighted owner Nigel Ovens - who runs the popular Shore Road butchers with his wife and mother - said he was "thrilled" to see his own recipe judged so highly by the industry and his peers.
"I'm immensely proud of this achievement," he said. "These awards are a real testing ground for butchers' products and to come out as the best in Scotland is an absolute thrill."
The national winner comprises Specially Selected Pork fillet sitting on a bed of black pudding, with a cream cheese/mushroom combination, all topped with parma ham and encased in pastry.
"As bacon curers, we have a lot of pork fillets and it is good to create products where this prime cut can be used to advantage," said Nigel. "This oven-ready Pork Fillet En Croute makes life simple for the customer as it just has to be cooked in the oven and is ready to serve."
McCaskies, who is a member of the Scotch Butchers Club, was one of around 60 butchers from across Scotland who submitted a wide variety of handcrafted products which were judged blind in one of the industry's most keenly contested awards.
Members of the Scotch Butchers Club, which is run by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), retail Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork from suppliers who adhere to the quality standards required by Quality Meat Scotland’s Quality Assurance Scheme.
Graeme Sharp, Scotch Butchers Club Manager said that the awards really showcase the fantastic skill and originality which exists in the Scottish butchers’ sector.
“Oven-ready products and pastry goods are now essential components of a butcher’s business and are extremely popular with consumers.
“The craftmanship of these products, coupled with the fantastic taste which comes from using a great quality ingredient such as Specially Selected Pork, is second-to-none.
“I would encourage customers to visit their local their butcher’s shop and ask for these types of products to taste the quality for themselves.”
Douglas Scott, Chief Executive of Scottish Craft Butchers, said judges had been "blown away" by the innovation and tastiness of the award entries.
"This is the first time we have held awards purely for Specially Selected Pork products and the response has been tremendous with Scotland's butchers from the Moray Firth to the Solway Firth rising to the challenge to produce some amazing tasty and innovative dishes,
" added Mr Scott.
"Our butchers’ award-winning products show how versatile a meat it can be in a range of exciting new ready-to-cook ideas to suit the modern consumer.
"The Scottish Craft Butchers evaluation drives up standards year after year in a variety of different products," he said, "all to the benefit of the customer.
"Identifying the very best is of immense importance since these are the products that enthusiasts will travel big distances to source."