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Butchers prepare for the Great Hampshire Sausage & Pie Competition 2014

PUBLISHED: 10:21 11 February 2014 | UPDATED: 10:21 11 February 2014

The Charcuterie winner from last year. Credit: David Nash

The Charcuterie winner from last year. Credit: David Nash

The Electric Eye

Butchers across the county will be excited to learn that the Great Hampshire Sausage & Pie Competition, organised by county food group, Hampshire Fare will return on Tuesday 18th March 2014.

The Cold Pie winner from last year. Credit: David NashThe Cold Pie winner from last year. Credit: David Nash

The competition is being sponsored by Lucas Ingredients, Dalziel and Bpex.

The competition made a come back last year after a two-year break and proved a great success. Attracting more than 170 entries across 12 categories, the popular competition showcased the hard work of our county’s talented butchers.

The competition is an opportunity for local butchers to put their finest products in front of a panel of expert judges. The categories include Traditional Pork Sausage, Meatballs and Faggots, Hampshire Charcuterie, Black Pudding, Hot and Cold Eating Pies, Hampshire Sausage and new for this year Young Sausage Maker.

Southampton Butchers, Uptons of Bassett, won the Traditional Pork Pie and Cold Eating Pies categories at the 2013 competition. Owner, Simon Broadribb, is enthusiastic about the contest:

“Winning the pie awards last year, really increased our sales and the competition gives our staff even more pride in what they do. Whether or not you win, it’s a great way to benchmark new products, with real expert feedback which you can’t buy. I learn so much just by talking to fellow competitors and the judges, for me it is a real must. It’s great for ideas and meaty brainstorming and for many butchers, it is a rare opportunity to think.”

The judges will rank the entries based on their external and internal appearance and colour, texture and structure, taste and smell and ease of cutting. Awards and a trophy will be presented in each category and the Supreme Champion of 2014 will be selected from across all the entries. An award will also be presented to the best entry from a New Forest Marque member.

Mike Wright, Chairman of Hampshire Fare, is eager to encourage local butchers to enter:

“Since it was introduced in 2001 the competition has highlighted the quality and choice available locally through farm shops, independent butchers and at Hampshire Farmers’ Markets. Over the past year support has really grown for local independent retailers and producers as consumers question the provenance of their food. This competition celebrates quality, handmade, flavoursome products made from British meat and local ingredients. If you have a favourite local sausage maker please urge them to enter the competition and receive recognition for what they do.”

Whilst the event is closed to the public, the competition highlights the quality of products made by Hampshire’s independent retail butchers and livestock farmers, and is a reliable guide for where to buy the best. Details of the winners will be published on www.hampshirefare.co.uk after the competition. Follow Hampshire Fare on Twitter @HampshireFare and on Facebook fb.me/hampshirefare for the latest competition news.

The competition will be held on Tuesday 18th March at the Holiday Inn in Winchester. More details of how to enter and the terms and conditions can be found on the Hampshire Fare website, www.hampshirefare.co.uk. The entry form is available to download from the Hampshire Fare website and can also be sent out to butchers. The closing date for all entries is Friday 14 March 2014.

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