Haggis pie from the Borders wins world diamond award

Host Carol Smillie presents Greig Foston with his diamond award for his haggis, steak and drambuie pie, as Mark Tomlinson (chief executive officer at Bako North Western Group) and Alan Clarke (chief executive of Scottish Bakers) look on.
Host Carol Smillie presents Greig Foston with his diamond award for his haggis, steak and drambuie pie, as Mark Tomlinson (chief executive officer at Bako North Western Group) and Alan Clarke (chief executive of Scottish Bakers) look on.

Foston’s Fine Meats, with shops based in Duns and Kelso, are celebrating this week after topping the haggis category in the World Scotch Pie Championships.

Owner Greig Foston’s entry of a steak, haggis and drambuie pie was a winner with the judges, who included football legend Jim Leishman.

The pie looks quite like a normal Scotch pie, but it has a slice of haggis at the bottom, covered by a steak and drambuie mixture that really tickled the judges’ tastebuds.

Organisers said it was the busiest judging day ever – with a record entry of 100 butchers and bakers entering more than 500 pies, pasties, sausage rolls, bridies, savouries and apple pies into the competition – and some 300 hopefuls attended the awards luncheon in Cumbernauld last Wednesday, hosted by Carol Smillie.

Owner Greig Foston was over the moon with the award – especially with a certain poet’s celebration coming up.

He said: “This award does have brilliant timing with Burns Night at the end of the month. The recipe for the pie came about as all the staff have a crack at trying different recipes and this one was so good, we decided to enter it.

“Our customers seem to enjoy it as well, as it’s a really popular seller.”

It’s not the first time Foston’s has flirted with awards ... the company won the best beef burger in Scotland 2015 at the Scottish Meat Federation Show in Duns. And the shop became known for its Scotch Creme Egg, which hit the headlines in March last year ... a Cadbury’s Creme Egg, wrapped in sweet chilli pork sausagemeat.

He said: “We find it’s one of these things what you either love or hate, but most people seem to love them.”

Mr Foston added: “It’s even better for us to win an award at the World Scotch Pie Championships, as most of the other winners come from the central belt.”

But there were other Borders winners.

Shaw Fine Meats in Lauder won a gold award, also in the haggis category, for their haggis bridie with caramelised red onion.

There were two awards winging their way to Jedburgh as A. J. Learmonth butchers won a silver in the steak pie category for its steak and gravy pie, and a bronze in the sausage roll category.

And W. T. S. Forsyth in Peebles took a huge four awards – a gold in the hot savoury class for its macaroni pie, a gold in the cold savoury category for its pork pie, a silver in the sausage roll category and a bronze in the hot savoury for its lasagne pie.

The overall winners for the second time was The Kandy Bar in Saltcoats, who also won second prize in the highly-prized football pie category, which was won by Fraserburgh United Juniors.