G J Sanderson Butchers in Coldstream has reclaimed the regional title for the best traditional steak pie in the south east of Scotland.
The popular family butchers last won the bi-ennial regional title in 2015 in the Scottish Craft Butchers Awards.
Now the accolade is back at the Border as owner Graham Sanderson rediscovers the form that makes him the envy of pie-makers throughout the south east.
Graham, who makes all the pies for the shop, revealed that the winning recipe was inherited from the business’s predecessor and dates back over 30 years.
He said: “There’s no real secret. You’ve got to ensure you use prime quality lean shoulder steak, fill the case to the top with meat and flavoursome hand-made gravy and top it with golden flaky pastry.”
Situated just 200 yards from the English border, Graham caters for both Scottish and English customers and his pies attract cross border attention.
“Doing well in these craft butchers evaluations provides credible evidence of a quality and standard recognised by our peers and the industry,” he said. “A regional championship title can boost sales considerably.”
Graham and his team of two other butchers usually perform well in the Scottish Craft Butchers evaluations.
Their Steak and Haggis Pie – also entered this year – earned a Silver Award in the speciality steak pie category.
Gordon King, executive manager of Scottish Craft Butchers, confirmed Sanderson’s pie as “outstanding”.
He continued: “We had nearly 100 traditional steak pies entered in the bi-ennial awards from all across Scotland.
“That’s a lot of pies for the judges to taste but there was definitely something special about Sanderson’s that marked it out for the 2019/20 south east regional title – that indefinable ‘something’ that makes it one of the best in Scotland.
“These awards show the exceptional standard of product being crafted by our local butchers and set the bar pretty high for others to follow.
“This year’s evaluation attracted a high number of entrants and competition for the top titles was very fierce.”
Other Borders butchers lifting awards in these latest industry evaluations include:
Allan Learmonth Butchers, Jedburgh – two Gold Awards for both their Traditional Steak Pie and their Chicken, Haggis and Peppercorn Pie;
James Pringle Butchers, Hawick – two Silver Awards for both their Traditional Steak Pie and their Mince Round.