National Barbecue Champions crowned after sizzling competition
The national Barbecue Grand Champion was crowned this week in a red-hot contest between the best butchers from across the land.
The heat was on for butchers from far and wide to showcase their very best barbecue products at the Butchers Q Guild annual BBQ Competition grand final, staged at the Weber Grill Academy in Oxford. (Tuesday, April 29).
Corry’s Butchers, from Bramhall, Cheshire, emerged as overall supreme champions with their fabulous Italian pork sausage, which had earlier been chosen as the title winner in the speciality sausage category of the competition.
Corry’s Butchers is run by Neil Corry, a second-generation butcher who has been trading for more than 20 years, and his wife Jan. Corry’s was also overall supreme champion at the Q Guild Smithfield Awards in 2012 for their Porchetta, and has now triumphed in the prestigious annual
The Corrys are very proud of their Italian pork sausage, made with garlic, fennel, flat-leaf parsley, white wine, salt and pepper, based on a speciality in the Tuscan region of Italy. It was developed after a suggestion from one of the Sardinian staff at their local Italian restaurant, Piccolino’s.
Jan Corry, who cooked the winning product for the judges to taste, said: “We’re a bit shocked really. I didn’t feel nervous at all, but then when you’re thinking ‘I’m going to have to cook this for people to taste and judge,’ then the nerves kick in.”
She said although Corry’s has won a number of prestigious awards in the last few years, the focus is always on the customers.
“We are on a bit of a winning streak,” she said. “But it’s all based on what we think is going to sell in the shop. There’s no point
making things that people don’t want. We want to get it right.”
Corry’s Butchers also picked up a second national accolade when winning the barbecue product category with their tandoori lamb chops, featuring a home-made tandoori paste.
The finalists were chosen from all seven regions of the Q Guild, which represents 110 elite butchers from the Scottish Highlands down to Cornwall, after a number of regional heats.
The winners were selected by a panel of judges, including Jeremy Fowler, from Winchester, the only Master BBQ Judge in Europe and former executive chef to the Sultan of Brunei and personal chef to Mohammed al Fayed.
He said: “Well done to one and all. The contest is great and it does a lot for the butchers. It’s smashing what they have achieved.”
The winners of the pork sausage category were Fraser’s Butchers, from Bolton. Alison Woodcock, assistant manager, said: “We’re thrilled. They’re a great sausage for barbecues because they’re thin, but not too thin, so still nice and juicy.
“They’re great cooking on a barbecue or even at home under a grill. We knew they would do well, but the fact that they’ve won is just brilliant.” Fraser’s also came runner-up in the speciality burger category.
Bradwell Butchery, from Norfolk, was crowned winner of the beef burger category with its ‘Bradwell Bigun.’ Owner Andrew Edmonds said: “I’m absolutely delighted.
"This is a popular recipe we use in the shop. They are made using 100% lean steak – we use good Norfolk beef - and weigh 8oz and although they are very lean, cooked correctly
they retain their succulent juiciness and are very healthy too.
"It’s one of the simplest recipes we have. We just let the meat speak for itself. We call them our gourmet burgers and liken them to eating a piece of steak – you can taste the meat without confusing people with a lot of different flavours.”
The speciality burger category was won by Crombies of Edinburgh with its steak, cheese and chive burger. Jonathan Crombie said: “We’ve had this on sale for a couple of years now and our customers really like it. We love these competitions – it’s all part of the fun. For us, it’s a great part of the Q Guild, getting to share knowledge and expertise with other butchers.”
Q Guild newcomers, Moody Sow Farm Shop, from Cefn Mably Farm Park in Old St Mellons, Cardiff, won the barbecue steak category. Butchery manager Christian Regan said: “We’re a new business and we’re absolutely over the moon to win this. We were confident in our beef, but going up against all the established butchers that were there, we’re really chuffed.”
C Nicholson and Sons Butchers in Whitley Bay, this year celebrating its landmark centenary, was runner-up in both the pork sausage class with its standard sausage and in the speciality barbecue product category with its minted lamb steaks.
Blacker Hall Farm Shop in Wakefield was chosen as runner-up in the speciality sausage category with its Cumberland-style sausage, with Walter Smith Fine Foods in Lichfield finishing runner-up in the beef burger class. Robert Alexander Butchers, of Port Glasgow, Inverclyde, was runner-up in the sirloin steak category.
Q Guild butchers across the nation are now geared up to supply the full range of summer barbecue products – with a little help from the weather!
ENDS: Moule Media