New winner at eighth Butcher's Pride sausage contest
MP Sir John Hayes took a welcome break from the rigours of Brexit to chair the eighth Butcher's Pride sausage competition on Friday.
There was a new venue this year and new winners too, as the Cley Hall Hotel hosted and CJ Butchers of Boston claimed first prize with its 'Premium Lincolnshire Sausage'.
Organised by Boston College, sausages are 'blind tested' by a group of six judges and marked for appearance and smell, texture, taste, and seasoning and flavour.
The sausages were cooked on the premises by the Cley Hall team and the competition judged in two sittings, with entries for Best Lincolnshire Sausage and Best Speciality Sausage. There are Gold Awards for both category winners and the Butcher's Pride Award, sponsored by Sir John, goes to the butcher with the highest overall points score.
It was the first year CJ Butchers has entered and, as well as taking the overall award, it was clear winner of Lincolnshire Sausage award, with Adams of Spalding second with its famous 1910 recipe, Bycrofts of Boston third, Trevor Sharpe of Gosberton fourth and Lyell and Son of Boston fifth. There were 13 entries.
Chris Jelley owned CJ Butchers for 27 years before selling the business to Pilgrim Foodservice and is now manager. He worked with a development chef to create the new sausage, which has only been on the market for two months. Butcher Hayden Everest, who creates the sausages, said modestly: "I just do as I'm told!"
Speciality sausages included such recipes as beef and horseradish, Lincolnshire Ale and chine.
After winning the overall prize by just a point in 2018, Bennetts of Spalding missed out on top spot overall by just two points this year with its pork and stilton sausage, which won the Speciality Sausage crown. Adams of Spalding was second with its hog roast sausage, third with its spicy 'Reggae sausage', fourth with its honey and mustard effort and also fifth with its stilton sausage. There were nine entries in this category.
Highly commended overall were Adams' Reggae and 1910 sausages, Shearers of Holbeach with its chine sausage, Bycrofts with its Lincolnshire Sausage and Trevor Sharpe's low fat effort.
Also taking part on the day were M&H Butchers of Wyberton and of Joff's Hogs of Fishtoft.
Addressing the butchers who took part, Sir John said: "There were so many good sausages and so many good sausage makers . I started this competition to support local independent businesses and to promote south Lincolnshire as a great sausage making centre.
"I am really pleased that the trophy has gone to another new winner.It is really good that the competitive spirit is maintained with everybody bidding to try to be the best."
Boston College employer engagement manager George Bell added: "Every independent butcher benefits from this because it promotes what you are doing as independents as opposed to people going to the supermarkets and buying their sausages from there."
Judges were: Sir John Hayes, Lincolnshire Pride Magazine editor Tilly Wilkinson, Boston College chair of governors Peter Cropley, Spalding Guardian and Lincolnshire Free Press editor Jeremy Ransome, Lincolnshire Co-op travel and post office group manager Wayne Dennett and Chris Jones of Batemans Brewery.
2018: Lincolnshire Sausage: 1= Trevor Sharpe of Gosberton and Bycrofts of Boston; Speciality Sausage: Bennetts; Butcher’s Pride Award: Bennetts.
2017: Lincolnshire Sausage: George Adams of Spalding; Speciality Sausage: Trevor Sharpe of Gosberton; Butcher’s Pride Award: George Adams of Spalding.
2016: Lincolnshire Sausage: George Adams of Spalding; Speciality Sausage: George Adams of Spalding; Butcher’s Pride Award: George Adams of Spalding.
2015: Lincolnshire Sausage: Bycroft’s of Boston; Speciality Sausage: Trevor Sharpe of Gosberton; Butcher’s Pride Award: Bycroft’s of Boston.
2014: Lincolnshire Sausage: George Adams of Spalding; Speciality Sausage: Trevor Sharpe of Gosberton; Butcher’s Pride Award: George Adams of Spalding.
2013: Lincolnshire Sausage: Trevor Sharpe of Gosberton; Speciality Sausage: George Adams of Spalding; Butcher’s Pride Award: Trevor Sharpe of Gosberton.
2012: Butcher’s Pride Award: George Adams of Spalding.