Simpsons sizzle as Butcher of the Year in Poacher 2014

TOP DOGS: James Hilton, Jack Gilbert, Lisa Almond and Gary Simpson have more reasons to celebrate this week. SG031014-105TW
TOP DOGS: James Hilton, Jack Gilbert, Lisa Almond and Gary Simpson have more reasons to celebrate this week. SG031014-105TW
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Spalding’s newest butchers Simpsons put in a sizzling performance in a county-wide competition winning the Butcher of the Year title and becoming class champions for Lincolnshire sausages and speciality sausages.

W Hargreaves, of Pinchbeck, took class champion titles for stuffed chine and gluten free sausages – and George Adams (Retail) Ltd, of Spalding, was the class champion for its beef burgers.

The three butchers were among those collecting a hat full of other medals in the Lincolnshire County Foods Poacher Competition 2014.

Simpsons boss Gary Simpson (35) opened his first shop in Heckington in 2001, his second in Sleaford in 2009 and added three more this year, including one in Spalding’s Hall Place.

This is the first time he’s been named Butcher of the Year in the Poacher competition although last year he won the Midlands and East of England Butcher’s Shop of the Year.

Speaking about the Poacher win, Gary said: “It’s fantastic news for everyone concerned, really. I think it will showcase the business.”

Lincolnshire is renowned for its sausages so becoming class champion for those is another big coup.

Gary said: “We have produced Lincolnshire sausages over the last 14 years, ever since we started, and hopefully we have got a product that people enjoy.

“We sell quite a lot of them.”

Simpsons won the speciality sausage class with its pork and cracked black pepper sausages.

W Hargreaves is often the first choice for another of Lincolnshire’s famous delicacies, stuffed chine, but a more recent innovation – a gluten free sausage – is now in the same class.

Owner David Fisher said: “More and more people don’t like wheat so we make a gluten free sausage – we have been making them for several years.”

Mary Adams is the granddaughter of the founder of the family business and is delighted with the firm’s class championship for burgers.

She said: “I think it’s brilliant. We are really pleased. I think it’s my cooking actually because I cook the burgers.”

Among other gold awards were: pork pie – Hargreaves, Pinchin’s Family Farm Shop of Algarkirk, Adams and Simpsons; speciality sausage – Hargreaves (pork and leek); gluten free sausages – Bennett Butchers, Adams and Simpsons; burgers – Simpsons (Lincolnshire sausage meat with Poacher cheese and bacon) and Trevor Sharpe Butchers of Gosberton (lamb); bacon – Hargreaves (sweet cure), Trevor Sharpe, Pinchin’s and Simpsons; innovations – Hargreaves (brunchies).