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Butcher celebrates award success for traditional bacon and pies

A South Staffordshire butcher has been celebrating more award success for its top quality bacon and pies.

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Craig Thomas shows off the products which won five gold awards

Martin Thomas Butchers in Pattingham have come up big at the National Craft Butchers Product Awards after receiving five gold award ratings for two of its bacon products and three of its pork pies.

The family-run butchers were given the gold ratings for its rindless Air-dried back bacon and rind-on air-drived back bacon and for its traditional pork pie, as well as its pork 'n' pancetta and pork 'n' chorizo pies, all manufactured using traditional recipes and flavours for a unique taste.

Craig Thomas, who is the sixth-generation of the family to run the butchers, said it had been an amazing honour to pick up the gold awards from the National Craft Butchers, a trade association that has supported and encouraged excellence in its members for 135 years.

He said: "It's absolutely amazing to pick up the five awards as we have had a tremendous year, with the same products continually winning awards throughout the year, such as the pork 'n' chorizo and the bacon winning highly commended at the meat management awards.

"Everywhere we have put the bacon up against judging, it has picked up exceptionally high grades and marks off all the judges, both in raw and cooked labour.

"It's further endorsement of every product that we've been making, which have been across every high judging standard this year alone, which must mean they are consistent products for what we've been making for years."

The judges for the National Craft Butchers included master butchers, farmers and technical experts led by Head Judge and Institute of Meat CEO, Keith Fisher, and saw Martin Thomas Butchers pitted against butchers from across the country.

There could be further awards for Martin Thomas as well as final results will be released at the end of September and Mr Thomas said it was a compliment for keeping a winning formula and not changing what they were doing.

He said: "It hasn't changed from when we first started making the products and the pork pies and most of the flavours have been done for more than 10 years and we're not going to change that.

"The bacon, we do properly, with dried salt and then left in trays to dry and then hung out in specialist fridges so that it gets cut when it is perfectly dry.

"We even get comments off of the judges to say that the rind of the bacon actually crackles, so we're not going to change our formula and we're delighted with the awards."