Businesses serve up slice of success at pie awards
By Lyndsay Oxley - Reporter
TWO dale businesses have been recognised for cooking up some of the country’s top pies.
McFarlane Family Butchers, in Barnard Castle, and Middleton-in-Teesdale Fish and Chip Shop both scooped accolades at the British Pie Awards 2018.
Their pastry creations saw them ranked among the best out of 963 entries made by 180 producers.
A minted lamb pie, created by staff at McFarlane’s, won a silver award. Meanwhile, a steak and kidney pie with red wine gravy and a minted Wensleydale lamb and potato pie saw the chippy bring home two bronze awards.
Having won awards in the past for bacon and sausages, this is the first time that pies from the McFarlane Family Butchers have been recognised nationally.
Butcher Stuart McFarlane said: “It was the chairman of the awards who called me up and asked if I wanted to enter.
“I entered the minted lamb pie because it is something different. I honestly didn’t know how we would get on. I thought I’d probably not hear anything back but they emailed me to say we’d won silver which was really good.
“They are homemade using locally sourced Teesdale lamb and the pastry recipe was passed on from my grandmother, Mary. Our customers love them.”
Mr McFarlane thanked his staff for their efforts.
He said: “If it wasn’t for my staff, I wouldn’t be here. We have a chicken balti pie now.
“We might have a bit of a play around with flavours and see what we can spin out.”
In Middleton-in-Teesdale, David Amsden, who owns the chippy with his sister Lydia Sunter, was delighted to find out that their homemade pies had been ranked at the top for the third year running.
Last year, their steak and kidney, chicken curry, steak and potato and minted Wensleydale lamb pies received a mix of bronze and silver awards. Mr Amsden said: “We are over the moon. It shows we are still doing something right. The pies are made here in the kitchen fresh every day by staff.”
Lamb and beef used in the pies is sourced from their father’s farm in Wensleydale while other ingredients are sourced locally too.
He said: “We use good quality ingredients. We really push that so we know where it has all come from.
“The meat is all slow-cooked so it melts in your mouth. The pastry is hand-rubbed making sure it is moist and crumbling and holds well in the cabinet. It is always ‘fresh is best’.”