Farm shop cooks up Best of British award
By David Wibberley - Reporter
A FARM shop’s pork and potato bake has been judged the best of British.
Mainsgill Farmshop, at East Layton, won the Institute of Meat’s Great British Butcher Award for 2019 at a ceremony at the Dalziel Butchers Show, in Harrogate. The awards recognise and celebrate innovation and quality in retail butchery.
Rachael Henshaw, daughter of owners Andrew and Maria, said: “There were 473 entries this year – 33 made it to the finals in Harrogate. The were 11 categories, with three finalists in each category.”
Categories included beef steak, sausage, dry cured bacon and pies. Miss Henshaw added: “We won our category for the best British kitchen-ready product with our creamy pork and potato bake.
“Winning our category meant we were in the final against the other winners. We won that one too, earning us the title Great British Butcher, 2019.”
Expert judges, including consumers, industry experts and food technologists, evaluated each product. A report was written for each entry on how well the product performed to help improve standards.
Miss Henshaw explained how Mainsgill is very much a family based business – older brother, Jack, manages the farm and younger brotherMatthew will be joining the team next year when he finishes his studies
at Reaseheath College in Cheshire. However, Miss Henshaw highlighted the importance of the contribution made by all the staff.
She said: “We are all very proud to have won the award – we have a fantastic team here and it is all down to an incredible amount of hard work and team effort. It is nice to see mum and dad getting recognition after all the years of work they have put into the business.”
Mr and Mrs Henshaw moved into the 57-acre farm the day after they were married in 1995. Miss Henshaw said: “Farming in the 90s was hard. In 1997 my mum and dad took one pig to slaughter and turned the entire carcass into sausage. My mum went around the area selling the sausage, door to door, and that is how it all started.”
Mrs Henshaw is still as hands-on as ever. It was her recipe for the creamy pork and potato bake that the Mainsgill team developed into the award-winning dish.
The team at Mainsgill are not resting on their laurels, said Miss Henshaw.
She added: “We are continuing to develop and are continuing to trying new recipes.”