Ayrshire butchers retain Best Steak Pie in Scotland titleFriday, 27th Oct 2023
Prime Cuts Butchers, which operates four shops in Ayrshire, have again been judged makers of the finest family favourite with their Maybole Road shop in Ayr taking top honours.
Delighted owner John Kennedy (53) explained that winning the coveted Diamond status in the Scottish Craft Butchers Awards 2019 had been absolutely thrilling but to hold on to the prestigious award had left his team “speechless”.
“These two evaluation competitions are the only two we have ever entered our traditional steak pies for,” he said. “Winning in 2019 through our Coylton shop cemented our faith in what we saw as an outstanding product and to retain the top spot with the Ayr team in 2023 puts it beyond all doubt – judges agree that Prime Cuts make the best steak pie in Scotland.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to take the title again – everyone is overjoyed. It’s an amazing honour and a great reward for everyone’s hard work – especially manager John Gibson and his team at Ayr.”
John explained that the recipe first championed by Prime Cuts when his father opened their first shop in 1983 remains the same to this day.
“Each of the Prime Cuts shops in Ayr, Mauchline, Cumnock and Coylton make their own pies to that same recipe,” said John, “but the team at Ayr obviously had the magic touch this time round.”
While John is happy to reveal some of the winning recipe’s secrets, he guards others closely.
“We use 100 percent cubed prime Aberdeen Angus Cross shoulder steak and delicious gravy topped with an uncooked puff pastry lid," explained John. "Unlike many butchers, we sell our steak pies unfired as the first baking of the pastry is always the best.”
What goes into the delicious gravy, however, remains a secret.
“Quality is the key,” he said. “Only use the best to create the best.”
Prime Cuts make and sell around 1,000 traditional steak pies every week – from individual to large family versions. And with the run-up to New Year looming and another Scottish Championship under their belt, the team at Prime Cuts is bracing for a run on their award-winners.
“Steak pies are a traditional Scottish favourite – especially at New Year – and a key part of our business,” said John. “Retaining the Scottish title will make our pies even more in demand, so a busy time lies ahead for our butchers.”
Gordon King, Executive Manager of Scottish Craft Butchers, said that nearly 100 traditional steak pies were forwarded to the awards evaluation from butchers the length and breadth of Scotland.
“We always have a strong entry for this category,” he said, “as every butcher wants to be the champion in the run-up to Christmas and New Year,’ he said.
“The fact that Prime Cuts retained the title with a different set of judges after a four-year break means they are producing something really special – a consistently high-quality winner.”
Judges agreed Prime Cuts, Ayr, submitted “an excellent pie”, awarding it full marks for smell, texture and taste.
"It was full, flavoursome, contained high quality meat and gravy, topped with scrumptious golden flaky pastry and that indefinable `something` that marked it out as the best in Scotland,” said Gordon.
"A steak pie is a staple for all Scottish butchers - it`s traditional fare and a favourite of customers everywhere. But making the perfect pie is what they all strive for and this year it`s John Kennedy and his team again that lead the field."
Simon Coles, group sales manager with awards sponsor, the Dalesman Group, said:
“The Dalesman Group proudly supports local butchers to develop their recipes by supplying high quality ingredients and we were delighted to sponsor the Traditional Steak Pie Award for 2023.
“For Prime Cuts to be crowned champion again truly demonstrates their ongoing commitment to providing consistent, high-quality products to their customers.”
Prime Cuts was named South West Scotland champions before going on to win the national title.
Other regional champions are:
South East of Scotland - J M Quality Meats, St Boswells;
West of Scotland - James Chapman Butchers Ltd., Wishaw;
East of Scotland - Leuchars Butchers, Leuchars;
North of Scotland - Dossett Butchers, Kintore.
For further information please contact:
SCB Executive Manager Gordon King on 07917524313
PR Maureen Young on 07778-779-888