DALES Traditional Butchers in Kirkby Lonsdale has picked up multiple honours in the Q Guild of Butchers 2020 Smithfield ‘Star’ Awards.

The Market Street shop scooped a 13-strong awards windfall, among them a total of six top-ranked 3*** accolades, all but one of which were also shortlisted as category finalists for a ‘best of the best’ Diamond award.

The five category finalists were:

• Bacon – Pancetta. Cured pork belly using locally sourced pork from Saddleback-cross pigs. Judges said it was “a lovely product with excellent taste and texture.”

• Burger – Cracked Black Pepper Burger. Using the brisket from local Beef Shorthorn cattle. “Very appealing, tasty and flavoursome with good seasoning,” according to judges.

• Fresh from the Deli – Pastrami. Again using the brisket from locally farmed beef. Said to be “visually appealing, with good flavour, texture and smell. An Impressive product.”

• Innovative Sausage – two shortlisted finalists with Pork and Haggis Sausage and Festive Sausage. Both again using local Saddleback-cross pork, the latter also including venison from local shoots. Judges said both “looked and tasted superb, with the festive banger well produced with a good balance of flavours.”

Dales Traditional Butchers also clinched a top-rated 3*** with its 28 Day Aged Sirloin Steak, plus:

• 2** for Home-Baked Guinness and Chilli Black Pudding, Pork Balmoral, Traditional Pork Pie, Traditional Steak Pie and BBQ Brazilian Pichana Skewers.

• 1* each for a brace of bangers - Pork and Leek Gluten-Free Sausage and Cumberland Sausage.

Mark Duckworth, owner of Dales Traditional Butchers, said: “Naturally, we’re over the moon to be shortlisted for not one, but five category-leading Diamond awards in the face of such strong competition from our fellow butchers nationwide. While we didn’t strike Diamond this year we came very close and the positive comments made by judges will hopefully help us to progress to bigger and better things next year.”

For the first time this year, the revamped Smithfield ‘Star’ Awards had a brand-new star rating system through which 3***, 2** or 1* certificates were awarded to products achieving a set standard.

Butchers Q Guild General Manager Claire Holland said: “These awards are a great way of showcasing our members and their achievements. They work really hard to develop outstanding products and to keep up with consumer trends therefore to have it topped off with an industry judged accolade is the icing on the cake. Although Dales did not achieve a Diamond award this year they should be very proud of this impressive haul.”

This year’s Smithfield Star Awards overall supreme champion actually came from much nearer home – just over the hill, in fact. Lishman’s Butchers in Ilkley was crowned ‘champion of champions’ with the Leeds Road shop’s Chilli Cheese Dogs, another 3*** winner also chosen as the best product in the Innovative Sausage category.

Smithfield ‘Star’ Award sponsors were Lucas Ingredients, Dalziel, Innovative Food Ingredients, British Charcuterie Live, Weddel Swift, Verstegen, Taste of Game, Scobie & Junor and Institute of Meat.