Aubrey Allen, a jewel in our Warwickshire crown, has bagged a prestigious Platinum Jubilee Award in a national craft butchery awards.
The butcher’s, which already has a whole raft of awards in its trophy cabinet, won a Platinum Jubilee Award – the top award from the Q Guild of Butchers’ Smithfield Star Awards – for its homemade shepherd’s pie after it was picked as the winner by Michelin star chef and restaurateur Angela Hartnett OBE.
The dish won its category with full marks of 70 out of 70 before going up against other category winners and being selected as the overall winner for the Platinum Jubilee Award. The team were presented with their award at a gala lunch at Butchers’ Hall in London.
Aubrey Allen also made the finals and received three-star status – the highest possible rating from the Guild – for three more of its products: Moroccan Lamb Truffles, Aubrey’s Authentic Beef Lasagne and its Cumberland Pork Burgers.
Ian Meek, from Aubrey Allen said: “We’re completely overwhelmed, it’s truly humbling to have won amongst such a strong line-up of butchers.
“We’re incredibly proud of our Shepherd’s Pie and believe it won because it doesn’t have any bells or whistles, it’s simply traditional British ingredients, made in-house with Aubrey Allen products by our skilled team. We’d serve up the same Shepherd’s pie to our family as we would to a leading dignitary, it works just as it is for everyone. It’s one of our best-selling products and we’re incredibly proud of it.”
This lucky blogger was given the chance to try Aubrey Allen’s award-winning Shepherd’s Pie and can confirm that it’s rather lovely. Well seasoned, good quality meat, nicely put-together, and super easy to pop in the oven and enjoy. The kind of ready meal you’d be able to quietly cook and then serve up to guests, claiming you’d made it from scratch.
A family-run business well known in Warwickshire, Aubrey Allen supplies meat to top chefs and even the Queen for Windsor Castle banquets. You’ll find their shop on Warwick Street, Leamington Spa, where they sell a range of top quality meats alongside chef-prepared meals, cooked meats, charcuterie and homemade cheeses.
Organised by the Q Guild of Butchers, the Smithfield Star awards recognise the UK’s finest craft butchery products from sausage to burgers, bacon, black pudding, barbecue products and more.
For the awards, the products are evaluated using a 1, 2 and 3 star rating system by a panel of independent industry judges, with all 3 star products in each category then pitched against each for the category champion Diamond Award.
Q Guild Manager Gordon Wallace said: “To celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee this year we created our very special Platinum Jubilee award and we were delighted to present it to Aubrey Allen for their incredible Shepherd’s Pie.
“It didn’t drop a mark in the first round of judging and it’s certainly a real accolade to have been chosen by Angela Hartnett as the overall winner! Our Smithfield Star Awards are a fantastic endorsement of a butcher’s craft and product and really do go a long way in helping raise standards across the board and driving product development in our industry.”
[Disclosure: I was sent an Aubrey Allen’s Shepherd’s Pie to try for free, along with some gravy and some cannoli for desssert. I wasn’t asked to write a blog post, but I like sharing good news for Warwickshire businesses]