IT WAS a meaty task

A panel of experts from across the UK gathered at Eastleigh College to judge The Great Hampshire Sausage and Pie Competition 2019 organised by local food group Hampshire Fare.

The two-day event received an impressive 205 entries from Hampshire’s butchers and pie makers.

There were 12 categories in the competition including Traditional Pork Sausage, Hampshire Sausage, Speciality Sausage, Beef and Lamb Sausage, Cold-eating Pie, Hot-eating Pie, Charcuterie, Young Sausage Maker and Black Pudding.

Thirteen judges assessed the entries against strict criteria including appearance, filling, texture, shrinkage, taste and smell.

Claire Holland, chief judge, said: “Overall the standard of the entries has definitely risen compared with last year, particularly in the Young Sausage Maker category. Competitions such as this are an invaluable way for butchers to access the expert opinion of experienced and knowledgeable people within the industry.”

Hospitality and catering students from the college assisted at the competition under the guidance of tutor Greg Cheeseman.

As well as cooking the entries, the students had the opportunity to sit with the judges to gain insight into what makes a good entry.

The competition is sponsored by Lucas Ingredients, Dalziel, Santa Maria, Mozzo, Ringwood Brewery, Eastleigh College, Holiday Inn Winchester, Danebury Wine and New Forest Spring Water.

With judging now complete, entrants must wait until Wednesday, February 20, when the winners will be announced at the ticketed awards ceremony being held at Holiday Inn Winchester.