Hawick butcher goes for gold five times over at awards

From left, Judith Johnston of sponsor Lucas Ingredients, Hawick butcher James Pringle and employee Paul Ferguson.
From left, Judith Johnston of sponsor Lucas Ingredients, Hawick butcher James Pringle and employee Paul Ferguson.

A Hawick butcher struck gold five times over with his bacon and burgers at an award ceremony.

James Pringle, owner of Hawick High Street’s Robert Pringle butcher’s shop, took home nine accolades from a Scottish Craft Butchers presentation at the Carfraemill Hotel following an evaluation for beefburgers, speciality burgers and own-cured bacon judged at Forth Valley College, Stirling.

He won gold prizes for his cola-cured back bacon, dry-cured back bacon, treacle-cured back bacon, toffee-cured back bacon and Italian-style beefburgers.

James also picked up silver prizes for his premier burgers, Highland burgers, lamb and mint burgers and maple-cured back bacon.

“We’re quite pleased. It was the most awards anybody got on the night, and there was a big, big turnout,” he said.

“It had taken us years to get five golds, so to then get five on the one night was something else.”

Jedburgh butcher Allan Learmonth was also a golden boy at the awards handout, claiming a hat-trick of golds for his standard beefburgers and varieties with bacon and cheese and port and Stilton in.

He also won a silver prize for his chicken, haggis and peppercorn burgers.

St Boswells butcher’s shop JC Douglas and its Peebles peer WTS Forsyth were also keeping their eyes on the prizes, winning one gold and two silvers apiece.

The former’s gold was for its venison and sweet chilli burgers and its silvers for its unsmoked bacon and standard beefburgers.

The latter’s gold was for its Ayrshire middle bacon and its silvers for its standard beefburgers and Moroccan-style lamb burgers.

Adding to the Borders’ tally of titles was a silver prize handed out to Foston Fine Meats in Duns for its smoked bacon.

Scottish Craft Butchers president Paul Boyle said: “These evaluations always reveal really appealing products that craft butchers make and sell.

“The superior quality of home-cured products is widely acknowledged by customers, and the innovative ranges come as a response to customer becoming more adventurous with their tastes, and they are always keen to support local businesses who make their own unique quality products.

“It is always worth going the extra mile for something extra special.”