A BORDERS butcher has been recognised for producing the 'best' traditional steak pies in the south east of Scotland.

J M Quality Meats in St Boswells beat off stiff competition in the Scottish Craft Butchers (SCB) Awards to emerge victorious.

And new owner Ian Hogg is thrilled at receiving the coveted accolade.

He said: “We just took over the business at the start of October, so this is my first taste of success with the team.”

Ian was quick to shower all the praise on master butcher Colin Ward and his apprentice Oscar Grice, who ensured St Boswells' only butchers shop brought the title to the Borders.

“It is Colin’s recipe, Colin’s pie, that won over the judges,” he added.

“He is such an experienced, skilful and talented butcher and this award is worthy recognition of all his hard work.”

Ian said the small team at the Main Street shop was thrilled to lift the regional title for such an iconic product.

He added: ‘Steak pies are a big seller and a keystone of our business. We make them every day.

“To be recognised as producing the best in the whole of Southeast Scotland is absolutely fantastic.

“We have a very loyal customer base here in the Borders but to be recognised out with the community for our products is just brilliant.

“I’m extremely proud of the team and the accolade Colin’s quality product has brought us.”

Traditional steak and speciality pies are usually evaluated at SCB awards every two years but the 2023 event was the first since 2019 due to the COVID pandemic.

A regional title for Traditional Steak Pie was backed up by other successes in the Scottish Craft Butchers Awards, with J M Quality Meats lifting a gold for their Wagyu steak pie and a silver for their steak and haggis pie.

“We’ll have to go into overdrive if demand outweighs supply in the wake of this success,” laughed Ian.

“A nice position to be in.”

Gordon King, executive manager of Scottish Craft Butchers, said J M Quality Meats’ pie had proved a winner with judges looking for the perfect traditional Scottish product.

He said: “Nearly 100 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 as every butcher wants to be the champion in the run-up to Christmas and New Year.

"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 J M Quality Meats that matters.”