Our Philosophy... we are proud of the awards that we have achieved and we make it our priority to meet or exceed the demands of our customers. At Solent Butchers we know that a policy of continuous development and improvement is the only way forward and we have taken time to develop a comprehensive range of top quality products. Our success mirrors that of our Customers’.

Portsmouth could soon be known as the place to buy ‘England’s Best Sirloin Steak’ as local catering butcher ‘Solent Butchers Limited’ has made it through to the final stage of the inaugural ‘EBLEX Quality Standard Mark Excellence Awards 2015’.

Run by EBLEX, ‘England’s Best Sirloin Steak’ is one of three competitions to make up the newly launched Quality Standard Mark Excellence Awards 2015. Along with ‘England’s Best Innovative Steak and ‘England’s Best Steak Pie’, the awards recognise steak products that deliver excellent eating qualities and the highest levels of customer satisfaction both in and out of the home.

Butchers, supermarkets and caterers throughout the country sent in entries to be judged by meat industry experts in all three competitions, but only the highest scoring made it through to the final.

Solent Butchers Limited entered the ‘Foodservice’ category in England’s Best Sirloin Steak competition and its ‘Southern Pride Sirloin Steak’ was one of just 11 companies in the category to achieve a prestigious Gold Award. From those, only the best three sirloin steaks were selected to go through to the final, which means that Solent Butchers Limited has a good chance of being crowned winner of the Foodservice category.

There were two other categories in the competition – ‘Independent Retailer’ and ‘Multiple Retailer/Suppler’ – and one of the category winners will go on to be named Overall Champion of England’s Best Sirloin Steak competition.

In the contest, entries were put through their paces with judges marking against set criteria, including aroma, colour, marbling, flavour and juiciness. In addition, scientific ‘shear force’ testing was used to measure tenderness.

Competition organiser, foodservice project manager for EBLEX, Hugh Judd, said: “Sirloin is a prime cut which is one of the nation’s favourite steaks thanks to its fine texture and wonderful flavour. We know there are many excellent examples on sale across the country and we wanted to recognise the very best in the business.

“The competition so far has been extremely tough. Not only did we receive a great number of entries but the quality of sirloin steaks submitted was incredibly high. Without doubt there has been a fantastic display from companies such as Solent Butchers Limited. We wish them the very best of luck in the final.” As well as reaching the final in the Foodservice category with its ‘Southern Pride Sirloin Steak’, Solent Butchers Limited also received a Gold Award for its ‘Aberdeen Angus Sirloin Steak’.

Staff at a city butchers are celebrating after winning top awards for creating one of the country’s best burgers.

Solent Butchers in Dundas Lane, Portsmouth, won gold awards for their prime beef burger and gourmet steak burger. The firm was one of 23 companies nationwide to make it to the final stages of Britain’s Best Burger.

David Putt (left) and Adam Donges (right) celebrate after Solent Butchers win a prestigious award for their latest range of burgers.

Owner Mark Cristofoli said he was thrilled that their burgers made it so far in the competition and came away with two awards. He said: ‘We were excited because of the amount of work that the guys put in.

‘We have done lots of development work with different types of meat. A lot of work goes into the end result. We have spent months working on it to come up with a range of different burgers.’

Solent Butchers first began making its own range of sausages eight years ago and they did well in various competitions. Then, Mark decided it was time to develop their own range of burgers. The firm has developed its own registered brand for its specific recipes. It’s called the Solent select premium burger and sausage range.

Mark added that more and more people are enjoying buying good quality burgers. ‘It’s a developing market,’ he said. ‘People are prepared to pay a lot more for a good quality burger. Once upon a time it was a burger from a van. We are always looking for a niche market. We have had the brand registered’.

‘The idea is to build on that brand. ‘But we are always about what the customer wants. We have got to work together as a team to create the end result.’ The biannual competition was organised by industry body EBLEX – The organisation for the English Beef and Sheep Industry. To achieve a gold award, burgers had to score between 95 and 100 points from the judges.

When Solent Butchers started making a special kind of sausage for one of its customers, little did it know it was on to a winner.

Now they are celebrating after its delicious-looking ‘London Banger with Young’s Special Bitter’ sausages were crowned the winners of the Best Pub Pork Sausage category at the BPEX Foodservice Pork Sausage of the Year contest.

David Putt, sales director for the butchers – which also supplies meat to pubs, schools and colleges across the area – said ‘Our London Banger with Young’s Special Bitter is one of our premium sausages. We’re incredibly proud of it’.

Also, as part of the competition, the butchers won gold awards for it’s pork, caramalised red onion and rosemary sausage, pork, apple and honey sausage, healthy option pork sausage and it’s sage and onion pork sausage.

Tony Goodger, foodservice trade manager for BPEX, which represents pig levy payers in the UK, said: ‘These accolades are highly sought after and show off the range of sausages, made with quality assured pork, available today.

‘Sausages are a key feature of any menu, loved by customers of all ages, so we are incredibly encouraged to see such an impressive selection for them to choose from when eating out.’

David Putt, Sales Director at Solent Butchers receives the Award for First Place in the Best Pub Pork Sausage from BPEX.

Published in The News, Portsmouth, November 2012. Story: Miles O’Leary

  • For a full and in-depth award history download our AWARDS & ACCREDITATIONS pdf.