CUMBRIAN— butchers have picked up multiple honours in the Q Guild of Butchers 2020 Smithfield ‘Star’ Awards.

Cranstons Butcher + Maker, with food halls and shops across Cumbria, clinched a best of the best Diamond accolade.

The business, which comprises Cranstons Cumbria Food Hall and Cafe in Penrith, further food halls in Carlisle, Orton Grange and Brampton, plus traditional butchers’ shops in Penrith and Hexham, achieved a Diamond in the Naked Steak category with its 21-day Dry Aged Sirloin Steak. Judges deemed it “a well butchered and presented steak, succulent, tender with great flavour.”

Cranstons’ Managing Director, Philip Cranston, said: “Naturally, we’re over the moon to pick up a category-leading Diamond award in the face of such strong competition from our fellow butchers nationwide. I dedicate this success to our entire team.”

For the first time this year, the revamped Smithfield ‘Star’ Awards had a brand-new star rating system through which 3***, 2** or 1* certificates were awarded to products achieving a set standard. Diamond awards are then achieved by pitching all the 3*** products against each other to find the ‘Category Champion’.

In fact, Cranstons achieved a total of six product awards, with another – Rare Roast Beef – achieving 3*** and also chosen as a finalist in the Fresh from the Deli category.

Dales Traditional Butchers in Market Street, Kirkby Lonsdale, scooped a 13-strong awards windfall, among them no less than six top-ranked 3*** accolades, all but one of which were also shortlisted as category finalists for Diamond awards.

The five category finalists were: Pancetta in the Bacon category, Cracked Black Pepper Burger, Pastrami in Fresh from the Deli, plus a brace of bangers in the Innovative Sausage category with Pork and Haggis Sausage and Festive Sausage. Dales Traditional Butchers also clinched a top-rated 3*** with its 28 Day Aged Sirloin Steak.

Higginsons Butchers & Pie Makers in Grange-over-Sands picked up a brace of awards, including a top-ranked 3*** accolade with ‘Festive Stuffed Pheasant’, which was also shortlisted for Diamond in the ‘Game Ready Meal’ category. The Main Street shop also clinched 2** with their ‘Saturday Night-In Sausage.’

For the first time this year, the revamped Smithfield ‘Star’ Awards had a brand-new star rating system.