20 September 1996

Steak and kidney pies best in UK

MURIEL Moores paying guests (see letter) are not the only ones who have been enjoying beef this summer. Customers at the Happy Return, Chard, Somerset have been tucking into "the best British steak and kidney pie in Britain".

Landlady Jenny Dowell who, with her husband Martin, owns and runs the Happy Return, won the 1996 title in a catering industry competition run by British Meat. Jenny makes her pies with British beef skirt, lambs kidneys and a pint of Guinness. Her recipe is below.

Caterers are also making good use of minced beef bearing the Minced Beef Quality Mark. This assures customers that they are buying minced beef prepared from regular cuts of prime beef produced from cattle under 30 months old.

Pip Stevens from The Hobler Inn, Lymington, Hants won British Meats Best Minced Beef Dish competition in a cook-off at the Meat and Livestock Commissions headquarters in which nine finalists took part. He won the chilli category with his "Famous Hobler Hot Chilli" and the overall title. Helen Hasler from The Bright Star, Peters Green, near Luton, Beds won the best minced beef lasagne class and Avril Wagstaff from the Green Tree Inn, Hatfield, Doncaster, won the best minced beef cottage pie class.

Q Guild Butchers have been promoting barbecue dishes this summer and beef was on their menu too, of course. Recipes were created for the guild by BBC Masterchef Sue Lawrence. Sues recipe for beefburgers with gooey cheese, given below, could be useful all year round. A tip for the cook: Sue finds it easier to use her hands when mixing the ingredients.

The Guild of Welsh Beef Suppliers has also been handing out recipe leaflets from which we chose to try Deep South Spicy Beef. This proved a winner. At first sight the recipe appeared a little dry, but the succulent beef produced plenty of juices to be thickened as sauce.

Jenny Dowell (above)

and Pip Stevens each won £1000 for their beef dishes in British Meat catering contests