A butcher is celebrating after coming up trumps in a pork pie competition.
Stephen Leeson, joint owner of Leesons Butchers in Oakham with his wife, Andrea, beat-off competition from more than 30 other pie makers to win the People’s Choice award at PieFest in Melton Mowbray, which was given to him after visitors to the event voted for his pies as their favourite.
Stephen, who offered samples of his best selling hand-raised and Stilton and chilli pork pies, achieved 270 of the 996 votes at the event which took place between July 29 and 30 and allowed visitors to celebrate all things pie-related.
Stephen said: “I am over the moon. I knew we were doing well and everybody that was having a sample was enjoying it.
“I took the lads out for an Indian meal at Red India [in Oakham] to celebrate afterwards.”
Stephen has won several accolades for his pork pies such as a ‘high commended’ rating at the The British Pie Awards in 2015.
He said the secret to his success is using having “consistency” in his pork pies, making sure they are “full of jelly” and ensuring they contain “good meat” which he sources from Packlington Free Range in Staffordshire and the Staffordshire Meat Company.
His pork pies are a massive hit with customers and each week he sells between 500 and 1000 pies. During Christmas, interest in the pies hots-up further and Stephen shifts between four and five thousand.
Following on from PieFest, Stephen hopes to win a ‘hand-reared’ pie award at the Christmas Fat Stock Show in Melton Mowbray on December 5.
“I would love to win Fat Stock,” he said.