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Sustainable Scottish butcher is a searing success at World Steak Challenge

An East Lothian butcher has picked up two Gold medals at a major competition to put the planet’s finest cuts of meat to the test and showcase their quality on a global stage.

Macmerry based, John Gilmour Butchers was the only Scottish butcher to enter the World Steak Challenge 2021, picking up Gold awards in the Rib Eye and Sirloin categories.

The steaks came from Aberdeen Angus bred cattle which were grass fed in the picturesque borders of Scotland. The cattle were born and bred on Kirkton farm near Hawick by farmers Scott and Laura Bell.

Kirkton farm is committed to sustainably producing the highest quality Scotch meat. To achieve this John Gilmour Butchers and Kirkton farms used an innovative feed for the cattle, which has an additive of Red Seaweed, designed to reduce methane emissions from cattle by 80% while maintaining the highest quality of Scotch Beef. The original ground-breaking study was undertaken by the University of California Davis. The beef was also dry-aged for 35 days in a Himalayan salt chamber to create the bold and intense flavour that the judges liked.

Dan Gilmour, Co-Managing Director of John Gilmour Butchers said: “The World Steak challenge is such a huge event with some very impressive competition, so we are incredibly proud to have come away with two gold medals. We are even more proud as this individual animal’s breeding can be directly traced back to a bull that our late father John Gilmour bred in his world-famous Belhaven Aberdeen Angus herd. 

“The winning steaks also used our unique dry aging process that has been expertly developed by our family over the last 30 years. We have a staged process where we gradually lower the moisture levels at pre-determined intervals in our industry leading Himalayan salt aging chambers. This unique process creates a beautifully rounded depth of flavour to create some of the best tasting beef in the world, as the awards testify.” These incredible steaks are available to buy on the Gilmour butchers’ website for a limited time.  

Kate Rowell, Chair of QMS said: “Seeing John Gilmour Butchers’ steaks alongside some of the best butchers from across the world at this year’s World Steak Challenge is a huge testament to the Scotch difference. This is beef that has been sourced from a trusted farm in Scotland, produced with care at every step and underpinned by a world-leading quality assurance scheme from farm to processor. The Gold medals are very well deserved and reflect all of the hard work, advanced methods and care that goes into to producing red meat to an uncompromisingly high standard.”

The World Steak Challenge is the world’s first event to give steak producers and suppliers a platform to showcase product quality, breed credentials and processing standards on an international stage.

Since 2015, the competition has seen over 1,000 steaks tasted, tested and scored through an independent, robust judging process at an annual judging day. Its judging panel is formed of top butchers, food journalists, industry experts and meat scientists from across the globe.