Press release   •   Jul 03, 2013 12:01 BST

From left to right: Special guest Peter Shilton MBE, Pip Turner & Phil Turner from Turner's Pies and Hugh Judd from EBLEX at the Meat Management Awards.

The search to find ‘England’s Best Steak Pie 2013’ came to a conclusion this evening (2 July) as a ‘Steak & Stilton Pie’ from Turner’s Pies in West Sussex was announced as the overall winner at the Meat Management Awards.

The competition, which is organised by EBLEX, attracted a record number of entries. Over 100 beef, lamb, mutton and veal steak pies were entered by butchers, caterers and manufacturers in two categories: Retail and Foodservice.

Turner’s Pies, an independent pie shop from Bognor Regis, was declared winner of the Retail category, while Dunkleys, a manufacturer from Wellingborough in Northamptonshire, won the Foodservice category with its ‘Ashdale Blade of Beef and Malbec Pie.’

But while both pies were excellent and gained high marks, only one pie could be crowed the Overall Winner of the competition - and as the highest scoring pie overall, Turner’s ‘Steak & Stilton’ was finally awarded the title of ‘England’s Best Steak Pie.’

A family run business, Turner’s Pies specialises in quality handmade pies for the retail and wholesale markets. Founder Philip ‘Pip’ Turner based his pies on recipes developed by his mother for their hotel business in the early-mid 1900s. Today the company is run by third generation brothers, Phil, Joe and Peter Turner. Employing 10 staff, the company has won numerous awards for its pies – only now it can now claim to officially make ‘England’s Best’!

When informed of the company’s success, managing director, Phil Turner, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be crowned the Overall Winner of the ‘England’s Best Steak Pie Competition 2013.’ Winning the award is a tremendous business booster – not only is it great for our customers, but it’s also good for the team who work so hard to deliver the quality pies that our customers expect.

“We pride ourselves on using traditional methods combined with the finest ingredients. We use Red Tractor quality assured top rump and our famous homemade, golden shortcrust pastry. We carefully hand-fill and trim the pies and bake them fresh every day.

“We have been selling the ‘Steak & Stilton Pie’ for a few years now, mainly to wholesale customers and intermittently through our shop. It’s always popular and we get great feedback from our customers. We had to work hard to get the balance of blue cheese and beef just right, but I think we have perfected that now!”

For Dunkleys, winning the Foodservice category in this year’s competition was another great achievement for the company, which also won the Steak Pie Competition in 2011.

The winning entry ‘Ashdale Blade of Beef and Malbec Pie’ uses Quality Standard Mark beef from the feather blade. An innovative cut, the diced blade is marinated in Malbec red wine for 48 hours prior to being slowed-cooked using the sous vide method, until the beef is tender. Other ingredients such as pancetta pieces, roasted baby onions and roasted button mushrooms are also added to the filling along with a Malbec red wine gravy. Tin-baked in butter pastry until golden brown and nice and short, Dunkleys believes this is its best pie yet!

Dunkleys pie ambassador, Mark Beeston, said: “We believe the success of our pies is primarily down to the quality of the beef we use. We are proud to use Quality Standard Mark beef and we encourage our customers to tell their own customers about the provenance of the ingredients.

“Our ‘Ashdale Blade of Beef and Malbec Pie’ is the best pie we have ever made. It’s only been available for around four months in a national chain of quality steak houses. It’s the first time this customer has put a pie on its menu, which is focused on top quality beef so our pie really complements their offering. Sales have been very good so far and we expect them to build further in the autumn, when warming winter dishes start to feature on menus.”

Mark added: “Business has been really good since we won the competition in 2011. People recognise the impartiality of the awards and therefore the credibility of the result. It has been a great PR story, not only for our business but for our customers too. We’re over the moon to have won the Foodservice category again this year – it’s a fantastic achievement that we’re incredibly proud of.”

EBLEX foodservice project manager, Hugh Judd, said: “The entries we received in this year’s Steak Pie Competition were fantastic but the winning pies from both Turner’s Pies and Dunkleys really stood out - and we congratulate both category winners on their success.

“Dunkleys use of Quality Standard Mark blade of beef, the combination of ingredients and golden pastry was fantastic, and is a real credit to the company’s innovative approach and determination to exceed customer expectations.

“But the ‘Steak & Stilton Pie’ produced by Turner’s Pies was exceptional. The balance of blue cheese with beef was spot on and the pastry was lovely and buttery, making this an absolutely delicious pie and thoroughly deserving of the title of ‘England’s Best Steak Pie 2013’.”

Assured beef and lamb which carry the EBLEX Quality Standard Mark or the Red Tractor logo from Red Tractor Assurance, provide guarantees encompassing food safety, animal welfare and care for the environment. The EBLEX Quality Standard Mark Scheme further builds on this by embracing additional eating quality requirements. The two schemes sit side-by-side as perfect partners, offering retailers and caterers the choice.


Notes to editors:

The finalists in the Retail category were:



C. Lidgate

Lidgates Beef Bourguignon Pie

Greens of Pangbourne

Steak and Stilton Pie

Hayman’s Butchers

Steak Pie

Higginsons of Grange

Steak, Ale and Stilton Pie

Jon Thorner’s Ltd

Steak & Red Wine Pie

Measures Butchers

Traditional Steak & Kidney Pie

Nelsons Butchers

Steak Pie


Shamrock Pie

Moo Pie

Pioneer Foodservice

Large Steak Pie

Proper Pies Ltd

Bistro Steak & Ale Pie

Steve Crowe & Son Butchers

Crowe’s Homemade Family Steak Pie


Aberdeen Angus ‘Trinity’ Steak Pie

Turner’s Pies

Turner’s Steak & Stilton Pie

Turner’s Steak & Kidney Pie

The finalists in the Foodservice category were:



Devilish Desserts

Steak & Stilton Pie


Pulled Beef Suet

Ashdale Blade of Beef and Malbec Pie

Steak & Ale Pie

British Steak & Ale Pie

Hall & Woodhouse

Steak & Tanglefoot Pie

Owen Taylor & Sons

12” Steak & Ale Pie

Tom’s Pies

Steak & Ale Pie

EBLEX is the organisation for beef and lamb levy payers in England and is a division of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

It exists to enhance the profitability and sustainability of the English beef and lamb sector. Its aims are:

  • To help the beef and sheep meat supply chain become more efficient
  • To add value to the beef and sheep meat industry.  

The EBLEX Trade Marketing team supports businesses throughout the retail and foodservice supply chains for beef and lamb. From abattoirs and processors to wholesalers, independent and multiple retailers and foodservice operators, we work with businesses to improve their operational effectiveness and assist with beef and lamb product development, marketing and promotion. Visit our website. Twitter. Facebook.