We are pleased to announce that we have won two Gold Awards in this year’s Soil Association Organic Food Awards. Our Hot Dogs and Sirloin Beef were announced as the best of the best in the meat category at the awards ceremony held in London last week (19 September). Now in their 27th year, the Organic Food Awards recognise and celebrate the highest quality organic food and drink.
Television presenter and President of the Soil Association, Monty Don, said: “The Organic Food Awards celebrate not only great tasting food and drink but also the inspiring stories behind it. This is food that has been produced to the highest welfare and environmental standards by people who care passionately about what they do.”
Helen Browning’s Organic Hot Dogs, available online, are 97% pork, gluten-free and produced from pigs that range freely on Helen’s and several other family farms. “These frankfurter style sausages are in a class of their own,” says regular customer, Elliott Neep. “Forget everything you ever thought you knew about hot dogs – these are bursting with flavour.” The Hot Dogs cook in a mere four minutes and are just as at home in a warming casserole as they are as a quick fix supper with beans. They are more in tune with the artisan European hot dog rather than the British mass produced product that has evolved.
Also receiving a gong at last night’s award ceremony was the sirloin beef served in Helen’s Michelin-recommended pub The Royal Oak. This tender and flavourful cut of meat, which comes from the well-marbled middle back of the animal, is produced from Helen’s own Aberdeen Angus cattle that graze on the Wiltshire Downs just up the hill from the pub. It is hung for 28 days on the bone to enhance the flavour.
The gold awards follow close on the heels of a highly valued endorsement from The Good Food Guide (2013). This month, The Royal Oak appeared for the fifth year running in this prestigious guidebook to the best restaurants in the UK. Extolling the virtues of its menu the guide says: “…it seeks to remind diners of the abundant merits of pork rillettes and cornichons, smoked mackerel pâté with pickled cucumber, ribeye steak with chips and garlic butter, and simply grilled fish such as grey mullet with warm broccoli salad.”
Another gold star for the food here – a bit incestuous perhaps, but we always declare a conflict of interest. On this occasion, the Soil Association has awarded The Royal Oak a gold star under its Cateringmark scheme, one of only four pubs in the country to be recognised for sticking to its principles: Organic, local, seasonal.
And paying people on time, and being good eggs with a sense of humour.
We are proud to say we have now become a member of the Soil Association’s ‘Food for Life’ catering mark supplier scheme that provides assurance to caterers on food and drink issues such as health, animal welfare and the environment.
Our Helen Browning brand organic hot dogs, often on the pub menu, have been ‘highly commended’ in the Organic Food Awards for the second year running. They are amazing, we think – what hot dogs used to be like, before they were made of pig skin and old washing up lines all pulped up together!
And Helen’s veal, also usually on the menu here, was also ‘commended’ for another year as a result of customers’ recommendations in the same awards. Try some – this is not the veal you read about in the ‘not on my plate’ articles.