Sarah Heward Competes in The Great Sausage Roll Off
For sausage roll fans, The Great Sausage Roll Off is the greatest culinary competition of the year. And for Sarah, our owner and director, an exciting challenge she couldn't let slip by.
And so, just a few minutes before midnight on 7th February 2023, Sarah boarded the Caledonian Sleeper train in Tyndrum (population of only 135) to travel down to London Euston to take part in The Great Sausage Roll Off at The Red Lion pub in Barnes.
The contest, organised by the London pub's managers, Angus McKean and Claire Morgan, since 2013, challenges chefs to create the best sausage roll in the land. The competition is open to chefs from all backgrounds, with no specific entry criteria – just a thoughtful recipe, with a twist of passion and a whole lot of love.
The competition returned after nearly three years of no sausage rolling and Sarah, who entered the content for the first time, was excited to be the only contestant representing Scotland & The Real Food Cafe. She was determined to showcase some of the wonderful produce the Scottish larder has to offer.
Not only is The Great Sausage Roll Off a magnet for foodies, hospitality's shining stars & connoisseurs, but it also has a more noble purpose. The whole event is organised as a fundraiser for industry charity Hospitality Action.
On the night of the competition, Sarah and 15 other 2023 The Great Sausage Roll Off contestants assembled at the pub to cook up their sausage rolls and present them to the panel of judges and the general public. Samples of the finished product were auctioned off to the crowd (along with some other big prizes), raising even more money for Hospitality Action.
The panel of judges consisted of Chef Daniel Clifford, Chef Pip Lacey, Chef Simon Rimmer, UKH CEO Kate Nicholls OBE and Broadcaster James O’Brien. The competition was hosted by award-winning beer and food writer Melissa Cole.
Sarah decided to prepare venison, black pudding & juniper berry sausage roll with beetroot and chilli ketchup. The ingredients used in this recipe were sourced from:
- GreenCity Wholefoods,
- flour was from Scotland The Bread,
- butter was sourced via Killin Food Network from The Courtyard Cafe at Knockraich Farm,
- the venison came from Letterfinlay Foods and
- the black pudding was none other than Charles MacLeod's Stornoway Black Pudding.
Serving the roll with the beetroot and chilli ketchup was inspired by Moor of Rannoch Restaurant & Rooms where Sarah stayed last year and whose ketchup recipe it is.
Sarah says: "I'm taking part because it looks like great fun, I love cooking, Scotland has a great larder and it's for a wonderful cause, Hospitality Action. I couldn't do any of this without the support of my husband, Alan, and our amazing team who are all behind me. Cat Dima, who did all of the recipe development and prep, Carolyn McGill from Forth Valley Food and Drink and Wendy Barry from Scottish Food Guide who are both food doyens and great supporters."
Even though, Sarah didn't win she had a fantastic time. She says: "I was very happy with the finished entry which was put in front of an all star panel of judges. Whilst we didn't win on this occasion, I must say that I found the whole event very uplifting after several challenging years.