A VENISON pie created in North Berwick has been named the best speciality pie in Scotland.

Anderson’s Quality Butcher achieved diamond status at the Scottish Craft Butchers Awards for its game pie.

Delighted business owner Ryan Anderson was quick to praise Craig Hunter, a pie-maker and qualified chef who joined the family business at the start of the year.

Ryan said: “Craig develops all our recipes and created the pies.

“This award is reward for everyone but it’s Craig’s pie that stole the limelight.”

With a shortcrust pastry base and a puff pastry top, the pie wowed the judges and took the top spot out of more than 100 speciality steak pies from butchers all over the country.

The luxury venison pie is an adaptation of a favourite dish which Craig served when he ran the former The Avenue Restaurant in Haddington. The dish featured medallions of venison which have been replaced by cubed haunch of the locally sourced meat for the pie.

Craig said: “I kept the redcurrant, chocolate and red wine sauce for that real touch of luxury.”

Ryan said that the pie was specially created for the awards following enthusiastic and complimentary tastings that involved about 30 of their customers and family.

“They all wanted to buy it straight away,” he added.

“Winning a top award means we have to bring them into production immediately to ensure we meet any demand that follows the announcement.”

Anderson’s also claimed a gold award for its pork, apple and black pudding pie and a silver award for both its mince round and traditional steak pie, with Ryan describing the success as “a terrific honour and a great lift for the whole team”.

Meanwhile, another East Lothian butcher was also celebrating at the awards, with Linton Butchers in East Linton earning a gold medal for its mince round and a silver for its steak, red wine, mushroom and shallots pie and its chicken, ham, leek and fresh thyme pie.

Elaine McKirdy from Linton Butchers said: “It’s good to get a wee award. We’ve won that many before that we are pleased to keep winning them.

“We always get asked what the next one is – it’s nice to keep going. It’s good for the staff as well because they put their input in.”