A BUTCHER has won Scotland’s coveted National Black Pudding Championship title for an unprecedented fourth time.

Nigel Ovens, owner of McCaskie Butchers in Wemyss Bay, Inverclyde, said he was “absolutely delighted” to retain the title in one of the industry’s most fiercely contested competitions.

His latest winner is a new recipe created for the company’s Pirie’s sub-brand, which pipped McCaskie’s existing title holder to lift the West of Scotland Regional Championship, before going on to secure the national title in the Scottish Craft Butchers Awards, sponsored by Scobies Direct.

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Ovens said: “If the renowned McCaskie’s black pudding had to be pushed out of the running, I’m absolutely thrilled that it was by another of my recipes. Our Pirie’s brand gave us the chance to experiment with a slightly sweeter version – and it has proved a winner on its first outing.

“We’re incredibly honoured to retain the title – it’s one that every butcher aspires to and we don’t take this achievement lightly.

“It makes me immensely proud to say I have created two championship-winning black puddings – I’m absolutely elated.”

And the secret to Ovens’s recipe? “Finest Scottish oatmeal, Aberdeen Angus beef fat, the finest quality spices from around the world – and the rest is top secret,” he said.

Around 1000kg of black pudding is produced at Wemyss Bay every week to supply customers across the UK.

The National:

Ovens’s passion saw him spearhead a campaign to stage a National Black Pudding Day to celebrate and acknowledge the Scottish staple – with the first being held throughout the UK on March 18 this year.

McCaskie’s bought the legendary James Pirie & Son brand a month ago, bringing the five times World Scotch Pie Champion into its stable.

Gordon King, executive manager of Scottish Craft Butchers, said: “The fact Nigel has once again come up with a championship-winning product proves that Wemyss Bay really is the home of the best black puddings in Scotland. It’s a remarkable achievement to retain the title with a different recipe.

“Black pudding is one of the iconic products for craft butchers and to be crowned overall winner in Scotland is seen as the ultimate accolade. It’s quite something to repeatedly lift that title as Nigel has done.”