Danestream Farm Shop butcher Paul Brolan rated best steak and kidney pie maker in Britain
BASHLEY butcher and farm shop owner Paul Brolan has been crowned at this year's British Pie Awards at Melton Mowbray.
The Danestream Farm Shop owner has spent eight years perfecting his steak and kidney pie, tweaking it along the way, and the hard work finally paid off when he came top in his category at the world-famous event.
"They said my pie had a beautiful flavour and I scored top marks on the pastry," said Paul. "The difference with my recipe is I braise the beef over a long period of time, about seven to eight hours, which gives it lots more taste.
"I also make the stocks myself, and I blend a number of flours to make the pastry, which gives it a really lovely, biscuity texture."
Paul developed the pastry with his dad, Tony Brolan, who runs the Bread Basket in New Milton, using a secret recipe.
Paul was just 26 when he took over Danestream in 1998, having previously worked as a butcher and chef at various pubs, hotels and restaurants including the Lord Bute in Highcliffe and The Royal Oak at Downton.
"We always source as locally as we can, so within the Hampshire border and sometimes spilling into Dorset," said Paul.
"All of our meat is free range and our beef is hung. We also make a real effort to limit packaging, and where we do use it we ensure it is recyclable."
As well as his award-winning steak and kidney pie, Paul also produces a 'cheeky tail and ale pie' using ale from Romsey-based Flack's Manor Brewery, along with pigeon, venison, and chicken, leak and bacon pies.
"We are really passionate about food at Danestream," continued Paul. "We all take great pride in what we produce, and the business is small enough to care about the quality of what we are handing over to our customers.
"A lot of our customers have been coming here for 40 years, and I want to sell them food we would be happy to eat ourselves.
"I also really try to encourage the youngsters who come into the industry, so even if they go off and do something else they always have those skills to fall back on."
Danestream's Ryan Cutler was recently crowned Young Sausage Maker Champion in Hampshire Fare's Great Hampshire Sausage and Pie Competition 2022.
The farm shop sells a wide variety of locally produced fare, including asparagus and strawberries from New Forest Fruits, salads from Sopley, New Forest Ice Cream, garlic and butters from the Isle of Wight Garlic Farm, Book and Bucket cheese, and Alre Watercress, which is grown in a traditional manner and harvested by hand without the use of any pesticides or sprays.
For more information about the shop, visit danestreamfarmshop.com or follow Danestream Farm Shop on Facebook.