Great Sausage Roll Off 2015: champion crowned

By Jo Bruce

- Last updated on GMT

Winning entry: the rabbit, black pudding and ham sausage roll took the title
Winning entry: the rabbit, black pudding and ham sausage roll took the title

Related tags: Sausage roll, Sausage

A rabbit sausage roll has been named the winner in the Great Sausage Roll Off 2015.

John Grabecki, senior sous chef at investments company BNY Mellon, beat 18 other chefs to take the title in the competition, which was hosted at Fuller’s managed site the Red Lion in Barnes, London.

He said: "I am absolutely thrilled to have won - I was up against some tough competition and it was a privilege to cook alongside the other worthy contestants.

"It is great to see how popular these competitions are becoming and it is fantastic to see such a wide range of creations from the chefs."

The winning sausage roll featured rabbit leg and loin, black pudding, maple syrup and Bayonne ham with a rabbit liver parfait, offal crumb and powdered potato.

Second place went to Jill Winstone of the Park Tavern in Chichester, West Sussex with a classic pub sausage roll.

Third was a sausage roll of venison and Cornish Orchards mulled cider in hand crimped short crust rosemary pastry from James Strawbridge of the Posh Pasty Company.

Special praise

Honourable mentions went to Kevin Jones of the Swan Inn, Staines, Middlesex for his white lop-eared pork sausage roll with sticky pig tails, Fuller’s black pudding and Fuller’s malt crackling with Cornish Orchard pear cider preserve and to 16-year-old Eden Allsworth of East Kent College.

Her sausage roll called ‘Boyden Gate Bake’ featured hand made sausage meat and black pudding with mango chutney and confit red onion.

Pub chefs out in force

Nine pub chefs took part in the competition including Phil Harrison of the Anglesea Arms in Hammersmith, London with a rabbit and foie gras sausage roll; Matt Burgess of the newly opened ETM Group site the Ealing Park Tavern with a wood pigeon and black pudding roll with smoked plum and juniper ketchup and Matt Hunter of Star Inn the City in York with a Yorkshire sausage roll with three sections – starter, main and dessert. The starter was pork mince and ham hock, main was venison and dessert was rhubarb and custard.

Angus McKean, co-manager of the Red Lion, said: "It is great to see the Sausage Roll Off getting bigger and bigger each year and its success is a testament to the calibre of chefs we have participating in the competition.

"I am delighted that John won, thoroughly well deserved. 2015 saw some inspired ideas and extraordinary talent."

Judging panel

Competition judges were Edd Kimber, winner of BBC Two’s Great British Bake Off 2010; Charley Boorman, runner-up of Celebrity Masterchef 2014; Andy Bates, founder of Eat My Pies and Luke Richardson, head chef of the Sticky Walnut.

The event was hosted by beer and food writer Melissa Cole.

The Red Lion in Barnes is run by Angus McKean and Claire Morgan. The pub won Best Cellar in the Great British Pub Awards 2014.

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