Butcher in the running for an All-Ireland title

Butcher Gavin Mitchell and apprentice Paul Dowler.
A butcher based in Drumlish will be competing in the RDS in Dublin this week, as his products qualified for the final of the national Sausage and Pudding Competition.

A butcher based in Drumlish will be competing in the RDS in Dublin this week, as his products qualified for the final of the national Sausage and Pudding Competition.

Gavin Mitchell of Mitchell Meats, Drumlish is looking forward to the competition, which takes place today Wednesday, September 18. A native of Gortletteragh, Co Leitrim, Gavin has qualified for the competition, run by the Associated Craft Butchers of Ireland, in the Traditional sausage category with sausages he makes himself.

Speaking to the Leader this week, Gavin admits that he is “delighted” to be in the competition, particularly as this is his first time to enter. Speaking about the sausages, which were awarded runner-up status in the Northern region in the regional heats of the competition, Gavin is proud to say that the meat is locally sourced and freshly prepared. Gavin explains that he gets his pork from Vincent Conefrey from Ballinalee. It is then slaughtered in Green Pasture meats in Drumlish, and in Mitchell Meats the next day, where Gavin prepares it. As for beef and lamb, Gavin sources it from his own farm. He feels that this is very important, as the customers know exactly what they’re buying. It is this transparency and the quality of his fresh local products that entices customers to the store, as Gavin points out: “you’ll only sell a bad product once!”

Gavin’s success didn’t happen overnight, however, as the butcher admits that he had been working on the sausages for more than a year before he found his winning recipe. He wholeheartedly thanks his family for all their help, particularly when tasting the product. Gavin extends his thanks especially to his sister Clodagh and daughter Rebecca and all he jokingly says he “drove mad” during the process.

Dave Lang of the Associated Craft Butchers of Ireland complimented Gavin on his incredible achievement. “It’s a great achievement to get to the final in his first year”, he said, adding that they were always happy to see new, younger competitors entering their products, as they are the future.

Speaking about the upcoming competition, Gavin admits that “it’s an honour” to get this far, before laughing; “It’s not too many Leitrim men that are in an All-Ireland final in September in Dublin!”