A three-generation family sausage recipe has helped scoop an award for Thomas of Helmsley at one of the UK’s meatiest competitions this week.

Ben Nicholson, head butcher at Thomas’s deli and butcher in Market Street, Helmsley, said he was “very pleased” to pick up a third place prize for his thick pork sausages in the 24th Great Yorkshire Pork Pie, Sausage & Products Competition ““ which were made to a recipe handed down from his grandfather.

The competition, held on November 4th and organised by the Confederation of Yorkshire Butchers Councils, saw Thomas’s beat off competition from hundreds of other entrants across the county. Better known for its sausage rolls, sandwiches, cakes and other delicious baked goods, this was the first time the family bakery had entered this competition for its meat products.

“Sausage making is an art and we’re continually re-evaluating our age-old recipe, tinkering with the meat content and spicing to make it the best banger,” said Ben. “It was a very close run thing, and we’re very pleased with the result considering this was our first time.”

However, it’s not the first time that Ben has won awards for his sausages. In November 2010, he was North East regional finalist in Britain’s Star Sausage competition, judged by Craig Revel Horwood.

The Great Yorkshire is the UK’s biggest regional meat trades competition and this year’s contest, again held at Cedar Court Hotel, Bradford, attracted hundreds of entries from butchers, farm shops and bakers from across the county, including a strong contingent of first-time entrants.