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I went to Scotland’s butcher shop of the year… and here’s one piece of advice



I’ve been shopping at S Collins and Son in Muirhead in North Lanarkshire for years. This incredible family-run butcher shop is only a mile or so from my home and it’s provided the meat for some memorable meals over the years.

I was delighted when Collins won Britain’s Best Butcher Shop in May 2022 after winning the Scottish title five times. The shop thoroughly deserves every accolade it gets and the list of awards goes on and on and on… black pudding, bacon, haggis, steak, kebabs, they’ve won the lot.

It has been expanded quite a bit since I first went there and the shop counter is now a huge and mouthwatering array of all kinds of fresh cuts of meat, burgers, sausages, pies and pre-prepared meals. They also offer cooked food and on my most recent visit I picked up a square sausage and fried egg roll with a cappuccino.

The breakfast snack was brilliant, of course, but while I was waiting I also began to pile up some additional purchases on the counter. One of these was a packet of Gordon Rhodes BBQ pulled pork mix, which I tried a few days later in our old slow cooker at home. It was really quite simple and also a big success (which is not usually the case when I try and cook).

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Here’s the secret about a trip to Collins though… you usually have to queue for a while to get your purchases, so its best to be prepared to wait. This isn’t because the shop is understaffed; far from it, in fact, because there are always plenty of staff to help you out and offer a friendly greeting.

It is simply because it’s so popular. For locals, it was once a common sight to see the queue at Collins stretching out of the door and along the street, especially on a Saturday morning. The new shop expansion means you no longer have to queue in the rain, however.

Staff at S Collins & Son butchers in Muirhead celebrate being named Britain’s Best Butchers Shop (Image: Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser)

My kids used to love going to Collins, even if we did have to queue up for a while, because there was usually some free samples on the go and they would get to try sausage rolls, steak pies and various kinds of burgers and sausages while we were waiting.

In addition, you get a chance to peruse some of the more unusual offerings while you are waiting. Its not unheard off to pop in for a pound of mince and come out with all manner of meaty treats such as Caribbean pork tenderloin, haggis beef olives, chorizo sausage or Greek lamb kebabs.

Stewart Collins started the shop in 1955, and his business has carried on for two generations and 67 years. After winning Britain’s best butcher shop award last year, he said: “The secret lies in buying the right cattle from the right farm and then hanging it in the traditional way for the right length of time.

“Our beef is bought live by our father at Lanark market every Monday from various local farms including Brockwoodless Farm in Canobie and dry-aged for 30 days in our chiller. We wait until just the right moment to sell it. Thankfully, the judges think we get it just right too.”

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