BUTCHERS are raising the steaks after their Inverclyde shop was nominated alongside the likes of supermarket giant Aldi for a national honour.

Ian Sproule and Willie Frankgate from Mearns T McCaskie in Wemyss Bay are celebrating the business being shortlisted for a prize at the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards 2019.

It's a two-for-one special with McCaskie's hand-crafted dry-cure back bacon and 40-day matured sirloin steaks both recognised in the 'best Scotch product - 100 per cent Scotch' category alongside entries from major retailer Aldi and acclaimed Midlothian butcher Campbell Brothers.

Nigel Ovens, who runs the family-owned business, is thrilled to be 'up against the big boys'.

Mr Ovens said: "It was a fantastic moment when we found out."

Willie Frankgate, from Skelmorlie, works behind the scenes in the company's £800,000 state-of-the-art production unit curing the bacon.

He said: "What makes it special is that it's dry-cured by hand using our own secret recipe and then it's hung up and air-dried. "There's also no water added, which means there's no white stuff when you cook it."

His colleague Ian Sproule, who is from Port Glasgow, is delighted that their sirloin steaks are also up for the award.

He said: "It's brilliant.

"I think what makes our products special is hard work, dedication and team work."

The Shore Road butchers was established by Mr Ovens' grandfather, Mearns T McCaskie, in 1935.

His mum Elizabeth - daughter of the founder - still works at the Shore Road shop after 52 years.

Mr Ovens' wife and father also work there.

He said: "We're one of only a handful of producers using Scotch Pork, most of it is either Dutch, Danish or UK at best.

"Our sirloin, like all the beef we sell, is Scottish native breed, which is slow maturing cattle not built for size and grass-fed.

"We age them here for between 30 and 40 days on the bone in the old-fashioned way. "We're very excited to have our bacon and steaks up for 'best Scotch product'."

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Edinburgh on May 23.