Why butcher your own pig?
When we first started producing our own pigs for pork we used a butcher to cut the pig up to our specification. But this apparently simple idea was, in practice, full of pitfalls!
- Unbeknown to us, our terminology was ambiguous. (E.g. we thought pigs had 4 legs but according to a butcher they only have 2! -The forelegs are not called legs). This meant that we often didn't get what we were expecting!
- Then there was the cost, we soon realised the butcher was making more money from our pigs than we were!
- Christmas was also an issue. As a small insignificant business, we were told we could not have any butchery services across this busy season. As you can imagine, this was exactly when all our customers wanted their pork.
- Finally we wanted to know exactly what was going into our sausages and the only way we could be sure of this was to make them ourselves.
You might think we were unlucky with our choice of butcher but this would not be fair. Our butcher, like most good butchers, was just very busy and couldn't spare the time on our little order that we could spend on it ourselves.
Is it difficult?
Fortunately you do not need to go to catering college or take a butchery apprenticeship in order to learn the basics of cutting up a pig. Obviously it depends upon the level of expertise you hope to reach, but our one day course is suitable for anyone who just wants to be able to produce the standard cuts and make their own sausages. We are really fortunate to have top chef and catering college tutor Nick Bryan to lead these courses for us. Nick is not only a highly skilled practitioner but also an excellent tutor. He even keeps pigs himself, which means he has a wealth of personal experience to draw on.
Do you need specialist equipment?
As long as you have a kitchen table a sharp knife and a chopping board you will be able to butcher a pig. During the course you will learn about all the equipment you can use. (Most of it is not essential, just nice to have if you are going to be butchering a lot of pigs.) We will also cover all the food hygiene regulations relating to 'home butchery'.
On our one day introduction to pig butchery course we cover:
- Dividing the pig into the prime cuts
- Identifying the less well known cuts
- Preparing a cutting list
- Chopping chops
- Rolling joints and tying butchers knots
- Designing sausages
- Stuffing and linking sausages
- Food Hygiene
This is an extremely hands on experience, with lots of opportunities to practice what you have been shown.
The courses cost £125 per person.
The price includes all tuition, course notes, lunch and refreshments during the day. There are no hidden extras
Every participant will also take away some pork and sausages that they have prepared during the day.
If you are interested in coming on one of these courses please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 07876 597668. Because the numbers are so small on these courses we try to arrange them at times to suit the participants rather than providing a list of predetermined dates, so please get in touch and we'll see what we can do.