Charcuterie Making Weekend

Back in a previous existence we made charcuterie for restaurants we owned in Brighton. We kept a couple of house pigs for our own family and we used local pork and game and herbs from the garden for making salamis and air dried meats. We used traditional artisan methods and recipes.

Charcuterie making is just about as satisfying as it gets when it comes to preparing and enjoying food. It is a thoughtful and lingering process, with its roots way back in the annals of food history, long before refrigeration, when meat had to be preserved by salting and drying to eek out over the winter months. All over Europe charcuterie was made to secret recipes, closely guarded from one family to the next.

We don’t like to rush things at Starnash Farmhouse and charcuterie making fits very well into the Slow Movement for food production. It is a tactile and sensory experience all the way. The explosion of aromas and flavours when fresh herbs, spices and salts are worked into the meat at the beginning of the process. Then, the freshly prepared meats may be smoked over aromatic wood chips; although this isn’t strictly necessary, it adds another layer to the flavour and also helps to preserve the meat. After smoking, the meats are hung in a cool place to cure for anything from a few weeks to a couple of years. The delicious aromas change and become more subtle as the salamis and hams shrink and dry. Finally, after what seems like an interminable time, the charcuterie is firm and ready to eat. You gather friends and family, as charcuterie is the perfect sharing food, and slice the hams paper thin or cut hunks of salami to eat greedily with crusty bread and a glass or two of fine wine, or cook a fragrant paella made with your own chorizo - all in all, a culinary achievement indeed!

Here at Starnash Farmhouse we are holding a winter series of Off The Beaten Track weekends and one-day workshops.

Our charcuterie weekend workshop will involve learning how to safely make your own unique charcuterie, including making salamis, bacon, pancetta and air dried hams. We will teach you how to make charcuterie without the need for complicated machinery, although you might want to chat up your local butcher to get good cuts of meat and your bacon sliced when it’s ready.

You will arrive on Friday evening for a charcuterie spread around the farmhouse table.

You’ll have a 2 night stay in one of our four en-suite bed and breakfast rooms,(we have 3 double rooms and 1 top floor twin room), and start Saturday morning with a hearty breakfast, after which the day will be dedicated to the whys and wherefores and making of charcuterie. There will be a light lunch and day will end with a three course dinner.

Sunday will start with breakfast followed by a day of more charcuterie making with a late lunch included.

You’ll leave at 3 o’clock on Sunday with your own prepared charcuterie to hang in your home, and ready to eat by Christmas. You’ll take home all the information you need to make your own charcuterie at home, including some of our secret recipes!

Date: Arrive, Friday 11th November 4-6pm - Depart, Sunday 13th November at 3pm.

The cost is £320.00 per person all inclusive for the whole weekend. It’s a really enjoyable way to learn a new skill for life, or a great present for a special occasion. We can also offer 4 non-residential places at £190.00 per person for the weekend. Places are strictly limited so please ring 07876255792 or email us at starnashfarmhouse@gmail.com to book a place.

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Starnash b&b and Retreat. Contact David or Vicky Radtke on 07876255792 / 07710172523