Meat Curing and Smoking
Meat lovers unite, our meat curing course offers up a day of honing your artisan curing and smoking skills at the River Cottage Cookery School.
Whether you rear your own animals or just want the pleasure of frying your own bacon, our practical one-day Meat Curing and Smoking course will give you the confidence and know-how to create truly great, flavoursome ingredients, such as salt beef, salami and hot smoked fish.
You will learn basic butchery skills and the key techniques for curing and smoking, with plenty to taste and try along the way. The smoking and curing course is set against the stunning backdrop of River Cottage HQ where you’ll also enjoy your two-course lunch and have the chance to explore Park Farm. Still in search of the perfect cure?
"This course is about instilling confidence and it did that – it's only a matter of time before I'll be eating home-cured bacon" – Gregor Shepherd, Olive magazine.
09:30 - 17:00
Arrive at River Cottage
You’ll be met at the top of the hill and transported to River Cottage HQ by tractor and trailer.
Make yourself at home
You will meet your hosts and start the day with tea, coffee and treats fresh from the kitchen.
Practical session one
Your lessons will begin with traditional dry curing. We’ll take the middle of an organic pig and show you how to transform it into pancetta-style streaky and back bacon.
Practical session two
Next we’ll demonstrate how to prepare and salt a whole a leg of pork, for prosciutto-style, air-dried ham as well as making salami.
Practical session three
We will also cover brine curing, including how to prepare a whole gammon, and as an alternative to pork you’ll learn how to make classic salt beef, pastrami or bresaola.
You’ll sit down to a lunch of local, seasonal produce, prepared by the River Cottage chefs. Naturally, the meal will feature cured and smoked stars such as salt beef or River Cottage ham.
Practical session four
The afternoon will focus on hot and cold smoking, and how to build your own smokers at home. You’ll learn how to fillet and prepare fish for smoking, as well as tasting some wonderfully smoked fish and meat for yourself.
At the end of the day there will be time to chat to your fellow scholars and the River Cottage team, before being whisked back up the hill by our tractor and trailer, with your handiwork to share at home.
Please note: This is a guide to the activities that will make up your course at River Cottage. This is by no means set in stone and will depend on seasonal availability.
On occasion cookery schools will use equipment that includes induction hobs. It is recommended that people with pace makers should not work on these units. If you are concerned or would like to check whether or not induction hobs will be used on the course you are interested in, please call us on 01297 630302.
This course is run from River Cottage HQ on the Dorset/Devon borders. Full address details of HQ will be provided once you have booked.
We are a licensed venue. We have a wide selection of the finest organic wines available to purchase.
If you need local accommodation we have a full list available.
We would advise that this course is only really suitable for 12 years of age and upwards. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. We put these guidelines in place for the safety, comfort and enjoyment of all our guests.
- Sustainable Restaurant Association
- Food Reader Awards 2014
- The British Cookery School Awards 2014
- Visit Devon Tourism Awards 2015 Gold