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Christmas Curing & Smoking

The magic of Christmas meets the alchemy of curing and smoking on our wonderfully festive one-day course.

Whether you are interested in exploring this world for small Christmas rewards or to embrace bigger projects, our one-day course in curing and smoking will give you all the knowledge and confidence you need. Learn how to transform ingredients through the processes and techniques of curing and smoking, prolonging their versatility and creating incredible festive flavours.

Your tutor Steve Williams, is the founder of Good Game, one of the most respected artisan charcuterie businesses in the UK, with a reputation for the finest provenance, and for pioneering charcuterie without the use of nitrates.


Turn pork belly into streaky bacon

Create salt beef from beef brisket

Learn how to make a Christmas ham

Transform pork loin into back bacon

Make a decadent ham hock terrine

Discover how to impress with a delicious turkey crown

Your day

10:00 - 17:00

  • Make yourself at home

    You will meet your host and start the day with tea, coffee and a treat fresh from the kitchen.

  • Session One

    Your lessons will begin with preparing the meat for the day.

    Over the course of the day we’ll tackle a Turkey Crown, stuffed turkey legs, sausage meat, pork belly and loin, a whole leg and beef brisket.

  • Session Two

    Next we’ll look at dry cures and a wet cure - the benefits of each type and when to use them.

    We’ll be curing the bacon, brisket, turkey crown and leg and slow cooking the hocks.

  • Lunch

    You’ll sit down to a lunch of local, seasonal produce, prepared by the River Cottage chefs. Naturally, the meal will feature a couple of cured and smoked elements.

  • Session Three

    After lunch we’ll look at the next stages: Removing from cure and preparing to hang.

    We’ll also cover cold smoking to create delicious ham and bacon.

  • Session Four

    To end of the day we’ll use the ham hock to create a decadent terrine and put together an enviable charcuterie platter.

  • Departure

    At the end of the day there will be time to chat to your fellow scholars and the River Cottage team, before heading back up to the car park for 5pm.

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.

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Further information...

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.

Stay in our famous Farmhouse, click here. For other local accommodation click here.

We would advise that this course is only really suitable for 12 years of age and upwards. Under 16s must be accompanied by a paying adult. We put these guidelines in place for the safety, comfort and enjoyment of all our guests.

With many of our courses there are often treats and leftovers to take away with you. In our quest to be more sustainable we are encouraging guests to bring their own containers and bags to transport their produce home. Details of what is required for each course will be included in booking emails.

  • Sustainable Restaurant Association
  • Food and Travel Magazine 2017
  • Great British Food Awards 2017
  • Great British Food Awards 2018