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Advanced Charcuterie

Join us at River Cottage HQ for the next step in curing and smoking, with Steve Williams, founder of Good Game, makers of artisan charcuterie and cured meats.

River Cottage alumni and top UK artisan charcutier Steve Williams will take your charcuterie skills to the next level. This is the ideal course for those with some experience making Charcuterie who are looking to round out their skills to produce charcuterie regularly and at some scale. This could include professional chefs and butchers, small holders and meat producers who are looking to produce artisan charcuterie and smoked meats for sale to the general public.

Ideally you will already have some knowledge of butchery (especially pork butchery), but this could be completed afterwards (for example with the River Cottage Pig in a Day course). There will be an overview of the key cuts on the day, but not a detailed butchery demonstration.

Steve is one of the best commercial artisan charcutiers in the UK, and this course will explain all the key elements of small-scale commercial charcuterie production.

Please note that this course does not provide a health and safety certification for charcuterie production, which you will need to arrange with your local Environmental Health Officer.


• Learn about sourcing the right pigs and achieving carcass balance.

• Take part in making a variety of cured meats such as coppa, speck, pancetta, guanciale, lomo/lonzo, dried hams or culatello

• Discussions on professional equipment included starter kits, smokers and drying chambers

• Guidance on testing your products and environment to meet the standards needed for professional charcuterie creation.

• Look at how to use hot and cold smoking techniques to create things like: bresaola, pastrami, salt beef and venison ham.

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

    Begin the day discussing sourcing the best type of pigs and pork for charcuterie, carcass balance, and an outline of butchery for charcuterie production.

    Next you’ll move on to curing salts, cures and nitrates as well as Steve’s recommendations for a professional artisan charcuterie starter pack.

  • Session Two

    Steve will create a brine and dry cure mix, and you'll learn how these can be used in various recipes such as traditional ham, coppa, speck, pancetta, guanciale, Lomo/Lonzo, dried hams – pressed, chump, bone in and culatello

  • Lunch

    Tuck into a delicious lunch, prepared by our chefs, and including a tasting of our own River Cottage charcuteries.

  • Session Three

    After lunch it’ll be time to cover professional techniques for washing, wrapping, tying and maturing your charcuterie.

    You’ll discuss the sourcing of and options for casings, and learn how to make chorizo, salami and nduja.

  • Session Four

    To finish the day, you’ll learn about commercial salami cabinets and drying/fermenting chambers. You will also look at professional smokers, and how to use hot and cold smoking techniques to create things like: bresaola, pastrami, salt beef and venison ham.

  • Departure

    Head up to the car park for 5pm with the confidence to begin the next stage of your artisan charcuterie journey.

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