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During our Nose-to-tail cookery course you'll learn to love the best, underrated meat cuts and offal, with a day of hands-on slow cooking at the River Cottage Cookery School.

At River Cottage, nothing is wasted and everything is celebrated. On this one-day course, you’ll learn how to prepare and enjoy some of the least expensive, but most rewarding cuts. Our expert tuition in the art of cooking these lesser-used cuts of meat will send you home with some fabulous dishes up your sleeve.

The River Cottage chefs will teach you the art of making cheaper and more ordinary cuts into something sublime and special. You’ll also pick up key butchery skills, learn about offal and feast on your homemade fare. Set amid the rural idyll of River Cottage HQ, the course is the perfect way to embrace the River Cottage philosophy of cooking, and take some fine edible examples of it home with you too.

  • Nose-to-tail

    Connor run an excellent course. His knowledge and manner of teaching made it so much fun. Backed up by Chrissie and all the others in the team made it a truly wonderful day.

    BOB Attended 16 February 2019

    4.9 out of 5

Your day

09:30 - 17:00

  • Arrive at River Cottage

    You’ll be met at the top of the hill at 9.30am and transported to River Cottage HQ by tractor and trailer (approx. a 5 minute journey).

  • 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: Pig's trotters

    Start by learning how to get to grips with pig’s trotters as we teach you how to slowly braise them and use that wonderful gelatinous mixture to add to your own slow cooked dishes of chicken or rabbit that you’ll enjoy for lunch.

  • Practical session two: Pig's head

    With our expert help, you’ll have the chance to butcher a pig’s head. We’ll teach you how to remove the cheeks, ears and tongue with confidence and in River Cottage spirit we’ll learn a dish with all parts of the head. The ears will be crispy like the best crackling you’ve ever had. Part of the cheek will be braised slowly over the afternoon in a rich sauce. We’ll also show you how to cure your own face bacon, known as guanciale, that you can take home and use for a classic carbonara.

  • Lunch

    After a busy morning, you will sit down to a two-course lunch to include your braise and plenty of local, seasonal accompaniments prepared by the River Cottage chefs.

  • Practical session three: Understanding offal

    Over many years we have converted many an ‘offal hater’ with delicious simple dishes. The dishes you'll lean how to prepare could include: seared marinated heart; spiced liver wraps; glorious slow cooked faggots with your own onion gravy and warming devilled kidneys. They will have you seeing offal in whole a new light!

  • Practical session four: Stocks

    Over the course of the day we’ll show you how to make your own proper stock from scratch and how you can turn that into a rich gravy or a light nutritious broth.

  • Demo session and tasting

    Finally, you’ll learn about the different cuts of steaks, where they are from and how to get the best from them, and taste how good they can be.

  • Departure

    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 (at 5pm), with your pig cheeks, ears and guanciale to take away and enjoy 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.

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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