Welcome to our latest series on the Vale House Kitchen blog! We always love meeting the people who choose to come on our courses, and over the years we’ve had some fascinating folks join us who’ve gone on to do brilliant things with the knowledge and skills they acquire. In this post, we talk to Angus, who’s been on our venison and pig butchery courses.
Angus McDiarmid works in the City, but he’s always been a country guy at heart: growing up, the family always kept their own sheep, and his father taught him to shoot as a young man. Now, he’s a keen sportsman, fishing, shooting and stalking, but he’s never lost touch with the real purpose of the process – not just to enjoy the sport of hunting, but to become a considered part of the ecosystem, by culling as necessary. He’s honestly mystified by those who go shooting or hunting purely for the thrill of killing something, and a bit horrified by the sheer waste which can occur on big commercial shoots. Instead, for Angus a key point of the whole business is enjoying great fresh meat or fish afterwards – which, of course, is exactly why our brilliant butchery courses were perfect for him.
Our Venison Butchery & Cookery Day is a celebration of this delicious meat, which not only tastes great but is also pretty good for you (it’s very lean, and a particularly rich source of iron and protein) and is abundantly available in the UK. Angus does plenty of deer stalking, particularly smaller deer like roe and muntjac, so he was keen to learn more about how to deal with the kill – and was kind enough to describe our course as a great intro that provided him with a big confidence boost. We know that dealing with a whole animal can feel pretty intimidating, but course tutor and expert chef Tim Maddams will guide you through the whole process and completely demystify the skills involved.
Now with both butchery courses under his belt, Angus is getting stuck into making his own sausages and salami at home, and even getting the kids involved too. He’s keen to make sure that they understand where meat comes from, and the importance of a high standard of welfare. They buy meat from local farmers, including a farmer who rears a pig for them each year, and turn them into all sorts of treats. Next, Angus is keen to learn more about preserving and curing meats, and has his eye on our bread-making courses too…
Fancy having a go yourself? Our pig and venison butchery courses aren’t just about getting handy with the cleavers – you’ll also learn how to make your own sausages, cover basic smoking and curing techniques, and learn some delicious recipes from expert chef Tim Maddams. Click here to book your place!