We run a wide variety of butchery courses here at Vale House Kitchen, but we do find that they tend to divide people – for those who come along, we always get great feedback, but we’re aware that there are plenty of people out there who might find the idea of a day getting handy with the cleavers a little difficult to stomach. So why choose a butchery course? Here are four reasons we think you should consider it…
It’ll help you make better choices for sustainability and animal welfare
This can come as a bit of a surprise to some people who’ve never thought about it this way before, but raising and butchering your own pigs, as we do at Vale House, is really a great way to make absolutely sure that the welfare of your meat is of the highest possible standard. We know not everyone will be able to go home and start keeping pigs in the back garden, but getting an insight into the process is so important, and will help you make better decisions when it comes to sourcing meat for your dinner table. And it’s not just about the pigs, either – come along to one of our game butchery courses to learn about why we should all be eating more wild British game, both for reasons of animal welfare and of sustainability.
It’ll help you connect with where your food comes from
If you’re someone who eats meat, then we firmly believe that you should be comfortable with the practicalities of how it gets to your plate. Knowing that you’ve made an effort to source it responsibly, as above, is the first step. Having a few butchery skills under your belt also means that even if you can’t raise your own meat, you might be more comfortable with buying a side of pork or lamb from smaller local suppliers and doing your own jointing – or you might just be more willing to pay slightly higher prices for meat from your local butcher now you appreciate their art.
It’ll make you a better cook
Not only will our butchery courses help you feel a little more confident about where your meat is coming from, but they’ll help you to prepare it more skilfully too. Learning all about different joints and cuts and what makes them suited for different methods of preparation will really change the way you plan and prepare meals. And once again, remember our courses aren’t just about pork chops – adventurous cooks will love our game cookery days, where you might just discover a whole new favourite food.
It’s not just about butchery
We don’t just stick to the primary cuts – on our Pig Butchery Days you’ll learn the art of making your own sausages and salami, and if you attend our Smoking & Curing Masterclass, you’ll come away knowing how to make your own home-cured bacon, among many other delicious goodies. Trust us, once you get the hang of making something like bacon at home, it’s so much better than the supermarket version that you’ll never go back – this is a must-attend course for any devoted foodie.
Whether you want to learn more about pig husbandry, explore the world of wild game or we’ve just gotten your mouth watering with the mention of home-cured bacon, we’re confident that you’ll love our butchery courses. Still have questions? We’re always happy to hear from you – drop us a line and say hello.