During my recent visit to Capreolus, Karen & David very kindly invited me onto one of their bacon & sausage making weekends. The aim of the course is to teach you basic butchery skills, which will enable you to make bacon & sausages at home using domestic equipment!!
Saturday morning at 9:30 sharp I arrived at David & Karen’s cottage located in deepest Dorset and was warmly invited into their kitchen for a bacon roll, plus lashings of hot coffee. There were two others on the course Andrew & Martin, who were already tucking into their rolls!! After introductions David took us into his inner sanctum (converted barn) where two halves of a pig were waiting for us!
David meticulously & expertly showed us how to cut the pig into joints, some we would use for sausages, some for bacon and some for todays & tomorrows lunch!
It was then our turn to carefully joint the carcass and I must say as raw beginners we did a grand job.
After packing the now joints into the refrigerator, it was time for David to cook our lunch and time for us to enjoy some local beer & cider. David cooked tenderloins in a mushroom & crème fraiche sauce, served on a bed of rice – stunning meal and the meat was oh so tender.
After lunch we prepared our bacons, you can choose from several different cures – Black Strap Molasses, Maple Syrup, or Bay & Juniper – I chose the Black Strap for my streaky bacon and the bay & juniper for the back bacon. David’s recipes require precise weighing of ingredients and lots of concentration!!
We placed the bacon joints in plastic bags and massaged the cure into the meat, sealed the bags and into the refrigerator. These will remain in the cure for about a week and will just require a gentle massage each day. They will then be dried, until they are ready to be sliced or smoked then sliced. David will then package them and send to us ready for the best bacon roll EVER!!
Sunday morning at 9:30 I arrived for more coffee and today we enjoyed some of David’s sausages & scramble eggs for breakfast. We also witnessed the huge joint of pork disappearing into the oven, which was to be slowly cooked for our lunch!
Today was sausage making day and we had four different flavours to prepare – Old English, Traditional, Cumberland and Honey & Mustard – while we were left to weigh the spices, David minced the meat in a huge commercial mincer/mixer.
Our hopes of using this machine to mix the spices into the meat were soon dashed, as David gave us each plastic gloves and told to knead each of the mixes for at least 15 minutes!!
David loaded the sausage maker with the skin and we were ready for our own private Generation Game! Well that is what we thought, but Martin & Andrew’s wives appeared brandishing cameras to record the event!
Again I think we produced some rather fine looking sausages, some were a little thick – but we all managed to make a string of sausages!
Time to relax and enjoy roast pork, best crackling ever, cabbage & new potatoes and a glass of well-earned wine!
After a long lunch it was time to package the sausages & then split our produce between us. We each ended up with 8 packs of sausages, two of each variety!! Although I was a little sceptical at the price per 100g David had set!!!
Huge thanks to both David & Karen for an amazing two days course, David guided us through the whole process with confidence & shared his huge knowledge of curing meats. We all felt that we are now well equipped to produce our own bacon & sausages at home!!
Thanks also to Andrew & Martin for being such great fellow students and for all the laughs we had!!
These courses run throughout the year, so check their website for dates and book one now, you will not be disappointed — For course dates & details capreolusfinefoods.co.uk/bacon-sausage-making-weekend
Capreolus Fine Foods
|Invited by PR company?||No|
|Guest of chef/restaurant/owner?||Yes|
|Restaurant/outlet knew ahead we were bloggers?||Yes|
|Was the meal complimentary from the restaurant?||Yes|
|Any complimentary items provided by restaurant/outlet?||No|