Run by Sarah and John Mills from their family farm in Upton, Hampshire, the Parsonage Farm cookery school offers a number of hands-on workshops for meat-lovers. On this particular course, you’ll learn how to turn freshly butchered cuts of pork into delicious cured meats, using local ingredients such as Upham Brewery Stakes Beer, Anna Valley Chillies spice mixes, and a very drinkable Twisted Nose Gin from Winchester.
After a full day of butchery lessons and charcuterie-making, you’ll come away knowing how to make salamis, saucisson and lomo like a pro. A few weeks later your creations will arrive in the post, perfectly air-dried and ready to eat – buy someone a place on this course and it will truly be a gift that keeps on giving.
Next butchery and charcuterie workshop: 29 January 2017, 10am-4pm, £155 (parsonage-farm.co.uk)
Sign up for this course at the Philleigh Way cookery school in Truro, Cornwall, and you’ll kick off with both an introduction to fire-building and to Argentinian cooking techniques, including parrilla (cooking on a wood grill), horno de barro (cooking in a wood oven) and asador criolla (flanks of beef or whole lambs are fastened to an iron cross and slow-cooked over hot coals).
If that sounds like thirsty work there’s the chance to sample some local ales while you cook (it’s all part of an authentic asado experience, apparently). And, at the end of your day, after learning how to prep a classic Argentinian beef flank, grilling the meat and making empanadas and South American chimichurri, you’ll get to sit down and feast on your creations with a glass of Argentine Malbec.
Next Argentinan Asado BBQ course: 25 May 2017, 10am-4pm, £150 per person (philleighway.co.uk)
In River Cottage’s converted barn, overlooking the scenic Devon and Dorset border, Steven Lamb and the River Cottage chefs will teach you all you need to know about nose-to-tail butchery. True to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s sustainability ethos, nothing from the pig goes to waste here.
Over the course of three sessions (with a two-course lunch full of local and seasonal produce in between) you’ll cover everything from husbandry to dry-curing bacon to devilling kidneys. At the end of the day you’ll trundle off in a tractor, back to your car, with freshly made sausages and chorizo in hand. It’s the ultimate course for the committed carnivore.
Next Pig In A Day butchery and cookery course: 21 January 2017, 9:30am-5pm, £240 per person (rivercottage.net)
You wouldn’t necessarily expect to get a taste of the Deep South in the Surrey Hills. But, if you want to keep up with the latest food trends, then this course, at the Abinger Cookery School, is for you.
As the name suggests, this class will teach you how to make ‘dirty’, satisfyingly sticky American diner-style food. Their menu changes month to month but expect the likes of yum buns with pulled pork, sriracha and pickles or cow pie with a boneless marrow, even a walnut and whiskey tart.
Next Dude Food course: 12 January 2017, 9:30am-4pm, £140 per person (abingercookeryschool.com)
On this intensive one-day course, you’ll learn how to whip up a total of eight different dishes, including a boned and stuffed chicken to take home with you.
Based in Marylebone, at the Cookery School at Little Portland Street, it covers everything from grilled duck breasts with fresh orange sauce to chicken liver pate to steak with Béarnaise sauce. A large proportion (75 percent) of the ingredients are sourced locally and all the meat you’ll handle is organic. In short, it’s about as sustainably minded a cooking course as the London meat-lover can get.
The next Ultimate Meat and Poultry course: 7 January 2017, 9:30am-3pm, £175 per person (cookeryschool.co.uk)
Header image credit: Matt Austin