Every chef, keen cook and small holder is interested in butchery. A basic knowledge of the terminology & skills involved is crucial to get the most from the meat you raise or buy.
The Butcher’s terminology can be daunting though and not many people have actually seen a carcass broken down into its various cuts.
Our practical Introduction to Butchery one-day course is led by two expert butchers John Griffin and Declan Gilmore (The Hunting and Homestead Butchers) and will provide an introduction to the art of butchery. This course is essential for the real meat lover!
The course has been designed to meet all levels of interest and experience. Our course numbers are kept small so you will have time to learn in a hands-on way. Places on this course cost just €175 which includes all course materials, lunch and some goodies to take away.
The day starts with an introduction to the butcher’s tools of the trade and we’ll learn about their care and safe use. We will discuss how the raising of the animal has an important impact on muscle structure, carcass quality and flavour. We’ll also explain how hanging the animal affects the flavour and texture of meat cuts.
The butchers will then guide you through hands on butchery of a chicken. In addition to learning a very useful kitchen skill, you’ll practice proper knife work under supervision.
Following a well-deserved coffee break, we’ll move on to butcher a pig. There will be plenty of hands-on work and opportunities to practice your knife skills while observing intricate muscle structures as the carcass is efficiently broken down.
Not surprisingly, this will be a meaty affair!
Oh deer! Back to the butcher’s block again. This session teaches a unique method of skinning a deer and how to butcher the animal into its primal cuts.
When available we love to butcher venison as it is a fantastic meat that is rich in flavour. It is often considered expensive or hard to source. On our course, you’ll learn how to source and butcher a deer to create a range of delicious products and dishes. You will make your own venison burgers to take home with you.
Of course, no introduction to butchery course would be complete without some sausage making! We’ll finish the day compiling delicious recipes for pork sausages and our butchers will show you how to stuff and link your very own pack, ready to take home with you!
John Griffin has a wealth of experience as a boner of beef, venison, lamb and pork and his natural eye for detail led him to quality control role with industrial meat factories. He enjoyed his time spent also working at the retail butcher counter sharing knowledge with others. He is a professional hunter and culls deer annually. As a dedicated conservationist he strives to be self-sustainable at his smallholding in Co. Carlow. He keeps chickens, pigs, sheep and cattle alongside his vegetable garden. Family and friends are always guaranteed a full belly after a visit! The production of quality butchered meat and instilling these skills and knowledge, alongside the appreciation of the meat on our plate, to every generation, is his passion.
Declan Gilmore is a qualified butcher for over 30 years. He has worked for most major retailers and small family butchers here and in Australia. He is passionate about local seasonal food and grows fruit and vegetables including crops for Irish seed savers and rears livestock in Co. Wexford. He is a qualified nutrition and health coach and shares his food and lifestyle passion with elite and amateur athletes. He loves teaching and learning about real sustainable food and his mantra is ‘Knowledge is only knowledge if its shared”