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Posted on June 21, 2017
Renowned Sheffield food blogger Ros Ayres (aka Nibbly Pig) spent a day at the School to explore the craft of traditional charcuterie and have a go at curing and smoking with the help of tutors Chris Moorby and Rich Summers. Find out how she got on ...
The topic of food is one which I never get bored of as there are always new recipes to discover, new places to try and new skills to be learnt.
When I was recently invited to try a course at The School of Artisan Food in Welbeck, I jumped at the chance as I’ve heard a lot about their courses. I was keen to try something which would push me out of my culinary comfort zone.
There are a wide range of courses you can do from beginners to advanced, these include ice-cream making, traditional cheese making to foraging and wild food cookery. If you are looking to hone your professional food skills there are more in-depth courses where you can master artisan bread or the craft of patisserie.
I decided to go for the 1 day course on curing and smoking as it’s an area I know little about and I have never really done any at home before. I have eaten a fair amount of charcuterie and cured meats so to understand the work that goes into to making a decent product really appealed to me.
On a beautiful sunny Sunday I took the 40 minute drive from Sheffield to Welbeck and I was impressed on arrival by the vast and beautiful estate buildings. There’s also a farm shop on site which I didn’t get to go to on this occasion as the course was 9-5, so I will have to make a return visit for that.
The course kicked off with coffee and tea as well as pastries and other breakfast type snacks to get us energised for the day. Then we got to meet our teachers, experienced butchers Chris Moorby & Rich Summers who were going to provide us with a selection of curing and smoking skills that we could take away and use at home. It was a small group (I was the only female) so we had plenty of opportunities to ask questions, it was positively encouraged so we got what we needed from the course.
Chris and Rich set the scene by running through the history of smoking and curing as these techniques go back thousands of years. In the present day, they are making a comeback and now we have the advantage of knowing more about the science and what happens to meat when it is cured in sugar and salt or hot or cold smoked.