AB&C 6: Six-week butchery & charcuterie course
This is a program for self-motivated cooks seeking an in-depth traditional French experience in authentic and traditional charcuterie and butchery skills. The goal is to teach, refine and practice knife skills on whole carcasses while learning the French lexis of meat cuts and traditional dry salt and cold smoking curing methods.
The four basic approaches to pork are learned and mastered each week: fresh, cured, cooked and preserved. Working alongside the Chapolard family on their farm, students will learn:
- the basics of small scale pig production as the foundation for establishing meat quality.
- to choose quality meat by recognizing excellence
- an economical approach to working with a whole carcass
- hand-cutting with boning knife, cleaver and saw
- basics of first cut to finish fresh and charcuterie cuts
- utilization of every piece, making clean cuts results in no waste
- European seam butchery which is based on muscle structure and articulation points and anatomy
- Economy of movement while butchering and how to use the weight of the animal in your favor
Six weeks of instruction and tuition (Monday-Friday) following the weekly breakdown from slaughterhouse to Saturday market. Foundation of continuous artisan pork production as practiced on the Chapolard family farm Baradieu: each week focuses on a essential component of butchery and charcuterie. Each week consists of 3 days of working alongside the Chapolards and 2 days of study and practice at Camont including weekly visits to other producers and butchers. Excursions and field trips to abattoirs, butchers, producers throughout Gascony are also included. The six weeks reflect a flow of working with the whole carcass.
- Intro to whole process, from field to market stall, animal husbandry and basic anatomy
- Primal quarters for fresh cuts- shoulder, loin, ribs, belly, hams, hocks, head
- Charcuterie & the art of salting, smoking & curing – hams, saucisson, saucisse seche, ventreche (french bacon)
- Cooked pates, sausages & confit
- Offal: boudin (blood sausage), liver, heart, tongue, beret, head cheese, rind
- Mastering the whole carcass: break down on your own and creating a charcuterie master sheet
Weekends are free and left to your own discretion to travel, sightsee and shop. Some prior knowledge of the French language is highly suggested, though not required with Kate and Dominique providing translation as needed. The more you are able to communicate, the more you will experience and understand. Simple questions and dialogue relating to the work at hand are provided. Tools, jackets, aprons and boots are provided at Baradieu; personal knives are allowed and encouraged at Camont.
€1600 per week = €9600 for six weeks
Lodging at Baradieu Farm or elsewhere = €250 per week. Students stay in a dedicated small house on the farm with kitchen or in other simple accommodation nearby.
All inclusive for six weeks: €11,000
Dates in 2012
16 January – 24 February / 23 April – 1 June / 1 October – 9 November
To book, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line AB&C6