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Ginger Pig Butchery Course

Miner Willy

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My girlfriend got me a voucher to do this course for my Christmas present, and I went on it last night. It's run by Ginger Pig (excellent London-based butcher), so you go to their shop in Marylebone, and basically get taught about butchery by these amazingly knowledgeable guys with scary knife skills. They take an entire side of a pig and divide it into the various cuts, explaining how to do so and why; what each section is; and how they are used/how to cook them etc. You then debone a section yourself - which is yours to take home - and afterwards everyone has an absolutely amazing meal. The crackling was like nothing I've ever eaten before - just incredible. I did the pork course, but was sufficiently impressed to want to try one of the others at some point.

Tha bad news is that it's £135, which is obviously a lot, but the meal is superb, and I brought home 3kg of pork loin (plus bones) which must be worth a lot at Ginger Pig prices. Anyway, a great night and thoroughly recommended. www.learnbutchery.co.uk if interested.

I think loads of butchers are starting to do this stuff - in London anyway - so you can probably do something similar elsewhere - and probably for a lot less money, but Ginger Pig meat is amazing in my experience.

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The meal isn't afterthought: it's the last hour maybe, and it's absolutely excellent. However, it's you and the other 14 people on the course around a couple of tables, so not exactly a romantic meal for two. I found that aspect really enjoyable actually; I'd been a little concerned it might all be a bit like painful small talk, but we all had a nice chat (common interest of meat helps I guess), and the two guys doing the course helped to make it nice and social. The only slightly odd thing is that you stand to eat as the tables (the actual butchery tables) are quite high. Having said that, this is in keeping with the relaxed and informal feel of the entire evening, so it feels pretty natural.

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