Try a kitchen masterclass – then eat your handiwork
Published on January 14, 2015
Words: Matt Wright
Pictures: James Reader, Frontrow Films
Left: Sean Hope wields the knife on a butchery class
There are some excellent butchers in the Midlands. However, if you want the ultimate in steak satisfaction, you need to cut, trim and prepare the meat yourself. And that’s where The Olive Branch’s new Kitchen Masterclass comes in. Launched and run by the pub’s head chef and co-proprietor Sean Hope, the five-hour hands-on course (followed by a light lunch or five-course tasting menu and matched wines or beers/ciders if you wish) has been set up in response to customer demand.
You get to be a butcher, then eat what you’ve prepared
The day starts at 8am when you meet for coffee and pastries at The Olive Branch before being introduced to half a locally sourced pig or lamb, or fresh fish and shellfish. You then wield the knife under Sean’s expert tuition (or just watch if you prefer), working your way through the different cuts including chops, fillet, loin, shoulder and belly. You’ll also learn forgotten skills such as how to prepare stock and dripping, and – if you’re working with pork – how to make scratchings.
After being a butcher or fishmonger for the morning you have the option of sitting down for a five-course tasting menu cooked by Sean using some of the cuts you’ve just created, served with wine, beer and cider to match. There is also the option of staying over at Beech House (The Olive Branch’s award-winning bed and breakfast accommodation over the road in Clipsham) either before or after the masterclass. Whatever you choose, all attendees go home with all those juicy cuts of meat or fish, vacuum-sealed and labelled ready for the freezer. You’ll also go home with recipe notes for each cut.
Sean said: “I decided to launch the course because customers kept telling me they were interested in butchery tuition and keen to stock up on local pork and lamb. Buying unbutchered half animals is great value if you know what to do with them.
“The Masterclass is relaxed and informal, and individuals can decide to get as little or as much hands-on experience as they want. It makes a unique gift for people with passion for good food and wine – it’s the ultimate spa day alternative!”
Dan Hiblin from Stamford who attended Sean’s first Butchery Masterclass said: “If you’re into good food and particularly like your meat, this is a must. It was a very enjoyable and informative butchery session followed by a top-notch taster dinner with great wine to complement each course. Thoroughly recommended!”
To enquire about the next Olive Branch butchery course, call the pub on 01780 410355 or click here.
Pricing is as follows:
All Masterclasses are £200 (including a light lunch, recipe sheets, stocks, sauces and all the ingredients from your morning’s work).