Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A pig in a day

I recently spent a day learning how to make delicious things from a pig - think bacon, prosciutto, salami, chorizo, sausages.  I had read an article about the Pig in a Day workshop in the June/July Dish magazine and loved the sound of it.  The workshop was held in the old schoolroom at Orton Bradley Park in Charteris Bay, about 30 minutes from Christchurch.  I had wrapped up warmly but was delighted to arrive to find the open fire had been cranked up and the room was lovely and cosy.   Pig in a day was most definitely a family affair, with Anna running things, ably assisted by her husband John and 3 charming (and most capable) children.

Here is a leg of pork destined for homemade prosciutto being thoroughly salted.  Next it will be put to bed in a box of salt for a few weeks to start the curing process.

Anna talking through how to make prosciutto, holding one she had prepared earlier (approximately 12 months earlier!) While the hands-on time to make your own prosciutto is fairly minimal, there is a bit of patience required, as after salting the pork needs to hang for  a year or so to air dry.  No such thing as instant gratification here....but the results we tasted below, along with the homemade salami definitely impressed.

A rustic lunch was then served by the children - a starter of bruschetta with mushrooms and chorizo, followed by a delicious soup starring chunks of homecured bacon, and a lemon tart to finish.

After lunch it was time to get stuck into sausage-making, something Mike and I had tried a few times. I am definitely feeling inspired to get my mincer out again, homemade sausages are the way to go.

Anna demonstrating salami making...

Little hands helping...

A table was laid for us all to have a go creating our own sausage recipe, I went for a bit of a chorizo theme, and we enjoyed them served up with homemade baked beans for Sunday night dinner. I have started a piece of pork loin curing today to make some bacon, so watch this space!


  1. I missed that Dish article but I will be on the look out for it. Over the last few months I've been fantisizing about charcuterie. It's the ultimate for a pork fanatic like myself. Thanks for sharing your pictures and experience. I didn't know prosciutto takes a year. I guess that justifies it's hefty price tag. Still, it would be lovely to make your own. Bacon making is first on my charcuterie list though. I'm excited about your bacon.

  2. Oh that is such a cool course to go on! The Mad Millie people who make the cheese kits are releasing sausage making kits at the end of this year so I might have to wait until then for my first charcuterie experience.

  3. Hi, its Anna here from Pig in a Day! What a great blog - thank you! I would love to use some of your photos on our site if I could please?? mahynz@gmail.com.

    make-do-mum. If your making it down to the South Island we would love to have you on a workshop Im sure you will enjoy the friendly atmosphere and extra tips you pick up from leaning with others :) (Along with the yummy lunch too) ;)


  4. Sounds like a great day, I would have enjoyed joining such a workshop. Keep meaning to get going on curing too, maybe next month.

  5. Ohh I saw this in Dish and thought 'YES I must do it'! I have a DVD of River Cottage's version of Pig in a Day, but there is no substitute for a live show! Great to hear you enjoyed it :)


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