What a crazy year this has been so far and clearly there is more to come.
The next few weeks are sure to be filled with uncertainly and lots of changes.
We have a small company with dedicated staff who have been with me for years. In 2016 we implemented an ISO 22000 food safety system make sure we take the necessary precautions when preparing and handling the products that we make.
After the Presidents speech last night, our main outlet at the Oranjezicht Farm Market at Granger Bay has closed until Covid-19 is under control.
In the interim I’d like to make all our customers aware of our online shopping partners:
I do miss listening to Gareth Cliff in the morning on the way to work. Sometimes un PC, often funny and at times quite eloquent, his greatest contribution however was BMAP. I have mentioned this before in a previous post but in case you have forgotten BMAP is the Boney M acclimatisation programme and starts in October to prepare unsuspecting shoppers for the onslaught of Boney M music played over the in store PA systems in large retail outlets in the lead up to Christmas.
Speaking of Christmas always makes me think of prosciutto. That favourite cured meat starter for Christmas or New Year. And what could be better than your own, hand made prosciutto. Next month on the 1st of November we will be hosting another Prosciutto Club. Guests will learn how to make their own hams and we will store them until they are ready. This is no quick process as the curing time is over a year but we take all the hassle out of it for you and you could be celebrating with your own ham next year.
The day includes our famous charcuterie and cheese lunch with home made focaccia.
It is also a great gift to give to someone if you are struggling with ideas this year.
If memory serves, last weekend was the 15th course that I have run in Prince Albert with Jeremy Freemantle. Over the years we have had many great courses and this was definitely one of them.
What is also special is that this was the first event at the new home for the Real Food Company. Jeremy has taken over the former Olive Branch restaurant and has turned it into his new home. No visit to Prince Albert is complete without a visit to the Real Food Company. Jeremy is always busy and bookings are a must. The food is absolutely delicious and Jeremy is constantly changing the menu. He has a passion for asian inspired dishes and has a vast array of spices and sauces in the kitchen. The restaurant also has a large herb garden that provides fresh rosemary, thyme, parsley, chervil, sage, origanum, lettuce, marjoram, rocket and chives for the kitchen.
We always serve a slow roast pork shoulder on the second day of the course and guests who are not participating in the course are always welcome to join in for the meals.
We’ll be setting the 2020 dates for courses shortly and will keep you posted.
Last weekend I ran the first Montagu charcuterie course. Hosted by the Olive Stone Farm and the Vineyard Country House, it was a great success and a lot of fun. Over the course of 2 days we managed to produce sausages, bacon, pancetta, prosciutto, coppa, culatello, rillettes, brawn and the leftover stock and fat were kept for cooking. It is SO important to have respect for what we eat and we made sure to use everything.
We had a little competition to see who could make the best sausage and this really brought out the best in the guests. The winning team are shortly to appear before the Zondo commission as the judges may have been compromised 🙂
We were also spoilt at lunch with some special cheeses made by Andrew on the farm using his own Jersey milk. Olive Stone Farm is working farm producing eggs, lamb, cheese and hopefully soon some pork.
For a really fantastic break you can stay at either of these beautiful places in Montagu.
What: Master class in charcuterie demonstrating block work and bacon making. You will also create your own bacon masterpiece to take home and enjoy. Afterwards you will be treated to a feast of cured foods and a delicious porchetta.
Why: Because it will be fun, entertaining, delicious, informative AND you get to make your own bacon on the night to take home.
Due to numerous requests from past course participants we are now offering an advanced curing course. This course is really hands on and you will work your own half a pig, turning it into prosciutto, coppa, pancetta, bacon, sausages, salami and chorizo, guanciale and cured fillets. Our famous lunch is also included and if you are lucky some of my “dad jokes”.
It’s not for the faint hearted or the observers but rather the enthusiast who would like to hone and perfect their curing skills and techniques. We only take 3 or 4 guests at a time so that we can spend more time assisting you.
The only prerequisite to attend this course is having completed the one day or weekend course that we offer.
This 2 day course covers the basics of charcuterie including how to break down a pig, how to make prosciutto, coppa, bacon, pancetta and guanciale. During the course we also make sausages, salami and chorizo.
This is a hands on course and at the end you will take home your own bacon, sausages and chorizos. No prior experience is required and we will provide all the equipment and ingredients for the course.
Accommodation is provided at The Vineyard Country House and Olive Stone Farm for the participants and partners. The course includes a light lunch on both days as well as breakfast on Saturday and Sunday.
Dates: 19th – 20th July 2019
Cost per participant – R5000 including accommodation, breakfast and lunch
Cost per non participant – R2500 including accommodation, breakfast and lunch
Please contact Lauren or Louise at The Vineyard Country House to book your spot
My courses are becoming more popular each year and I attribute this to a move towards more ethical eating as well as a growing number of people wanting to make things instead of purchase them in the supermarkets. And also my good looks and charm. Not really that last one, I am just trying to get the word count up.
The next exciting adventure takes us to Plettenberg Bay where Nicky and Hannes from Boschrivier Farm and Stables are hosting a course on the 31st May and 1st June. They raise their own pigs on their farm and this will be a unique opportunity to learn the craft of curing on a beautiful farm.
We have a couple of spaces available so if you this kind of thing tickles your taste buds then mail Nicky ASAP. The course covers block work, how to make prosciutto, coppa, pancetta, bacon, sausages, salami, chorizo, guanciale and rillettes. Lunch is included on both days and you get the goodies you have made to take home.
Commander J of Somersault Studio fame will be in attendance for those wishing to partake in an impromptu pilates class in the pastures.
I am also running a course in Montagu in July and will post more about that soon.
You could be preparing for Prosciutto Club. Our third event kicks off at 11:00 on the 22nd February and we have 2 spots left.
Come along and make your own prosciutto under our guidance. We will look after it for you until it is ready. Our first hams from the club last year have just been released and the results were very satisfying.