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.
Are you looking for a gift for that person who has everything and is the difficult one to find something suitable for? We all have that one person that requires hours of thought and planning just to find something vaguely appropriate. It’s bad enough trying to navigate through the malls of Boney M and dodging Maria Carey’s gift list without having the added stress of trying to decide on that one gift for you know who.
2 years later…
Well, look no further. We can help. The next Prosciutto Club is on the 22nd February. Why not buy a gift voucher for you know who to attend. You get to learn how to make a cured ham, you get to make your OWN cured ham and we look after it for you until it is ready. Lunch is also included on the day as well as a tour of the charcuterie.
There are vegetable too….
For more details take a look at the Prosciutto Club page or send me an email.
Commander J has never been a fan of the festive season and it takes but one Boney M song in a retail store to expedite the transition from human to grinch. Oh how I miss Gareth Cliff’s BMAP on 5Fm (I’m told calling it Radio 5 is just showing my age. Ask a teenager). BMAP stood for Boney M Acclimatisation Program and ran for the month of November. The aim was to prepare one for the onslaught of cheesy Christmas music in the mall during December thereby preventing outbreaks of road rage, shopping centre aggression and year end depression.
Commercialism in retail aside, the festive season is also filled with frantic running around for gifts combined with the consumption of some traditional foods.
Prosciutto and mozzarella
If you are looking for an early gift for that special person then consider the following: I am hosting a special December charcuterie course on Friday the 7th December. We all know Capetonians don’t work on Fridays, more so in December. In addition to Prosciutto, coppa, bacon, sausage and chorizo that we make on the course we will be doing some gammons to take home. This course also includes a champagne lunch with some Christmas food ideas to inspire you.
Have you always wanted your own leg of cured ham but were either too busy, overwhelmed or just plain intimidated to make it happen?
Welcome to Prosciutto Club. We offer you the resources and facilities to make your own ham. Come along on the 31st August and we will guide you through the blockwork process, help you massage and salt your own pork leg and then we’ll all enjoy a delicious lunch of cured meats, cheeses and bread.
Hand carved prosciutto
Thereafter we will lovingly look after your ham, turning it daily until its ready for hanging. You are welcome to come and visit whenever you are passing and after a year it will be ready to come home with you. Perfect for that special occasion or party you are planning. Christmas 2019 is around the corner, and what better occasion to serve your own prosciutto with some fresh figs or melon.
Bone in prosciutto on a stand
It’s also an ideal gift for that person who has everything.
The workshop runs from 11:00 until 13:00 and the cost is R3000 per ham.
The 31st of March dawned in a manner similar to most other spectacular mornings in Cape Town. The sun crept up over the mountains sending out shards of light that bounced off the high rise buildings in the CBD. There were a few gusts of wind but not enough to make the roof play its irritating ratatatat. I’d already been up for hours checking my laces, sticking plasters over my nipples and trying to pin my number on straight. It’s 2018 FFS and we still use safety pins to attach running numbers to a t-shirt (I won’t even begin to describe the registration process apart from the fact the the brother and I managed to catch up on 2 years of news in real time). Luckily Commander J was asleep and did not notice my skew departure as I crept from the house.
First big mistake was not booking the Uber to get to the start of the race. The initial enquiry with Uber informed me that the driver was 25 minutes away and nowhere near town. After driving to Rondebosch, the second Uber driver accepted the fare and then turned his phone off and failed to respond in any way. The ever reliable Doctor Y saved the day and dropped the brother and I off a couple of kilometres from the start. Once sandwiched in our starting lane we waited patiently for the big start. Two of my safety pins had come loose by now during our eventful journey and the brother tried to straighten my number at the back with a plaster which about as successful as an American trade tariff on Chinese goods.
And then we were off! As Chariots of Fire blared over the PA system we commenced the great shuffle. Three minutes and forty nine seconds later we crossed the start line, valiantly weaving and jiving like a Craven Week rugby centre, trying to avoid running into the 15998 runners in front of us. The brother had a spring in his step not seen since the rand was below ten to the dollar and I found myself having to run just to keep up. Clearly the craft lager carbo loading regime followed in Australia has some merit and should be explored further. The first challenge – Wynberg Hill came and went without a falter and suddenly we were cruising down hill and coasting along to Kendall Road where the second born daughter waited excitedly. There can be no truer display of love than a teenager out of bed at 06:30 to support her dotty old dad.
The kilometres slipped by and we managed to pass quite a few of the runners in front of us who had ignored their carbo loading regime and clearly had over trained for the event. We next turned into Southern Cross Drive and this was the part that I had been anxiously awaiting. For those who have never been to Perth – It’s flat. Like the Earth. Or at least like the Seapoint promenade. The brother had not run up a hill during his training and here was a three kilometre monster up ahead. His charge up the hill could have matched the Light Brigade but with far more spectacular results. Never faltering and with true grit, we pushed up that hill, until finally we turned at the top into the final stretch. With two thirds done the rest was a formality and while the conversation had shrunk to monosyllabic prehistoric grunting, we managed to run all the way until the end.
Months of planning, preparing and training (in my case) was over in under two and a half hours. Now to find Commander J and where the car was parked – Carumba! We had a great time and completing something like that with a sibling who lives so far away was really special. Thank you to all the kind people who donated to the Cape Kidney Foundation. We managed to raise over R4000 which will no doubt be put to good use. Thank you also to the marshalls and Capetonians who came out in their droves to support the runners. It made all the difference.
Koji cured guanciale with avocado and yuzu hollandaise
Commander J (my most ardent and loyal supporter, guinea pig and partner) would like me tell her more stories. She suffers my lack of verbal interaction with a variety of responses from mild irritation to less mild irritation (censored here). Fortunately, providing daily sustenance and gastronomic variety keeps her from taking more drastic actions.
Butabushi – a pork version of katsuobushi
One of the current reasons for my distressing lack of verbal stories is my obsession with Koji. Koji is a fungus (yep, you read correctly) that grows on protein, carbohydrate and fat. It requires some warmth and humidity to propagate well and its growth produces enzymes that break down the macromolecules into simple ones. That about the extent of my scientific vocabulary.
You’ve all eaten koji at some point in your life. The enzymes are used to make soy sauce, miso paste and sake wine. Its also used to make katsubushi (dried bonito flakes) which is used to flavour dashi stock and provides the basis for many japanese recipes. Most ramen stock is made with dashi as a base to which other ingredients are added.
Koji cured pancetta and guanciale
In more recent times, koji has been added to cured meats during the drying stages and the results are spectacular. By breaking down the macromolecules in simple ones such as amino acids glucose and dextrin, the exterior of the protein has more sugars resulting in more caramelisation during cooking. The process also results in a nutty aroma and enhancement of the products flavour. Another interesting fact is that the curing time is reduced significantly due to the enzymatic action.
We’ve been experimenting with a variety of product for the last six months and it has been a lot of fun and very interesting – more for me than Commander J, but she has tasted some delicious things this year. We sell a variety of items depending on whats in stock at the Oranjezight Farm Market at Granger Bay and the Olive Branch Deli in Kloof Street.