Tuesday saw the first visit (hopefully the first of many) of Marc Frederic, Le Charcutier Anglais to Clavelshay Barn Restaurant for a workshop in Butchery and Sausage making.
A small but select group of foodies met with trepidation on a damp and drizzly morning to be won over by the larger than life Inspector Clouseau look- alike. Annie had been practising her French all weekend and was anxious to show it off so was slightly shocked when hearing him speak in a broad Lancashire accent (my fault – I had encouraged her!.
Marc soon had us all eating out of his hand so to speak with his wealth of knowledge and stories about his life and travels. The pig was on display to be cut up and he encouraged everyone to have a go with the saw and knives to cut the pork up into chunks for mincing. The ladies and Brad all loved that!
Some of the pork was cut to make bacon – to keep in the fridge in a mixture of salt and saltpetre.
A break for lunch which was not pork or sausages but a light lunch of mushroom soup with warm home-made bread and then quiches and salad when Marc told us some of his stories – some which cannot be retold here.
Then to mincing the pork – ideal proportions for sausages – 70% lean 30 % fat. Maggie and Carole worked hard on the small hand mixer and made impressive inroads into the pork. Annie, Nadine & Brad were on the electric mixer which made light work of it. Then to the mixing – simply minced pork, seasoning, rusk (dried breadcrumbs) and water. Once mixed then a small portion is cooked to check the seasoning – if ok then on with the next step.
Then the fun part – filling the sausage machine with the mix – sliding the skins onto the pipe and then filling the sausage skins. It is very difficult to do this without reference to any sausage type joke/innuendo and I haven’t laughed so much for a long time(thank you Annie). Once made, Marc showed us how to link the sausages - reminding us of a Generation Game type of task. The girls did brilliantly impressing Marc greatly with their dexterity.
We all had a great time and the ladies went home bearing gifts of bacon and sausages for their families no doubt impressing them with their knowledge and expertise.
We would love to have Marc Frederic come back again and will probably run a Game Workshop and a Charcuterie/curing Workshop in the New Year. Meanwhile look out for Marc Frederic on tv in the Great British Food Revival next week when he is appearing with Clarissa Dickson-Wright.
Thank you Marc – we had a ball!