Current Sessions Available
One offering: November 17th-19th, 2022 – SOLD OUT. Check back for updates
This is a unique chance for farmers and hunters of all stripes (new or veteran) to learn more about growing livestock and field dressing your game with good meat as the goal.
Brandon will demonstrate humane sticking (killing) and bleeding methods. There will be no stunning involved, which only registers more pain and longer consciousness in the animal; we only need a very, very sharp knife. You then will take the knife in hand as Brandon leads you through clean and efficient hanging, skinning and eviscerating methods. We’ll extract all the offal and talk about the homesteader’s culinary use of the whole animal.
As always this is a very intimate and memorable teaching setting with Brandon as he works at your pace and we let your questions guide the day. You’ll be working with 4 lambs (1 lamb/2 people), making for plenty of material to learn on. Bring your notepads and filming devices. All instruction is entirely translatable to any other ruminant harvesting including goats, deer, elk, beef, etc.
Lamb Butchery and Cookery
Butcher a half carcass yourself using only traditional tools, our butcher block and your hands. We will waste nothing and let the physiology of the lamb inform our cutting. The logic of traditional meat cookery will become clear, enabling you to cook every cut perfectly. Learn to quarter any quadruped using these methods. We’ll be cutting the 4 lambs slaughtered the previous day so you can see the continuity of the entire process.
We’ll also learn some basic tying tricks and display aesthetics for your various crown roasts, rolled loins and any other ideas you bring to the table. Boning-out sections of the meat for the next sausage day is also on the docket.
Lamb Sausage and Charcuterie
Contrary to the recipe books, sausage is a simple thing. We will focus on the basics of any sausage that will serve as a launching pad for all your future sausage explorations. Learning the perfect ratio of salt and fat to include in any sausage, you’ll add this red lamb meat to sweet Meatsmith-raised pork fat, grind, mix, stuff and link each banger yourself.
We’ll also make blood sausage with the blood we harvested on slaughter day, as well as pâté and crepinettes using the beautiful lacy caul fat. Tar tar will also be featured among the culinary pursuits and delectables of the day.
Best of all, we will savor the fruit of your labor for lunch, which is included in the class. Also best of all, you get to take home 3 pounds of sausage yourself.
Now included with these 3-day events:
- ***New: 2 months free access to the Meatsmith Membership, which includes
- All Butcher’s Salt e-chapters for you to download
- Our slaughter film, To Kill A Pig Nicely
- 4+ years’ worth of harvest films, live chat archives, articles and forum dialogue
- Podcast topic & questioning priority
- 3 lbs. of your hand-made sausage.
- *Lifetime access to our private Facebook page, Meatsmith Table, for class graduates and members only.*
(The knife sharpening method that Brandon learned from is now on YouTube on the Carter Cutlery channel.)
These serve as ready refreshers of what you learn with us. They are unparalleled in American butchery educational materials because they return to the radical orthodoxy of the peasant kitchen.
Each day, we break bread together and commemorate our work with an afternoon meal. Our ingredients come from the pig and from our garden. Locally roasted coffee and Jersey cream are provided each day.
On Slaughter Day, the lamb gives us her offal at its peak of freshness and flavor. So we enjoy what is historically known as slaughter-day cheer, a feast of innards in a simple sauce with leavened bread, greens and wine.
On Butchery Day, a hearty steak-and-kidney pie is our meal, baked in the ineffable crunchiness of a leaf lard crust. Wine will be served too.
On Charcuterie Day, we do our best to polish off the kitchen’s gallimaufry of boudin noir, pâté, sausages and crepinettes, aided by the welcome freshness of of a quickly fermented kale salad, tangy cheese and, of course, wine.
Each meal will be served with the sauce of labor.
Sheep Harvest Testimonial
Most recent testimonial, Fall 2016: “The utility of this information will have immediate and long-term use. As a home chef, I expect to use it regularly for my domestic culinary investigations and pleasure. The long term impact of the class will continue to reveal itself with age. So much of the material (and the experience) is detailed, inter-disciplinary, bloody, emotional and tasty! It is one of the those experiences that will always be a culinary, social, emotional reference point to tie to other experiences. This is one of the principal values of the class in my mind.”
“I’ve flown halfway across the country to attend a class of yours and watched your videos numerous times. The desire was already there for me to take on the life of sustainability, self-reliance, and kitchen economy. You all just provided the direction and spark… I’m all in because of you folks!”
“I’ve participated in two hog processing classes. The classes and videos gave me the courage to raise my own hogs. We partnered with the Meatsmiths to host a class and harvest two of the 5 hogs. With the help of friends we processed three hogs on our own, cured three prosciutto, smoked and cured our own bacon, and made head cheese. In all that, the best part of all the learning is the growth of my family and friends. I can’t tell you how many wonderful people we call friends because of the porcine adventure.”
Jon; Shelton, WA
“You guys have a played a major role in our farm/homestead development of which pigs are the driving factor. Definitely have empowered me and my family. we have done some butchery since watching your videos. I hope to reference you for future marketing development for our farm. And one day get you to do a workshop (fingers crossed) I’m in west Tennessee in case you needed a gage of how far your outreach is. Thanks a million.”