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Introduction to Butchery Course

Saturday 23rd March 2019 (FULL)

Sunday 24th March 2019

Introduction to Butchery  

Course Description

Every keen cook and small holder is interested in  butchery. A basic knowledge of the terminology & skills involved is crucial to get the most from the meat you raise or buy.

The Butcher’s terminology can be daunting though and not many people have actually seen a carcass broken down into its various cuts.

Our practical Introduction to Butchery one-day course is led by two expert butchers, John Griffin and Declan Gilmore. The course will provide an introduction to the art of butchery. This course is essential for the real meat lover!

Book your place now

Saturday 23rd March 2019


Sunday 24th March 2019


The course has been designed to meet all levels of interest and experience. Our course numbers are kept small so you will have time to learn in a hands-on way.

Places on this course cost just €175 which includes all course materials, lunch and some goodies to take away.

Morning Session

The day starts with an introduction to the Butcher’s tools of the trade and we’ll learn about their care and safe use. We’ll also talk about how the raising of the animal has a huge impact on muscle structure and carcass quality. We’ll also talk about the effect of hanging on the flavour and textures of meat cuts.

In the morning session, our Butchers will guide you through the butchery of a Hogget (a sheep that is over a year old). This will be a hands-on session and you will have the opportunity to practise your knife skills and examine muscle structures as we break down the sheep.


Not surprisingly, this will be a meaty affair!

Afternoon Session

In the afternoon, you will take to the butcher's block again and, as a group, butcher a Deer into its primal cuts.

Venison is a fantastic meat that is rich in flavour. It is often considered expensive or hard to source. On our course, you’ll learn how to source and butcher a deer to create a range of delicious products and dishes.

John Griffin will guide you through every step in the process of the butchery of the deer from skinning to transforming the carcass into oven ready cuts and even Venison Burgers!

Of course, no Introduction to Butchery course would be complete without some Sausage Making! We’ll finish the day compiling delicious recipes for Pork Sausages and our Butchers will show you how to stuff and link your own sausages, ready to take home with you!

Course Details


Date:23rd or 24th March 2019
Time: 9:30am to 5pm
Price: Just €175 per person

- Includes: All equipment, notes, recipes, lunch & some goodies to bring home.

Some cottages are available for the weekend of the course. Bring your family along and enjoy a weekend in Kilkenny.

Accommodation Also Available!

One night accommodation options also available:

Twin Room Sharing €50
Double Room p/p €50
Single Room €50

What others have said about our Courses

What participants on our previous courses have said:

    • "It was a fabulous weekend guys. You must be very proud! You were great hosts and it was a joy to be in your company."
    • "What you are doing in Croan Cottages is absolutely wonderful & your recognition and support of other local artisan suppliers is commendable."
    • "Thank you so much for the wonderful weekend. I enjoyed it so much - the food, the location and the fun we had was beyond my expectation."
Gift voucher for cooking course

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Topics Covered on the Course

This course includes refreshments and lunch and all equipment and recipes are provided.

  • Equipment
  • Food Hygiene
  • Dividing the carcass into prime cuts
  • Identifying the lesser well known cuts
  • How to prepare a cutting list for the Butcher
  • Boning
  • Chopping chops
  • Rolling joints and tying butchers knots
  • Skinning Venison
  • Making Burgers
  • Creating recipes for and making sausages.

During your stay your host, Francis, will also introduce you to life at Croan. Together you will meet the animals and explore the Gardens.

  • "We all thought your course was great. Eating together and staying in the cottages with other participants made for a different and very congenial experience."
  • "Thank you very much for the fabulous weekend with the two charming guys from River Cottage."
  • "I learnt lots every day and hope to put it all in to practice in the next few weeks."
  • "You really put all your heart and soul into organising and running the weekend."

Contact Details

Croan Cottages,
Co. Kilkenny

(Just 90 minutes from Dublin)


+353 (0)56 77 66 868

smCroan Drive & Cottages


For the Smallholder or Farmer

When you send animals to the butcher, you will be asked all sorts of questions about how you would the carcass broken down into various cuts.

This can be daunting! The terms used by the butcher can seem confusing and as a lay person, you may even think that a Lamb has 4 legs! (They actually have 2 – the forelegs are not called Legs by the butcher)

“We participated in a Weekend Cookery Course at Croan and enjoyed the best, fun weekend ever. We learned so much and feel we've made some friends for life. The food was great too!”

Declan Gilmore

Declan Gilmore

Declan started in the fresh meat business in 1984 making the famous Superquinn sausages! Since then Declan has worked for small butchers in Ireland and Australia. Most recently he has taken his skills into larger retail outlets.
Declan is passionate about real, local quality food. This passion has led him, in recent years, to raise, slaughter and butchered his own fowl, turkeys, lambs and pigs for himself and other Smallholders.

twitter_thumbDeclan on Twitter


John Griffin

john Griffin

John has been working in the meat industry full and part time for the last 22 years. During his career John has working as a commercial butcher on beef, venison and pork.
John is passionate about self sufficiency and smallholding. He provides and butchers all the meat and fish his family consumes. He is a deer hunter, a keen angler and advocate for sustainable harvesting of wild fish and game.

twitter_thumbJohn on Twitter

Introduction to Butchery Course
Croan Cottages, Kilkenny, Ireland: 23rd & 24th March 2019

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What our Guests say

Ana Marie, Diana and Mimi New Jersey

We enjoyed our stay at Croan Cottages. Once Again, Thanks You! I have to say my thoughts are still in Ireland. So happy I found you online........Croan Cottages is a sweet & comforting place

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