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You are here: Croan Cottage Blog » Courses, News, Newsletters, Things to do » Blog article: Introduction to Butchery Course

Introduction to Butchery Course

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 award winning Butcher Jonathan Brown from Grogan & Brown in Kilkenny. The course will provide an introduction to the art of butchery. This course is essential for the real meat lover!

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 €195 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 practice 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 Pig into its primal cuts.

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
Time: 9.30am to 5pm
Price: Just €195 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 in one of our cottages:

Twin Room Sharing €50
Double Room p/p €50
Single Room €75

What others have said about our Courses

What participants on our previous ‘Taste of River Cottage’ 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.
Butchery Course gift voucher

Gift Vouchers

Give the gift of ‘an experience‘.
Gift Vouchers are available for courses or holidays in any amount.
Read more.


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 Small Holder 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!”


Introduction to Butchery Course
Croan Cottages, Kilkenny, Ireland

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