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Learn to make your own artsian sausages with Alex Chambers - butcher, charcutier, qualified teacher and founder of the Corso Salumi in Tuscany run by Heather Jarman of Sapori e Saperi and Giancarlo Russo, National Coordinator for Slow Food Italy on meat topics and co-author of the Slow Food 'Salumi d’Italia'!
Our unique Artisan Sausage Making at Home workshop is designed for keen amateurs, butchers, chefs, coeliacs and as a practical introduction to artisan sausage making at home. It's also the foundation for the Corso Salumi since Squisito only make fresh sausages with natural skins and ingredients and no bread, fillers or artificial additives or preservatives ('No Hooves & Eyelashes' as we say at home!)
Squisito (that's squiz-eat-oh or 'exquisite' in Italian) are qualified teachers as well as working food producers and BBC Good Food Show & Slow Food Bursary Award Winners in addition to being the only Midlands food producer shortlisted by the judges as 'Best Food Producer' in the BBC Food and Farming Awards 2012 and now Northamptonshire 'Local Food Hero of the Year 2014' Runners-Up for our new butchers shop.
Unlike other courses the Squisito workshop is practical and educational so you will be tasting, making and learning the functional principles of sausage making to gain a compass to work by so you can assess recipes or products you collect to pass your skills on to your friends and family.
The workshop is run in a working Victorian butchers so students can learn that award winning results by modern standards are achievable in your own home without sophisticated professional equipment in the way of our forefathers.
Workshops start at 09:30 for 10:00am and finish at about 5:30 to 6pm. It is a working day and not a holiday!
The day starts with an educational breakfast of sausages and artisan produce. Students then learn to produce their own ingredients and recipes, what you need to know about equipment followed by tutor demonstration closely followed by practical sausage making. You will learn to cut, mince, mix, stuff, and link sausages according to the Squisito method so you will NOT be making a 'British Banger' with bread and 'filler'!
Maximum course size is just 4 people so that students get personal attention and time to learn and actually make sausages. Students 'walk-the-talk' and get to take home a share of the day's produce which makes the course very good value.
All you need is a good size cold bag or similar to put your sausages in, comfy boots and a fleece jacket with 'layers' (Victorian butchers were designed to be cold in the age before refrigeration!) and a good night's sleep since you will actually be sausage making at the butcher's workbench so it's 'brain and brawn' rather than sitting down for a demonstration like a 'cookery school'.
Don't buy kit in advance as you may find that a little knowledge saves a lot of money on unnecessary and complicated gadgets!
The workshop objective is to equip the student to make sausages at home easily and safely with skill and artistry. Artisan Sausage Making at Home is the foundation for Artisan Curing & Smoking at Home and our Advanced Salami Making Course in Tuscany with Sapori e Saperi over the Winter. Our student's Squisito reviews speak for themselves.
As you can see from the course outline (click on images to the right) Squisito provide extensive PDF course notes with lots more recipes and hyperlinks for reference and reinforcement. All Squisito recipes are gluten free and the workshop includes an introduction to food safety and HACCP.
Squisito do not use artificial ingredients, manmade skins, chemicals or bought in mixes - we teach you to make and produce your own! We are always at the end of a phone or email for advice afterwards.
For groups of 4 or more students Squisito can arrange to teach at your own home, village hall or suitable venue.
Squisito also design fully professional one-to-one tailored workshops with full HACCP and practical production advice in addition to functional skills and affective learning. Professional courses can be scheduled over one or two days or more depending on the student's or business's commitments - e.g. milking, service or to extend practical sessions. We can arrange to teach you at your own premises or farm and organise a programme or apprenticeships for your staff.
The price of Artisan Sausage Making at Home is just £145 per person including breakfast and meat plus interactive course notes and one-to-one Artisan Sausage Making For Smallholders Masterclass with full HACCP from £350 per day - a small price to go professional since mistakes are expensive. To book online click here.
As a small family business Squisito reserve the right to alter course dates if circumstances or weather dictate. Refunds cannot be given once booked but Squisito will make every effort to arrange alternative workshop date.
"There is no praise higher than having an artisan butcher and food revolutionary like Alex tell you you’ve just made sausages he’d be happy to sell. Mind you, he’s just spent the best part of a day teaching you in meticulous but hilarious detail how to do exactly that, so you would have to be a bit of a numpty not to be successful in some way.
This is about as hands-on as courses get. Yes, you will absolutely get close-up and personal with pork shoulder, and practically up to your elbows in your very own fresh mince. Don’t forget the sharp knife. And Italian mincing machine. And natural sausage skins. And sausage stuffer. And a rainbow of tupperware containing the dry ingredients to blend the flavour notes which create the artisan sausage experience.
The hands-on experience begins with the perfect cooked breakfast with a selection of Alex’s Italian sausages at its heart. Even this is part of the learning process, as Alex gets you to engage with what you’re eating, dissect the flavours and make critical comparisons, identifying your likes along the way. By the way, if you need waking up in the morning, you’ll like the chihuahuas.
You are now set up for a day of engagement and learning. Alex knows his sausages - their history, their biochemistry, their cultural meaning and where to find humour in the process. With genuine enjoyment in your interest, he guides you through the process which begins with hygiene theory (and practice), pits you against a properly heavy cut of pork and ends with several kilos of mouthwatering sausages of different flavours WHICH YOU MADE YOURSELF! You end the day knackered but slightly fizzy with achievement, and extreme respect for the Alexes (and Saras) of this world.
As Alex says, what you eat becomes part of you. Learning about what you're eating and how it's made, in an era of cheaply mass-produced food made of cheap ingredients for what appears to be the sole benefit of supermarket shareholders is a civic duty. It also gives us the power to make informed choice. Vive la revoluzione..."
"I had a wonderful day thank you so much. Thank you also Sara for being my chauffeur. It was great to be part of the 'back room' when your customers dropped in, I felt part of the whole enterprise, you have quite a community up there. Being hands on was brilliant as it has given me the knowledge and confidence which I would never have got from a book. It has to be hands on for me and with your course it was ‘brains on’ as well. My head was certainly buzzing well into the night with ideas about sausages, curing, linking and washing up. It was good to see your systems for working in a small space as it is a bit easier to translate what you were doing into a domestic setting.
I do not know how the course or the day might be improved. I may have missed out on the things class mates might have asked and not heard about their experiences and ideas about sausages as well as not seen their mistakes to learn from (but I made quite a few of my own), but as the only person I got a course tailored to my questions, so I asked what I wanted to know and was told. Having all the space to myself was excellent and I think having many more than three all together would make it much trickier logistically at least for me as I tend to spread. I enjoy working especially when I am cooking and will happily work through through lunch just drinking tepid tea, so I didn’t mind not stopping to eat (glad to have tepid tea on tap) but others might have needed a break. I usually like to take copious notes but with out my pen and paper I had to listen and think a bit more than normal and that did make me feel like I hadn’t learnt enough theory but truly, getting stuck in and actually making the sausages was the greatest thing for me and I will get the theory from the notes any way. If at the end of the day I just had a pile of notes and only watched someone else doing it I would still not be willing to try myself. Now though I have done it and know I can do it again and that is invaluable.
In terms of what to expect. The blurb says it is ‘hands-on' and that’s exactly what it is, you do it all, from cutting and mincing the pork through to linking the sausages. It is also a day of thinking; I learnt about preserving, curing, different recipes, knife skills, how to work efficiently and safely and how to look at things differently when it comes to making a sausage. You learn from seeing Alex’s expertise and experience demonstrated in his work environment and applying his processes yourself. Alex doesn’t spoon feed you but allows you, encourages you, to think for yourself and think outside the skin. It is a long day but it is immensely satisfying especially when you stagger out with a bulging ‘swag' of snags you made yourself. With these skills the idea of an average sausage has been banished. It was a pleasure to be in the 'back room’ and witness happy customers new and returning, enjoying Alex and Sara’s wonderful generosity and the culinary and gourmet delights in the tiny ‘Squisito!’ shop, knowing that you were learning part of the secret."
"I just wanted to write to you to say I had no idea how the two days we spent together last autumn would change our whole family's lives for the better.
Besides the amazing food we created, your educational "re-programming" has had the most incredible beneficial effect in terms of the food choices we make every day and over the last few months I have developed a real passion coupled with a discerning eye for the procurement of real ingredients to create real food.
Believe it or not, never a day goes by without me hearing at least one of your phrases in my head when I am making a culinary decision!
The only problem now is that I find it almost impossible to gain any satisfaction unless I have prepared the food myself, however we are off to Napoli / Sorrento this summer, so I look forward to putting on half a stone in a week tasting what they have in store for us there.
Anyway, I just thought I would let you know as it's been an amazing transformation.
"An amazing insight into . . . well, everything actually! Thank you for helping me to see the (food) revolution!
p.s. The race car analogies were perfect!"
Warren - Classic Racing Car Builder
"Chris came back a very happy man, really fired up by sausage making! Thank you for delivering a wonderful Christmas present for me, one none of us will ever forget and we have the added bonus of all the wonderful eating to come! Now I just need to make the sourdough to accompany the splendid sausages!"
"Days like this don't come around often - delicacies appearing throughout the day . . . porc tartare - mind blowing brie - local beers - arancello. We've tried a few tastings these last few years and the day we were making sausages turned out the best of all. Alex has taught more amusing connotations of sausages than I could ever have thought up and left us with kilos of of the output to take home. Thanks for giving my Pa a great birthday."
"Alex, you are a natural teacher - full of passion that you want to pass onto others - with a real love of what you do. We've had such a good day starting with a cracking breakfast and you took us at our own pace. Well done to you both. We've had a hands-on day and will head South full of enthusiasm with some new skills to apply. Until next time . . . "
"Alex came to my home to teach Dave and I the art of ARTISAN sausage making. It was one of the most interesting and informative days I have ever spent. Dave has not stopped calling me about different recipes and ideas. Alex cooked us breakfast and lunch which was sublime. I can only recommend this course to any one who wishes to develop their skills in the art of making "real" sausages. Alex is a very knowledgeable man with a wealth of knowledge, and an easy teaching style." Mark
"The reviews on your website spoke for themselves. I had to come along. I can't thank you enough." David