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Course Description

Industrially farmed pork and bacon is a far cry from what pork and bacon used to be. The look and taste of an industrial farmed pig and an organic free range pig are poles apart. Some of us are lucky enough to be able to raise our own pigs on our smallholdings. But even this presents us with issues outside of our control when sending our pigs away to be processed. To get the cuts you want in the portion sizes you want can be challenging and frustrating. All too often people find themselves with large bags of meat in the freezer unsuitable for their family’s needs. This unique course seats you with the butcher while you learn new hands on skills.

Most of us stress rightly or wrongly about the traceability of our meat once the animal is broken down in a processing plant. For those that don’t have the facilities to raise their own pig, but want to control the butchering to suit their family, we have devised a new type of course in partnership between Regan Organic Farm and The Hunting and Homestead Butchers.

Through Regan Organic Farm we are offering the facility to purchase an organic full pig or half pig and come butcher it with The Hunting and Homestead Butchers. The pig will be killed at a local abattoir and ready for butchering into all the cuts and portions that you choose on the day. We will bring you through the entire process, right through to making sausages and curing rashers and ham. (Rashers and hams will have the cures applied on the course day and will require time to cure over a number of weeks. You will be given all the guidance needed to finish the job at home)At the end of the course, your bagged freezer ready cuts will be ready to take home to feed your family the best quality organic meat available.

Dates are flexible and will also depend the on availability of pigs. Contact us to book a pig and course.

There is a charge of €75.00 per extra person over the age of 18. Under 18’s are free to attend with parents or guardians.


If you would like to purchase a workshop as a gift, please just enter the person’s name at checkout and we will email you the gift voucher with their name.



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 cut. In the morning session, we will guide you through the butchery of your pig, planning your cuts and breaking down the carcass. This is totally hands on you’ll get to practice proper knife work under supervision. We can modify any of the following to fit your plan. We’ll have some coffee mid-morning and then we’ll get into boning to produce rolled pork roasts, loins and ham for curing later. Again, there will be some hands-on work and you will have the opportunity to practise your knife skills and examine muscle structures as we break down the carcass.


Not surprisingly, this will be a meaty affair!

Afternoon Session

In the afternoon, you will take to the butcher’s block again, we will be cutting chops and possibly retaining the remaining loin for rashers. If you have no interest in curing we can do all pork. We can offer you a lesson in pork burger making as another option. All offcuts are for mincing followed by sausage making! You’ll learn how to create your own sausage recipes and how to replicate the best breakfast sausages along with other delicious recipes for Pork Sausages and we will show you how to stuff and link your own sausages, ready to take home with you!
We will finish up by packing your pig for transport to your home.

Course Details
Date: To be arranged with us.
Time: 9:30am to 5pm
Price: Just €800 for an organic pig and tuition. €600 for half a pig and tuition. €75 per extra person over the age of 18.

Payment: Payment taken on booking.

– Includes: All equipment, packaging, notes, recipes, lunch & a fully butchered pig to bring home.

We are only 5km from the Prestigious Monart Spa, what better way for the non-butcher in the family to relax for the weekend and what better place to retreat to after a long day of butchering.

Topics Covered on the Course
This course includes refreshments and lunch and all equipment and recipes are provided.
• Equipment
• Food Hygiene
• Planning your cuts
• Dividing the carcass into prime cuts
• Identifying the lesser well known cuts
• Boning
• Chopping chops
• Rolling joints and tying butchers knots
• Curing hams and rashers
• Creating recipes for and making sausages.
• Packaging meat for freezing
• During your stay your host, Mary, will also introduce you to life on the farm and tell you about organic farming.

The Butchers
John Griffin has a wealth of experience as a boner of beef, venison, lamb and pork and his natural eye for detail led him to quality control role with industrial meat factories. He enjoyed his time spent also working at the retail butcher counter sharing knowledge with others. He is a professional hunter and culls deer annually. As a dedicated conservationist he strives to be self-sustainable at his smallholding in Co. Carlow. He keeps chickens, pigs, sheep and cattle alongside his vegetable garden. Family and friends are always guaranteed a full belly after a visit! The production of quality butchered meat and instilling these skills and knowledge, alongside the appreciation of the meat on our plate, to every generation, is his passion.

Declan Gilmore is a qualified butcher for over 30 years. He has worked for most major retailers and small family butchers here and in Australia. He is passionate about local seasonal food and grows fruit and vegetables including crops for Irish seed savers and rears livestock in Co. Wexford. He is a qualified nutrition and health coach and shares his food and lifestyle passion with elite and amateur athletes. He loves teaching and learning about real sustainable food and his mantra is ‘Knowledge is only knowledge if it’s shared!’