Summary Home Smoking and Preserving with Steven Lamb

Food preservation is such an important tool for anyone looking to grow as a cook. It allows you to take good ingredients and turn them into elevated versions of themselves. 

The person who turns pork belly into their own home cured bacon engages further than the one who just roasts it... they'll also be extremely popular amongst family and friends!

Curing and smoking are traditional techniques that signify the beginning of cookery and maintain a key part of any kitchen, whether it is domestic or commercial. 

In the simplest of terms: curing and smoking equals preserving and flavouring. It encompasses craft, tradition, science and sorcery. Anyone and everyone can produce simple cured products and should as a matter of course; these techniques offer so much value to the keen cook. 

This class is taught by Steven Lamb, an expert in smoking and preserving from River Cottage, and will enable you to access the delicious sweet, salty and savoury world of pancetta, salami, prosciutto, bresaola and smoked fish.

Typical recipes/skills covered include:

  • Pancetta-style streaky and back bacon (traditional dry curing method)
  • Prosciutto-style, air-dried ham and salami (salting)
  • Coppa and bresaola
  • Simple brine to add flavour and moisture to meat
  • Filleting and preparing fish for smoking

Click on the 'What You'll Learn' tab to read a more detailed outline of this class.

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Class structure

Cooking with your classmates is an integral part of your Leiths experience. You will cook some of your recipes in pairs, and some independently – whatever the ratio, there is always more than enough food, and often food to take home too (foil containers and bags provided). 

Your day will comprise of a mixture of hands on cookery and demonstrations performed by the chef who is running the session. The exact format will vary from class to class depending on the style of cuisine and, in the case of visiting chefs,  their  individual teaching style.

Unless otherwise stated, you will be eating the food that you have cooked during your class for lunch, usually with wine or elderflower cordial around a communal table. If your class does not involve cooking lunch you will enjoy delicious sharing platters prepared by the school.

Allergies and dietary restrictions

Please call the school to discuss any relevant allergies with a member of staff. You can read our full policy on allergies and dietary restrictions here.

weekend

What you'll learn Home Smoking and Preserving with Steven Lamb

Class outline

Part 1: Your class will begin with traditional dry curing. Steven will take the middle of an organic pig and show you how to transform it into pancetta-style streaky and back bacon.

Part 2: Next Steven will demonstrate how to prepare and salt a whole leg of pork for prosciutto-style, air-dried ham as well as making salami.

Part 3: He will also cover classic curing recipes, such as coppa and bresaola, as well as simple brine to add flavour and moistness to meat.

Part 4: The last part of the class will focus on smoking. You’ll learn how to fillet and prepare fish for smoking, as well as smoking and tasting some of the brined meat from the earlier session.

Practical info Home Smoking and Preserving with Steven Lamb

What is included:

  • Refreshments on arrival
  • A recipe booklet
  • All ingredients provided and weighed out for you in advance
  • Lunch of your own making or sharing platters prepared by the school, both with Louis Latour wines
  • We do the washing up!

What you need to bring:

  • Flat soled shoes
  • Long trousers and a long sleeved top are advisable

Allergies and dietary restrictions:

We are happy to make adjustments where possible. Some classes are however unsuitable for people with particular intolerances – where the menu would need to be completely different. We need 10 days' notice to be able to properly check the class and adjust the order accordingly. Please read our full policy on allergies and dietary restrictions here.

Steven Lamb

Steven Lamb

Steven Lamb is a linchpin of the River Cottage operation and has been for a decade. He teaches a range of topics and techniques but specialises in curing and smoking meat.

Steven wrote the best-selling River Cottage Curing & Smoking Handbook which received the Fortnum & Mason Highly Commended Food Book award. Since then he has contributed to the definitive A-Z of Ingredients and has just completed the next River Cottage Handbook, Cheese & Dairy. He works closely with founder Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to represent River Cottage both in the UK and abroad.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall on Steven
“Steven Lamb and I go back to the early days, when River Cottage HQ was a scrubbed-out cow barn with a second-hand kitchen rammed into a shed next door. Steven’s knowledge is as broad as it is deep and that is why he is in such high demand.”

Beyond River Cottage, Steven’s extensive food knowledge and talent for live hosting has put him at the centre of many of the best food shows and festivals, either leading his own cookery demonstrations or compering the live stage for emerging and celebrity chefs. More recently Steven has become the host presenter for Grand Designs Live Show in London and Birmingham as well as Chef Mark Hix’s Food Rocks. In 2016 he hosted the Guardian Literary Institute at Camp Bestival in his home county of Dorset. 
 
Always keen to share his knowledge, Steven teaches regularly and also uses his experience to consult on food projects for individuals and large organisations. He writes on an array of subjects for print and online. 

* All prices correct at time of publishing. Please note that prices are likely to change at the end of each financial year (April).

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