Learning to butcher a rabbit was one of the best things I've done on holiday this year

Asia's Tech News Daily

Hunter Gather Cook

On a particularly wet and windy day, I found myself in a threshing barn face-to-face with an unlucky rabbit. I say unlucky as he had already met his unfortunate end in the dewy grass of Glynde Estate in East Sussex and I was hovering over him with a sturdy meat cleaver. My friend, Hannah, stood nearby with an array of knives and secateurs at the ready.

Our task for the morning was to butcher our new furry friend, and then eat him for lunch. The fact I had a whiff of a hangover from a wedding the night before was neither here nor there; this was no time to be queasy.

As a meat eater, I’ve always told myself that if I’m happy to eat it, I should be happy to butcher it. Now here I was on a full-day course of butchery and foraging at Hunter Gather Cook at the foot of the South Downs National Park, ready to see if that had all been a load of guff. This loosely coined cookery school is nothing like the clinical institutions you’ll find in a city centre; instead the superb countryside location is at the heart of everything they do.

You will either be tucked up in the sun-dappled woods at the Treehouse (made from nearby birch trees and ­kitted out with tables milled from on-site oaks); or on the Seasonal Day Course, spending your time as we did at the Shepherds Barn, which dates from the 1800s and benefits from floor-to-ceiling views into the garden and fields beyond. Concrete floors, brick walls and farm signage, combined with an open kitchen, tapered candles and ­simple flower arrangements have an industrial look that for once doesn’t feel try-hard.

The founder and leader of our course, Nick Weston, is a huge part of the appeal. His affable and punchy energy meant the whole group hung on his every word, from anecdotes of previous guests (Kate Winslet doesn’t shut the door to go to the loo) to insider tips (like how to tell what a pigeon had for breakfast the day before). He describes himself as a 21st-century hunter-gatherer.

Hunter Gather Cook

Courses change with the seasons, so in autumn you might be presented with a partridge or a duck, and in spring a ­fallow deer. We began with the aforementioned rabbit, which had been shot two days previously, before being immediately paunched. After a demonstration from Nick, it was time for the 15 pairs of us around the table to begin chopping the tail off our own animal. Most of the group was male, with a ­circle of middle-aged dads here as a gift from their ­partners.

Next we set to work delimbing and skinning; the latter offering up an orchestra of squelching, tearing noises. Some pairs found the easiest way to do this was for one to hold the fur and the other the bones, in a sort of butchery tug-of-war. “There are many ways to skin a cat,” Nick dead-panned.

I thought I would find the whole thing gruesome, but I found it fascinating. Suddenly the food I was going to eat that day had a story behind it and I knew exactly where it came from. Hannah initially found it trickier; but later when a pigeon arrived she was straight to the chopping board. I asked her what the difference was: “I had a pet rabbit; I hate pigeons.”

The day was not just about butchery though, we also learnt about different ingredients in the raised beds outside, foraged for hogweed in the surrounding fields, supped on botanical cocktails that we mixed ourselves from gin infused with freshly picked pineapple weed, and learnt the ancient art of starting a fire.

Hunter Gather Cook

The cooking was left to Nick’s ­excellent team, and analogue only – meaning no ovens, only live fires. Demonstrations kept us in the loop, but when you see the technical skills used and taste what arrives on the plate you’ll be glad this part is left to the professionals. This was a tasting menu that wouldn’t be out of place in a high-end restaurant, with rich, earthy flavours. Best of the bunch was a final snack at the end of the day: smoky confit rabbit quesadillas with burnt salsa and coriander.

Food is forever at the centre of why I travel and where I choose to go. I can’t think of a better way to get to grips with this corner of the British countryside than spending it immersed in the flora and fauna before feasting on its riches.

How to do it

Hunter Gather Cook (07921 863768; huntergathercook.com) offers Seasonal Day Courses from 10am to 6pm for £180pp. The next courses are on Nov 6, March 19, April 2 and April 23.

Have you ever butchered and prepared your own meat? Share your experience in the comments section below

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

France holds crisis talks on reining in Covid spike ahead of Christmas holidays

Authorities in France are holding an emergency health defence council at noon on Monday to decide on new measures to fight an explosion in Covid infections, and the threat of ... Read more »

St. Anthony man with history of mental illness is charged with killing father, 88

Dec. 6—A St. Anthony man with a history of mental illness was charged Monday with murder after his father was found beaten and stabbed to death in their home. Rodney ... Read more »

Marginalisation happens to anyone different from ‘norm': Chandrachud

© Provided by The Indian Express THE SUPREME Court’s judgments decriminalising homosexuality and ordering permanent commission for women in the armed forces “have tried to improve the legal status of” ... Read more »

Arvind Kejriwal to be in Punjab today for a day-long visit; may announce new 'guarantee'

© Provided by Hindustan Times The AAP leader further informed that Kejriwal, during his visit, is aiming to seek suggestions from mothers and sisters about a “guarantee” of ₹1,000 per ... Read more »

Carrera launches new dubai collection

© UAEMoments CARRERA LAUNCHES NEW DUBAI COLLECTION The 2021 ‘Carrera for Dubai’ Special & Limited Edition sunglasses are a celebration of the Emirate, pairing timeless design with bold vision. The ... Read more »

With 2 new Omicron cases, Maharashtra's tally reaches 10; total cases in India 23

© Provided by Zee News Mumbai: Two more cases of Omicron variant of coronavirus have been reported in Maharashtra`s Mumbai, taking the total tally of the new COVID-19 variant in ... Read more »

Bihar Police Constable Result 2021 declared by CSBC at csbc.bih.nic.in, here's how to check

© Provided by Zee News Bihar Police Result 2021: The Central Selection Board of Constable (CSBC) on Monday (December 6, 2021) declared the Bihar Police Constable Result 2021.  The result ... Read more »

Marsyal jangan berlagak macam polis

© Provided by Sinar Harian MERAK Jalanan cukup anti dengan konvoi motosikal besar yang diiringi oleh marsyal yang berlagak persis seorang anggota polis trafik. Pernah pada tahun lalu, sewaktu sempadan ... Read more »

Penduduk Taman Dengkil Jaya gempar kemunculan buaya

SEPANG – Penduduk di Taman Dengkil Jaya, di sini terkejut dengan kemunculan seekor buaya sebesar lebih 2 meter dalam sebuah tasik berhampiran kawasan tersebut pada Isnin. Pengarah Jabatan Bomba dan ... Read more »

More Evidence That Pandemic Delayed Cancer Diagnoses

© Provided by HealthDay MONDAY, Dec. 6, 2021 (HealthDay News) — New research offers fresh proof that the COVID-19 pandemic delayed cancer diagnoses in the United States, increasing patients’ risk ... Read more »

An exercise in futility: lining up at JPJ

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today © Provided by Free Malaysia Today The transport minister was in the news last week when he spot-checked the Road Transport Department (JPJ) in ... Read more »

Halo Infinite won't allow players to replay story missions after beating the game

© Provided by Dot Esports With Halo Infinite dropping with one of, if not the most expansive campaigns of any game in the franchise, players can expect to spend a ... Read more »

Genshin Impact reveals “Bantan Sango Case Files: The Warrior Dog” gameplay details

© Provided by GamePur Genshin Impact has revealed the various gameplay details for the Bantan Sango Case Files: The Warrior Dog. Showcased within this gameplay overview are the new features ... Read more »

Relaxing Batangas Accommodations For Your Family Vacation

With the easing of quarantine restrictions in different parts of the country, many parents are looking into going on much-awaited family trips. While we all deserve a break, we still ... Read more »

Mohamed Salah sent Luis Suarez message as Liverpool 'joke' highlighted

Mohamed Salah’s seventh-place Ballon d’Or finish has been branded “a joke” by Jose Enrique. And Enrique believes Liverpool would have struggled to make the top six last season without Salah’s ... Read more »

Boris Johnson accused of ‘travel apartheid' for slinging more African nations on red list

BORIS Johnson has been accused of “travel apartheid” for slinging more African nations on the red list. The Nigerian High Commissioner to London let rip after it became the latest ... Read more »

Rioting lags to be forced to repair their damaged cells in a bid to stamp out violence in prisons

LAGS who smash up their cells will be forced to fix the damage, under new measures from today. Ministers will target violence and drug use in jails while handing more ... Read more »

Ralf Rangnick makes first Man Utd appointment as dressing room demands made

The Ralf Rangnick era is now in full flow at Manchester United. Following the Red Devils’ battling 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Sunday, the new man ... Read more »

Drones, bombs, spies — inside Israel's cunning plan to stop Iran's nukes

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced a new policy of retaliating against the Iranian nuclear program. Gil Cohen-Magen/Pool via AP Israel has carried out three major operations over the last ... Read more »

US WILL send troops to eastern Europe if Putin invades Ukraine as satellite pics show Russian forces gathering at border

THE Biden administration won’t rule out sending US troops to Ukraine after new satellite pictures showed Russian forces gathering at the border. The photos show ground forces equipment being deployed ... Read more »

Government's plan to cut crime with prisons drugs crackdown branded ‘simplistic and short-sighted'

© PA Ministers say new measures will keep drugs out of prisons and create the ‘right conditions’ to reform and rehabilitate offenders – PA The government has announced a £100m ... Read more »

Government taken to court over financing of controversial Mozambique gas project

© John Wessels/AFP via Getty Images Young boys carry sacks of food after being displaced by violence in northern Mozambique – John Wessels/AFP via Getty Images The UK government is ... Read more »

Ajaz Patel recalls being smashed by Virender Sehwag in nets, former India opener says THIS in reply

© Provided by Zee News Former India opener Virender Sehwag lavished praise on New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel after he became the third bowler to take all 10 wickets in ... Read more »

Descendants of Johor's ‘Father of City Planning' file faraid claim for RM300b

© Provided by Malay Mail A total of eleven descendants of Johor’s Datuk Bentara Luar — responsible for the planning and development of the southern state — signed the appeal ... Read more »

Malaysians Are Getting ‘Smaller', Here's Why

With an average height of just between 164.7 cm for the guys and 159.6 cm for the ladies, Malaysians are noted to be some of the smallest groups of people ... Read more »

Apa hukuman menteri tak capai KPI?

© Provided by Sinar Harian ESOK genap 100 hari petunjuk prestasi utama (KPI) kementerian-kementerian di bawah pentadbiran Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. Seramai 69 ahli Parlimen yang dipilih ... Read more »

41 kes positif Covid-19 berpunca PRN Melaka

© Provided by Sinar Harian JASIN – Seramai 41 individu dikesan positif Covid-19 yang dipercayai berpunca daripada Pilihan Raya Negeri (PRN) Melaka pada 20 November lalu. Exco Kesihatan dan Antidadah, ... Read more »

Corona: Extremismusforscher fordert härteres Vorgehen gegen gewaltbereite Demonstrierende

Fackelaufzüge in Sachsen, Tausende Demonstrierende in Thüringen: Die Proteste gegen Coronamaßnahmen werden immer mehr von Rechtsextremen befeuert. Nun rüstet sich die Polizei für ein schärferes Durchgreifen. © Bodo Schackow / dpa ... Read more »

Abheek Barua: ‘Consumption a problem as you go down income scale, may compromise growth'

© Provided by The Indian Express Even as India clocked an impressive GDP growth in the second quarter and is expected to do well in the long term, Abheek Barua, ... Read more »

Weil sie im NYC-Verkehr feststeckte: Frau gebärt Baby in 100'000-Franken-Tesla

Auf dem Weg ins Spital musste eine Schwangere durch den Verkehr in New York City. Das dauerte so lange, dass sie ihr Baby im Auto gebar – in einem Luxus-Tesla. ... Read more »

Digital, finance & tech: DiFiTe-disruption era; ‘dishoom dishoom' continues

© Provided by The Financial Express We need proactive institutional change management, better regulatory and supervisory upgrades constantly. (Representative image) By Srinath Sridharan Almost every Hindi (or any other major ... Read more »

'Sex and the City' Star Chris Noth on Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall's 'Uncomfortable' Feud

© Getty Chris Noth calls Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall‘s rumored feud “uncomfortable.” The Sex and the City star, known as Mr. Big, shared his thoughts on Cattrall’s decision ... Read more »

Police dropped internal probe into mishandling of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes abuse tip-off

POLICE have dropped an internal probe into the actions of officers who mishandled a child abuse tip-off about tragic Arthur Labinjo-Hughes. Arthur’s uncle Daniel Hughes told cops he was concerned ... Read more »

Christmas tree planted in couple's garden 43 years ago is now a staggering 50ft tall

A COUPLE who planted a 6ft Christmas tree in 1978 now use a cherry-picker to decorate the 50ft giant with 3,000 lights in an annual tradition. Avril and Christopher Rowlands ... Read more »

Pregnant mum who only uses sustainable wipes and nappies for her son calls for disposable versions to be banned

A pregnant mum who only uses sustainable wipes and nappies for her son is adding her voice to calls for disposable wet wipes to be banned – saying reusable options ... Read more »

Suspect in May 2020 Levelland fatal shooting sentenced to 55 years in prison

Guerra A 25-year-old Levelland man was sentenced Friday to 55-years in prison after a jury found him guilty of murder in the shooting death of a 31-year-old man he said ... Read more »

Kerajaan setuju kerangka tadbir urus pemantauan RMK12: PM

© Provided by Sinar Harian KUALA LUMPUR – Kerajaan hari ini menerima dan bersetuju dengan kerangka tadbir urus pemantauan Rancangan Malaysia Ke-12 (RMK12) bagi memastikan pelaksanaan projek dan program dapat ... Read more »

[VIDEO] “Keladi mak dah viral..” Pokok keladi saiz gergasi belakang rumah tinggi dari bumbung

POKOK keladi menjadi trend terkini tanaman hiasan. Susulan daripada permintaan ramai di kalangan pencintanya, pelbagai spesies keladi dijual dengan harga yang tinggi hingga yang mencecah ribuan ringgit. Baru-baru ini tular ... Read more »

Jing Fong temple to dim sum will reopen in smaller location as Chinatown recovers

Jing Fong Restaurant has cut down the number of diners it can seat from 800 to 125. Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock What does the new Jing Fong restaurant look like after its ... Read more »

Mrs Brown's Boys star Fiona O'Carroll splits from husband she starred with in the sitcom

MRS Brown's Boys Fiona O'Carroll has announced her split from husband Martin Delany, who she starred with on the show. The actress, who is the real-life daughter of sitcom creator ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic