New dates for courses 2017!

Illustration: www.walternewton.

 The announcement of our Cookery School courses 2017, has been somewhat long awaited by the eager and organised amongst us, so here it is just in time for Xmas!

NEW dates for January-March 2017 are now available for:

– Bread: Back to Basics
– Bread: Simply Sourdough
– Sweet breads and Viennoiserie
– Flavour Geography: South Indian Dosa
– Handmade Pasta
– Macarons

Plus many more!

We’ve worked hard to fit in as many courses as we can, so we hope you’ll find something to suit your needs!

pig butchery Dosa Workshoppasta bread back to basics Seafoodone_new2 sweet breads

If not, why not buy a gift voucher?

You can purchase Cookery School gift vouchers from £1-£150!

Further dates will be staggered throughout 2017.

*Foraging & Earth Oven Building will be available from March.

Lamb & Poultry will be available from February.*

Happy Booking!

DIY Butchery!


Impress your friends at your next dinner or BBQ by doing your own Butchery! The question is: Chicken or Lamb?

Local Master Butcher Steve Rossiter, who runs Birmingham’s first organic butchers – Rossiters – in Bournville, leads our Butchery courses here at Loaf Cookery School (we also buy all of our meat for the Bakery/Shop lunches from him too!)


In the Perfect Poultry course, Steve will teach you how to joint, spatchcock, and butterfly your own chicken and poussin.

As well as learning the simple secrets to the perfect chicken stock, we’ll be making chorizo-stuffed chicken breast wrapped in streaky bacon, spatchcocked poussin with lemon and garlic (wild garlic when in season), Raz al Hanout tagine chicken, and chicken liver salad.

We sit down to feast on the fruits of our labour towards the end of the evening, so save plenty of room!



In the Nose to Tail: Lamb course, he’ll take you on a guided tour around a whole organic lamb carcass, explaining the provenance of the animal, the classic butchers cuts, the quality of the meat, and typical dishes cooked from each joint.

Steve will then demonstrate how to respectfully take apart a whole side of lamb, before handing over his saws and cleavers to us to take apart the other side, under his expert guidance.

You’ll learn how to bone out, roll and stuff various joints, readIllustration: www.walternewton.y for the oven. Always finishing with a sit down dinner of delicious slow-cooked lamb – usually chump chops with butter beans and salsa verde, plus lamb curry with rice and raita.

At the end of the course you’ll also take home your oven-ready boned and rolled roasting joint to cook at home!


*These are the last two courses available until Autumn, so don’t delay! Book today!*

Treat Yourself

Kitchen Essentials: Illustration:

Alongside our forthcoming Forage and Cook course, we have a fantastic selection of other Loaf Cookery School courses coming up in April to whet your spring cooking appetite. Go on, treat yourself.

April 2014 Courses

Cooking Meat – Tuesday 8th April

Butchery: Perfect Poultry – Tuesday 15th April

Forage & Cook – Wednesday 16th April

Handmade Pasta  – Tuesday 22nd April (one place available)

Knife Skills – Wednesday 30th April

Why not?! Find out more here: or call Nancy on 0121 458 7682

Butchery: Nose to Tail Lamb

IMG_6779Last night saw another great collaboration with local artisan butcher Steve Rossiter, as Loaf ran it’s first lamb butchery workshop. We started off the evening with a grand tour of the locally reared organic Texel lamb that Steve had brought along, pointing out the familiar and the unfamiliar cuts. Steve then got to work on one side of the lamb, showing us the traditional butchers cuts. Under his expert guidance, he then passed over his knives and saws to the students, who got to work on the other side of the lamb, taking off first the leg, then the breast, chump, loin, rack, shoulder, and finally the neck – all done very skillfully!

We then had a break to eat our starter – chump chops with cannelini beans and salsa verde, washed down with a nice Cote du Rhone. It was back to the butchery soon though as Steve demonstrated how to bone out all of the joints we’d created, giving us lots of tips on knife skills. He then demonstrated stuffing and rolling on the breast of lamb joint (stuffed with a nice dry spiced chickpea stuffing), and taught us all how to tie proper butchers knots. The students then picked the joint they’d like to take home, and stuffed and rolled it themselves. IMG_6801Finally we sat down to a beautiful slow cooked neck of lamb curry with basmati rice and cucumber raita. All in all it was a fantastic evening, and I learnt just as much as the students. Steve is an incredibly talented butcher who shares his huge knowledge and passion with gladness and patience. It makes me realise just how important it is to cherish the artisans we have around us, in any area, but especially in food.

Our next Butchery: Nose to Tail Lamb is on the 10th November, 6.30-9.30pm, and there’s still spaces – book now by emailing

A Butchers Apprentice

I just spent an enjoyable hour with Steve Rossiter at his butchers shop in Bournville. Steve showed me around his meat hanging cold rooms, we chatted about the business a bit, and then he proceeded to demonstrate how to take apart a side of lamb. It’s fascinating to watch a craftsman at work, and even though he slowed down for me, he still did it bloomin’ quick! I’m getting really excited about our next collaboration, a Lamb Butchery workshop on the 20th October. I really like working with Steve, and love having the opportunity to put on courses like this for people, mainly because I just want to learn it all myself too! I’ll be writing the course description for the workshop up in the next few days, so stay peeled to the cookery school pages for that. In the meantime, here’s a pic of Steve at work with his meat cleaver splitting a lamb in half:

Steve Rossiter

A Tale of Two Roasts

I don’t know about you but I associate family weddings with many things – quaint village churches, posh marquees, champagne, trying to remember the names of your cousins, tipsy uncles, and oddly, the smell of pork fat dripping into an open fire. I think I was about 6 when I first saw a whole dead pig, and it was not in a happy state, a pole inserted all the way painfully through it’s body, gently turning as flames licked it’s glistening skin. A strange sight for a young city boy like me, but one I was going to have to get used to. Over the years I’ve seen many a pig roast (mainly orchestrated by my uncle Graham, a proper man of the countryside), at weddings, birthdays, anniversary’s and the like. Until now I’ve been merely a spectator (though I ‘commissioned’ one for my own wedding), but over the last two weeks I’ve got a bit more hands-on, to say the least.

IMG_0959Last weekend was my cousins 25th wedding anniversary , and they threw a spectacular weekend long country garden party, with the centerpiece being, you guessed it, a pig roast. This was no small roast thought, it was an epic 45kg, 10 hour long, 3.30am starting pig roast. As we relaxed around the fire on the Friday night with beer, sheesha, a digeridoo that no-one knew how to play, and anticipating tomorrow’s epic feast, I quizzed my cousin David and uncle Graham about the finer details of how they had affixed the poor swine to the spit, how long it would take, what kind of wood they were burning, and exactly how many spit-roasts they had done.  These questions weren’t just polite chitter-chatter though, I was secretly petrified about the following weekend – I had agreed to roast a whole lamb on a spit for my brothers 30th birthday, and wanted to know every last detail.

IMG_0971My cousin David had volunteered to do the early shift and got the pig on at 3.30am. As campers awoke from slumber, the pig turning duty was passed around the party-goers. I eventually got my shift at about 10.30am. After 10 hours on the spit, the pig was finally removed at 1.30pm. Together with David and Graham, I dived in to the carving enthusiastically, taking Grahams lead of course. The pork was served with heaps of salads, homemade apple sauce and bread rolls, and easily fed the 60 or so people in attendance, with heaps of leftovers.


Onto this weekend then and my first start-to-finish, nose-to-tail spit-roast. My brother and I picked up our ‘beyond organic’ devonshire lamb from the Real Meat Company at 7.30am, and headed straight out to rural Berkshire to get our fire started. IMG_1065Sadly it wasn’t quite nose-to-tail as they apparently remove the head as standard. When the fire was roaring, brother and I set about affixing the 20kg beast onto an ash pole. The spit went through the abdominal cavity and out through the anus – the pelvic bone gripping the pole nice and tight (so tight in fact, we needed a club hammer to force the pole through!). IMG_1073We then forced the hind legs under some battening that was fixed to the spit, and nailed each leg to the battening, followed by binding round some metal wire as extra security. The same was done with the fore legs, and the neck was screwed onto the spit. Finally we inserted a metal pipe through the rib cage on either side and wired this to the spit, and wired the back of the lamb to the pipe to keep it nice and close to the pole throughout, avoiding as much movement as possible as the spit turns.IMG_1082 I scored the lamb all over and then massaged it with olive oil, rosemary, and loads of Maldon sea salt. At 10.10 it finally went on the spit, slightly to the side of the fire, it’s belly covered in foil to prevent over-cooking. And there it stayed, turning slowly by hand (mainly mine, but also my mum’s, wife’s and my brother’s father-in-law), until 5.30pm when it was due to be served up. We’d taken off the foil around the belly at about 3.30 to colour up it’s middle and by the end it was looking proper tasty. My brother and I got stuck in with our carving knives and it easily fed the 40 or so guests, accompanying the new potatoes, abundant salad, and homemade mint sauce. It’s a great experience to have done it from start to finish, and I can’t wait for the next big family event so I can do it all over again!

The lamb soon after putting over the fire

Me (right) and my brother with the cooked lamb.

Lovely succulent lamb being carved

Butchery Course a Roaring Success

IMG_5290Wednesday evening saw Loaf Cookery School’s first butchery course, and an exciting collaboration with local master butcher Steve Rossiter. Steve proved himself to be a natural teacher, and the enthusiastic students warmed to him immediately, and took eagerly to applying the techniques they had learned to produce some stunning dishes. Trying to lead the evening and take decent photographs proved a bit too much for me, however you can see a few shots showing what we did below. We jointed, spatchcocked and butterflied our way through the evening, and ended up with a veritable feast at the end, all washed down with a nice glass of red wine. On the menu was Raz el Hanout tagine chicken legs with minted cous cous, chorizo-stuffed chicken breast wrapped in streaky bacon, spatchcocked poussin with lemon and wild garlic, and chicken liver and wild leaf salad. Sadly I didn’t get any shots of the finished dishes, but I have included a ‘one-I-made-earlier’ photo of the wrapped chicken breast below. One of the most exciting things for me was having a 15-year old lad on the course who is an aspiring young chef looking to study catering at UCB. He was eager to learn, and I was secretly jealous that I wasn’t as in to food at his age as he is – not many 15 year olds know how to butcher a chicken and turn it into fancy, delicious dishes like he does now. Steve and I are keen to do more courses together in the future, so stay peeled to the cookery school page for upcoming dates.

IMG_5263IMG_5267IMG_5281chorizo-stuffed chickenIMG_5283

Course Spotlight: Butchery

I’m really excited about some of our upcoming new courses, not least the Butchery workshop that we’re running in collaboration with master butcher Steve Rossiter on the 14th April. Steve is a bit of a local legend around these parts, founding Birmingham’s first organic registered butchers in Mary Vale Rd, Bournville. Steve has agreed to help me run an evening workshop where we explore beak-to-tail butchery of poultry birds, along with some tasty and impressive ways of cooking them.

butchery poultry logo

We’ll start the evening with a whole chicken (one between two). Steve will then teach us how to respectfully joint it, and show us what else we can do with the various joints. Then I’ll take over, and lead us in some fantastic chicken recipes that show off your new found butchery skills and taste amazing too! We’ll be making butterflied chicken breast stuffed with homemade chorizo, chicken Raz al Hanout with minted cous cous, and pan fried chicken livers with a wild green salad. Anything we don’t cook, you get to take home and show off your new skills with!

The first course is on Wednesday 14th April from 6.30pm-9.30pm, and is a snip at just £50, which includes all the ingredients and equipment, course notes, and a full stomach! There’s still a few places available, so email to book your place!

Fingers crossed, we’re going to be able to offer a lamb-in-a-day type butchery experience in the Summer too!