Weekend at River Cottage 

 Trinity Hill Rd, Axminster EX13 8TB

Last weekend we were lucky enough to be invited to River Cottage HQ on the Dorset-Devon border to be put to work on a two day cookery course…

Early (well early for us) on Saturday morning we were loaded into the back of a tractor before trundling down a bouncy track, each of us craning our necks for that first glimpse of River Cottage.

With much excitement we were shown to what would be our home for the next two days…

A bright barn with glass running along the whole of the one side giving us superb views across the rolling hills…

After quick breakfast of freshly baked cinnamon rolls…we were ready to be put to work.

We had the fantastic Matt as our teacher – who made the most complicated or fiddly procedure look simple. An Aussie who’s cheffing career has seen him work all over the world!

Rather than boring you with laborious explanations on how each dish was created I thought i’d share with you a mish-mash of snaps that illustrate our fantastic weekend!

Pretty chuffed with my loaf of bread…an arm-aching process but worth it.

We also made a Sour Dough loaf which was left to prove in special proving bowl…

Marmaduke – my furry friend for the weekend – who was particularly affectionate after…

We were taught how to fillet fish (both flat and round)…

Before whipping up the freshest of lunches – pan-fried Pollock served with baby leeks, cavallo nero and a lemon butter sauce.

For dessert we got to taste our vanilla panna cotta we had made earlier…not being a massive fan of all things creamy/custard-like I was a bit dubious before my first bite…however as soon as it reached my taste-buds I was a panna cotta convert!

Really recommend serving with blood oranges – cuts through any sickliness.

For Sunday’s lunch – A Beef Stew with pancetta, passatta and lamb stock which we left bubbling all day constantly topping it up with liquid.

By the time it came around to eating the meat was ridiculously tender and almost melted in your mouth with little need to chew…served with an onion porridge!

Matt even showed us how to Hot and Cold smoke some of the fish we had filleted – by salting it first – so simple yet so delicious.

What a fantastic weekend…we all came away with so many new skills and new ideas for meals we are going to create at home! Beware if you are invited around to ours for dinner soon..

The Burp Blog’s Verdict: Five out of Five Forks

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