Monday, 29 September 2014

Stag Part 1: Farmer Sharp Butchery Class

As I said in my last post, the stag do could make a whole post in and of itself.  In fact, now that I have been through the many a voluminous pictures that emerged, it's going to make three.

Basically, the best man organising the stag, Greg, knows how much I like food.  He also clearly likes me enough to make it a good stag, rather than one of these horrific booze-and-strippers events in Ashford.  So that was a relief.

I was given my marching orders: London Bridge at 9.45 am.  For what I did not know.  So, with not just a little foreboding, I made my way towards Borough Market where I was greeted by a gang of my closest mates and a dude with a lot of very big and sharp knives. 

No, seriously.

Fortunately, this man was Andrew "Farmer" Sharp, and he was to teach us a thing or two about butchery.

The unfortunate victim of the day was a muntjac, a kind of small deer that is widely considered to be a pest on Britain's shores.




Having kicked off his career as a butcher from the tender age of 13, Farmer Sharp (who, it turns out, is no farmer – the name was appointed to him by a long standing customer who assumed that, wearing a flat cap and selling meat, he simply must be a farmer) knows what he's talking about – both in terms of the meat and the butchery.  After a brief lesson about knives – what's best to buy, how to sharpen blades and general knife care, we set about the beast with reckless abandon.

Actually, that's not quite true.  We set about the beast under careful and considered tuition.  All accompanied by Farmer Sharp's biting and sometimes brutal (but always well earned) humour.  

















At the end, when we'd all taken a turn in carving away – and very well done to him for making sure that the butchery was evenly spread amongst all 20 of us chaps – Farmer Sharp set about cleaning and tidying up our hacked about efforts, and finishing off the parts we hadn't done.  It was a wonder to behold – his working over of the final parts of the carcass was like watching a dance, so fluid and swift and precise were his movements.  




The service Farmer Sharp offers is fantastic.  He's great with a bunch of lads for a stag do (although, clearly, one has to lay off the drink until after you've finished mucking about with the knives – if you don’t have that kind of restraint, why not go paintballing instead, eh?).  He's funny, a good teacher and a very easy going person, which makes him great for these kind of informal but informative sessions.  He's keen to kick off a new strand to his butchery class business by running corporate social events, which I think would be a fantastic thing to do and very different to the usual dross you get at those sorts of do's.  All the best to him, I say.

And what to do with all that meat?  Well, come back in a few days to find out...


- GrubsterBoy -

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