Food&Wine editor Dee Laffan took part in a four-day cookery course at the renowned River Cottage HQ in Axminster, England.

The hands-on courses, which can be of one to four days' duration, feature the best in seasonal cooking. The focus is on local produce, with a nose-to-tail approach and there are courses on a variety of subjects from meat to pastry, baking to foraging.

We have a trio of recipes to share, complete with tips from the River Cottage team: 


Hand Raised Pork Pies

These traditional English pork pies are made with a hot pastry that is used to mould the pie using your hands. It's a fun recipe to make for any keen bakers and a great dish for a picnic, to be eaten cold.


Wild Garlic Pesto

What better way to make use of this seasonal ingredient that is plentiful in the UK and Ireland, usually between March and May. This pesto keeps well in the fridge and in this recipe is made a bit runnier so that it can be used as a dressing for pasta. 


Mackerel Stuffed With Salsa Verde 

Mackerel is in season in April also and a fantastic fish to try your hand at filleting. In this recipe, it is lightly stuffed with a fresh spring salsa that goes really well with this fish. Even the tails are used and make a great garnish, but were super tasty too! 

For more information on River Cottage Cookery School, click here.