Blog | Spanish farmhouse near Seville | B&B Aracena | Self-catering cottages Andalucia

The blog of Finca Buenvino Bed & Breakfast near Aracena, Seville, Andalucia, Spain in the Sierra de Aracena National Park. Set amongst a chestnut and cork-oak forest we operate as a family B&B and self-catering holiday cottages. We run cookery courses, photography courses, creative writing retreats and fitness retreats. Hiking trails and stunning views.

De Matanza

It’s half past seven; Sunday night, and the mist on the hills has faded into darkness. We’re all up at the house again, and it’s hot baths and showers for everyone; to get rid of the smell of garlic and paprika, pepper, and pig’s blood.

After two days’ of work we have 8 Iberian hams and 8 shoulders  pre-salted and hanging in the shed, along with chorizos, morcilla tonta, salchichón and cañas de lomo.

Thank you all for your hard work, Jeannie, Celeste, Inmaculada, Juan David, Fingal, Ivan, Alex, Cristina, Joanna, and Ted, Jago and Charlie, Eduardo, Alquin and Joris; and thank you Tim for your lovely photos of an often unlovely activity.


Yesterday morning we were up at 8, supping coffee and toast before climbing up the hill to meet those not staying. Eduardo, Celeste and Juan David from Los Marines, and Inmacualada from Cortelazor. Later that morning we were joined by Alfredo from Seville, and Mercedes and Maria Jose from Jerez.

We had the Irish crew: Fingal Ferguson of Gubbeen smokehouse, who arrived with one of his wonderful knives  and also Ted Berner and Ivan Whelan and also Cristina and Joanna  (from Dingle and Dublin respectively).

By 9 am the four pigs were slaughtered, and driven down to the workshed in the trailer. By midday the animals were butchered, the vet had passed them as being trichinosis free, and we were able to start separating the various meat cuts, removing excessive fat and sorting them into separate bowls for mincing and marinading for each type of sausage.

Lunch was prepared, with bottled tomatoes from our summer harvest, cooked up with olive oil, garlic, onions, oregano (which we’d picked in the forest and dried last June) and then with the addition of spare ribs of iberian pork, and one of the livers sliced into chunks.  This was cooked by me in a huge pot and took most of the morning. We served it up in ceramic bowls with slices of crusty country bread; cheese to follow; oranges and tangerines, and magdalenas and coffee.

Everyone sat down together and enjoyed the meal, accompanied by mosto wine from the Aljarafe of Seville.

Then back to work until dusk, and a jolly dinner at the main house.

Today we returned to the sheds after a breakfast of fresh Burgos-style black puddings (rice, cumin, onions, blood, salt and pepper) and Scottish black puddings (oatmeal, cloves, nutmeg onions, blood, salt, pepper and a pinch of dark cocoa), bacon and farm eggs.

For lunch we had the typical cocido, (onions and garlic, turmeric, chickpeas previously soaked overnight, peeled potatoes, salted pieces of spine, lung and tongue, boiled up slowly with a tablespoon of sweet páprika and a dash of black pepper and chilli). Otherwise lunch took the same format as yesterday, with a few people less.

By nightfall the bulk of the work was done.

For pictures of the work see Tim's blog: