Chef’s Special: Silks Bistro & Champagne Bar, Atlantic Hotel, Newquay

Slow cooked Gloucester Old Spot Belly of Pork and Pork Fillet, pea croquette with a black pudding crumb, pea rillette, sour apple coulis and pea salt.

Slow cooked Gloucester Old Spot

Aaron Janes

Recipe by: Aaron Janes, Head Chef, Silks Bistro & Champagne Bar, Atlantic Hotel, Newquay.

Aaron lives, breaths and dreams food, such is his passion for Silks restaurant that he helped to create back in 2004. His desire is to bring cooking in Cornwall, well and truly into the 21st century by creating classic British dishes with the very best Cornish ingredients.

“I like using only two simple ingredients and do something spectacular with them,” he explains. “As with the pea and pork – cooked in a variety of different ways with the added the element of delight and surprise so that people say, gosh that really tastes of peas!”

“The Gloucester Old Spot for this dish come from Ballardsfield Farm (practically next door to where I live), It’s great to see exactly where and how the pigs are raised. That’s the fantastic thing about Cornwall, sea and farmland is so close by and variety of produce is abundant and when there’s a glut of top quality something in season, I believe it’s best to grab it when you can!”

“The dish is really not as complicated to create as it sounds.  Every stage is really very simple. There are no complicated techniques, it’s just planning and having all the elements ready to use in advance,” Aaron reassures. “Using a water bath ensures that the meat is kept tender, full of flavour and melts in the mouth when you eat it. Having the meat perfectly cooked beforehand means it is instantly ready to be given the last stage of the cooking to order.”

Ingredients (Serves 4)

150g of frozen peas

Cornish sea salt

100g of fresh peas

4 small unripe or early windfall apples

250g of pork belly

100g of black pudding

100g of breadcrumbs

500g of Pork Fillet

50g bacon fat


For the Pea Salt: Place 100g of defrosted frozen peas, with a tablespoon of Cornish sea salt, on a tray and dry in the oven at 98°C for about 5 hours. The appearance should be should bright green. Once dried, put through a coffee grinder. The pea salt will keep for around 2-3 wks in an airtight container.

For the Apple Coulis: Peel, core and dice apples. Boil on a high heat with a shot of brandy, ½ glass of apple juice and 3-4 tablespoons of sugar, until the apples are soft and mushy. The sugar gives a shine and helps to emulsify the apple coulis, however the sauce will keep its sour, sharp taste. Place ingredients in a blender until smooth and pass through a sieve. This can be kept in the fridge in a container until ready to use.

For the Pork Belly: Ask your butcher for a piece of the belly from the centre with the bone removed. Season completely and cook in a steamer or gently boil for 2½ hours. Keep checking the water level to make sure the pork is covered.  Once cooked, press the meat between 2 greaseproof trays to flatten leave in a fridge overnight to solidify. Then peel off the skin to leave just a top layer of fat over the layer of pork belly. Trim and cut into small, approximately 5cm squares. Cut the skin into long strips, place on a greaseproof tray with seasoning, and place another tray onto to make a sandwich effect so that the crackling will not curl when cooked but remain as long, straight pencil lengths. Cook at 180°C for 45 minutes or until the crackling starts to bubble.

For the Pea Croquet: Make a Béchamel sauce and once made add 50g of crushed frozen peas and bind together. Once the sauce is cold, put in a piping bag and pipe into 5cm croquet or sausage shapes onto a tray and freeze these.

For the Black Pudding Crumb: Dice 100g of black pudding and dry in the oven for 3 hours at 100°C so there is no moisture left. Add 100gs of breadcrumbs to the black pudding and whizz in a food processor. Once the pea croquet is frozen, dip it in flour, seasoned beaten egg and then the black pudding breadcrumbs to give a good coating around the croquets.

For the Pork Fillet: Trim and remove sinew and fat. Season liberally and roll in clingfilm to make it airtight. Drop into a water bath at 60.5°C and simmer for 40 minutes. This method keeps the meat moist and very tender.

For the Pea Rillette: Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Drop in a few peas into the water at a time so not as to loose the rolling boil. This is important, or the peas will loose colour. Cook for 5 minutes. Drain and add to blender with a little of the water used for cooking the peas. Add, a teaspoon at a time, the bacon fat to the pea purée. This will emulsify in the peas. Pass the mixture through a sieve and it’s ready to use.

To assemble the dish: Remove the clingfilm once the fillet of pork is cooked. Season with salt and pepper and pan fry in a little olive oil until golden all over. In the same pan season the pork belly and cook fat side down. Drop the pea croquettes into hot oil and fry until golden brown. On the plate, spread the pea rilette with the back of a spoon; place the belly confit, the pea croquette and 3 slices of the pork fillet in a line. Add a little drizzle of pork gravy, some drops of apple coulis. Garnish with pea shoots, pork crackling and season with the pea salt to finish.

Silks Bistro & Champagne Bar, Atlantic Hotel, Dane Road, Newquay, Cornwall, TR7 1EN

Tel: 01637 839048

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