Slow cooked belly pork, butter glazed scallops, apple jus

The Recipes / Meat

The Alverton & The Greenbank, Cornwall

1kg boned pork belly
Few sprigs fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 apple, roughly chopped

8-12 scallops (2 per person)
Fresh lemon juice

250ml red wine
250ml apple juice

Serves 4-6

Buy plump fresh scallops from your fishmonger, and ask them to remove the muscle from the side of the scallop. It won’t hurt you but it doesn’t eat well.

Start cooking the belly a day in advance. Mix all the flavouring ingredients with a little salt and pepper and coat the pork. Place in a roasting tray, add a small cup of water, cover and cook at 150˚C for around 3 hours until the meat is tender. You can test it by gently pulling a piece of meat from the edge with a fork, when it should fall away. Drain off and keep the liquid for the sauce, and press the meat under a weighted small tray; tins of beans work well! Press overnight in the fridge. The next day remove and portion into the sizes you require. I would advise 180g as a good portion, as the pork will lose weight while cooking.

Use the cooking liquor to make the sauce. Skim off any fat and reduce by half, leave all the bits and pieces in the stock for flavour and sieving after it has reduced. In a separate pan reduce 250ml each of red wine and apple juice by half, add the reduced stock and bring to the simmer. Skim any fat from the top. This will give you the basic sauce; I would keep reducing the sauce until it starts to thicken and shine. One way to make your sauces shiny is to pop a spoonful of redcurrant jelly in at the end, but be careful as it will add sweetness: it can go in but you can’t take it out! So a little at a time is perfect.

Roast the pre-portioned pork belly in a 200˚C oven: it will take approximately 25 minutes to crisp and heat. And if you have any crackling from the skin, great; put it in as well to heat and crisp. Warm the sauce.

20 minutes in, heat a good non-stick pan; it needs to be hot. Lightly season and oil the scallops and quickly – so as to ensure even cooking time – place them around the hot pan. After a minute, turn the scallops in the order they went in. Cook for another minute, then add a dollop of butter and a squeeze of lemon and remove from the heat. Place on kitchen towel to stop them overcooking in the hot pan.

Remove the pork from the oven and arrange in the middle of warm plates. Add the scallops and sauce to taste; with the sauce less is more. Serve the remaining sauce in a separate jug. Add crackling if present. Dish is shown here served with black pudding bon bons, peas and pea puree, but is equally beautiful accompanied with summer vegetables or a crisp green salad.