Rich and filling, this pork belly recipe from Robert Thompson features a dream combination of pork, pasta and lobster on one plate. You will need to start the recipe a few days ahead, but the planning is well worth the meal

Method
1.
Bring all the brine ingredients to the boil in a large pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Allow to cool completely. Submerge the pork belly in the cooled brine, ideally leave for 2-3 days which will improve the pork's flavour
2.
Put the lobster in a freezer. This will render it insensate. Boil some water. Once the lobster is insensate, place it on its back with its claws tied and hold it firmly by the top of its head
Desensitizing a lobster
If it is still resistant to being handled or has control of its limbs, leave it in the freezer. It may take several hours for the lobster to become insensate
3.
Place the tip of a very sharp chef's knife on the head just beneath its mouth, lining the blade up with the lobster’s midline with the blade side pointed toward its tail. The first cut should be directed forwards toward the head, and the second backwards down the midline towards the tail
4.
Pierce the lobster’s head downward, then place the knife tip just to the body side of the junction of its tail and thorax and cut through the midline. The procedure must not take more than 10 seconds. For diagrams and more detailed information, visit the RSPCA’s website or watch our how to video
5.
Once the lobster is dead, pull the head away from the tail and pull the claws off. Cook the tail in simmering water for 3 minutes and the claws for 5. Put both into iced water for 5 minutes. Drain
6.
Remove all the flesh from the cooked body and tail. Crack the claws and extract all the flesh. Dice the claw and knuckle meat and slice the tails each into 6 pieces
7.
Remove the belly from the brine and rinse very well. Braise the pork belly with olive oil and cook with a sprig of thyme at 170°C/Gas mark 3 for 2 ½ hours
8.
Remove from the oven then cool rapidly in the fridge
9.
Press the cooled pork between two trays - with a heavy weight placed on the top tray - overnight in the fridge
10.
Then, make the pasta. In a food processer blend the flour with a good pinch of salt and a little olive oil. Add the egg yolks and the whole egg then slowly add the water. Knead until completely smooth. Rest the dough in the fridge for at least one hour
11.
Roll out 300g of the pasta dough down to number 2 on a pasta machine, then cook in a large pan of boiling water in a whole piece for 1-2 minutes, refresh and drain. Cut out 12 rectangles
12.
For the béchamel sauce, warm the milk in a pan on a low heat for 15-20 minutes, infusing the milk with the chopped onion, bay leaf and peppercorns
VideoVideo: Make a béchamel sauce
13.
Melt the butter in a pan and add the flour. Bring together and cook over a moderate heat for 2 minutes mixing continuously
14.
Slowly add the warm infused milk and continue cooking for a further 5 minutes, stirring constantly. To finish add the cheese and seasoning
15.
To assemble the cannelloni, reserve 12 of the best slices of cep and set aside. Sauté the remaining cep in a pan with a little butter and olive oil until softened. Add the chopped lobster (keep back the sliced meat) to the sautéed cep and add enough béchamel to bind. Season
16.
Lay out the rectangles of pasta and place a spoonful of the cep and lobster mixture on each, and carefully roll up into nice neat tubes. Place 3 cannelloni’s together on silicone paper ready for steaming – repeat with the remaining portions
17.
Slice the pork belly into 4 long rectangles, then heat a little vegetable oil in a non-stick pan and colour the skin side of each piece of belly. Transfer to the oven and roast at 190˚C/Gas mark 5 for 4-6 minutes until hot in the centre
18.
Steam the pieces of cannelloni for 2-3 minutes and carefully arrange on 4 warmed plates with the pork belly. Sauté the reserved ceps and lobster pieces in a little butter, arranging around the side of the plate
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Corney & Barrow matching wine

Find out why Corney & Barrow match this Pork belly recipe with a medium and round red wine, or a light and crisp white wine

Ingredients

Lobster and cep mix

Pork belly

  • 1.5kg of pork belly
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 1 dash of olive oil
  • vegetable oil

Pasta dough

Béchamel sauce

Brine

Equipment

  1. Food processor or blender
  2. Pasta machine
  3. Steamer

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Pork belly is slow cooked to perfection in this remarkable recipe also featuring lobster and earthy cep mushrooms. Béchamel sauce adds to this pork belly recipe