This impressive eel recipe by Robert Thompson makes smoky eel pastries that are packed full of fish flavour and which can be served any time of the day. You can buy trimmed smoked eel from your local fishmonger, but if you do buy a whole eel, allow 100g extra for skinning and trimming.
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Heat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Put the pork belly in a roasting tin into which it fits snugly and cover with the vegetable stock, herbs, garlic, celery and carrots. Cover and braise in the oven for 3 hours. When cooked, lift out and drain
500g of pork belly
1.5l vegetable stock
2 sprigs of thyme
15g of parsley
1 garlic clove
Place the pork belly on a flat metal tray and put another metal tray on top. Weight the top tray down with tins or weights
Let the meat cool at room temperature and then chill in the fridge until completely cold. Peel off the skin and cut off the excess fat, then slice up what is left. Keep the slices cold until ready to use
Roll out the puff pastry into a large rectangle, approximately 5mm thick
500g of puff pastry
Brush the entire surface of the puff pastry with beaten egg yolk and season lightly with Maldon salt and black pepper
1 egg yolk
Slice the trimmed smoked eel very thinly and lay over the pastry leaving a 5cm gap around the edge. This is so you can join the edges neatly when rolling the pastry
300g of smoked eel
Top with a layer of sliced apple, then the Emmental and finally the pork belly. Season again with Maldon salt and pepper
2 Granny Smith apples
Roll the pastry up, away from you, like a Swiss roll. Keep the roll nice and tight. Chill until firm
Heat the oven to 190°C/Gas mark 5. Slice the roll into 5cm thick rounds. Place each round, cut side up, on a silicone mat
Brush lightly with the egg yolk, add a little salt to each pastry and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden and risen