Slow cooked island pork belly with local lobster and cep cannelloni

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Rich and filling, this pork belly recipe from Robert Thompson features a dream combination of pork, pasta and lobster - all on one plate. You will need to start the recipe a few days ahead, but you can rest assured that planning ahead will result in a truly memorable experience.

First published in 2015




Lobster and cep mix

Pork belly

Pasta dough

Béchamel sauce



  • Food processor or blender
  • Pasta machine
  • Steamer


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
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
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
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
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
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
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
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • olive oil
Remove from the oven then cool rapidly in the fridge
Press the cooled pork between two trays - with a heavy weight placed on the top tray - overnight in the fridge
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
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
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
Melt the butter in a pan and add the flour. Bring together and cook over a moderate heat for 2 minutes mixing continuously
Slowly add the warm infused milk and continue cooking for a further 5 minutes, stirring constantly. To finish add the cheese and seasoning
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
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
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
  • vegetable oil
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
First published in 2015

Robert Thompson's cooking is full of character and classical skill.

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