Recipe with Du Cane

CHEF/PATRON of The Ducane, Jonathan Brown, has cooked to the highest standards for more than 25 years in some of the best-known restaurants in the country, starting at the world famous Manoir aux Quat` Saison under Raymond Blanc. Moving up to the North East, he promptly won the North East Chef of the Year Award and gained a coveted Michelin Star. Jonathan was also involved in the opening of Greenwoods Estate in Stock, where he pioneered the use of organic ingredients as a feature of his award-winning diet plans.


For the pork belly

Allow 250g of pork belly per person (boned and cut from the thickest part of the belly)1 carrot (peeled and diced large)1 leek (split lengthways and chopped into large pieces)1 onion (peeled and diced large)1 stick of celery (diced large)2 bay leaves1 red chilliA small bunch of thyme3 cloves of garlic10 peppercorns1 blade of mace1 litre of water� bottle of dry cider25g of granulated sugar6 juniper berriesA small bunch of rosemary


For the sauce

1 tbls of vegetable oil4 juniper berries� bottle of full-bodied red wine2 shallots (chopped)A small bunch of sage (chopped)1 clove of garlic2 shots of sloe gin200g of fresh sloes2 tbls of honey or redcurrant jellyReserved cooking liquor (300ml) or 300ml of good beef stock.1 Bramley apple (peeled, cored and chopped into pieces)

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For the pork belly, place all the ingredients into a deep roasting tray. Bring to a simmer on the top of the stove and add the pork belly with the skin facing upwards, the liquor should barely cover the belly.

Once simmering, cover with tin foil and bake in a slow oven at 150-180 degrees for about six-and-a-half hours. Remove the tin foil and check after two-and-a-half hours. When cooked, the flesh should be tender and the fat on top should be soft.

Remove from the liquor while still warm and lay on a sheet of food wrap and wrap the cooked belly until well sealed. Place on a tray and place another tray on top. Use weights to press and cool in the fridge overnight. Once pressed, remove the wrap and cut into portion pieces. Pan fry skin side down in vegetable oil until it sizzles.

Add a knob of butter and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Without turning over, place the pan in a hot oven at 200-250 degrees and roast for about 15-20 minutes.Carefully lift the belly off the pan. The skin should be very crispy. If it is not, return to the oven, skin side up, until crackling is formed. Season with salt and pepper, and place on a piece of kitchen roll to absorb the fat and serve.

To prepare the sauce, place the oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan and heat for frying. Add the sage, shallots, garlic and apple and fry until lightly coloured. Add the red wine and reduce over a high heat until syrupy. Add the honey or redcurrant jelly, allow to boil and add the stock or liquor. Reduce until a rich sauce is achieved, correct the seasoning and strain through a fine sieve.