My Recipe from ITV’s Best Dish- The Chefs


Ok, so I didn’t win but it was a great experience cooking in a studio (the old Top of the Pops studio at the BBC no less!). Here’s my recipe, I stand by the fact that you can’t beat Gary’s pork from Butts Farm just outside of Cirencester, if you haven’t already tried it pay them a visit!

Butts Farm Sandy & Black Pork

Onion & Honey Bear Puree, Cheltenham Beetroot, Watercress, Apple,

Hock & Smoked Eel Lasagne


  • 1 Short loin of Butts Farm Sandy & Black Pork
  • 1 Butts Farm Sandy & Black hock (this will be my prepared ingredient arriving cooked in cooking liquor)
  • 1 large White Onion
  • 1 bottle Cotswold Spring Brewery Honey Bear Wheat Beer
  • 2 Cheltenham Beetroot
  • 2 x 250g Netherend Unsalted Butter
  • 1 x Wow Micro Herbs Punnet – Watercress
  • 100ml Cotswold Gold Smoked Rapeseed Oil
  • 275g 00 Pasta Flour (Plus a little extra for rolling the pasta)
  • 4 large Free Range Eggs
  • 150ml Vegetable Oil for cooking
  • 50 ml Olive Oil
  • 4 large Banana Shallots
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 bunch of Sage
  • 1 large Sprig of Thyme
  • 1 small Leek
  • 200ml Cotteswold Dairy Double Cream
  • 4 large leaves Cavalo Nero from Red Star Growers
  • 2 rashers Butts Farm Streaky Bacon
  • 1 pinch Vitamin C Powder
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • Maldon Sea Salt for seasoning
  • Black peppercorns in pepper mill for seasoning
  • 1 lemon for seasoning
  • 100g Reggiano Parmesan
  • 10g Caster Sugar
  • 15g Wholegrain Mustard
  • 100g Skinned Smoked Eel Fillet from Flying Fish Seafood
  • 1 bunch Flat Leaf Parsley
  • 20ml White Wine
  • 1 Spartan Apple




  1. Pre-prepared Hock, 1 Ham Hock, 200ml chicken stock, 1 sprig sage, 1 crushed clove garlic, 1 carrot chopped, 1 stick celery, 2 banana shallots chopped, 5 black  peppercorns, 1 juniper berry, 1 star anise, place all the ingredients in a large vac pak bag and seal tightly, place in a waterbath at 85 degrees and cook for 24 hours until the hock is falling from the bone, place in a large ice bath for 1 hour to chill then rmove from bag and place into a clean bag and reseal, it is now ready to use as per recipe.
    1. Wrap the Cheltenham Beetroot in foil with 25g butter, sprig of thyme and bake at 160oc for 35-40 minutes
    2. Peel & slice onions. Place in a cold pan with 20 ml vegetable oil, 50g butter, 5g Maldon salt, 10g caster sugar, then place on the heat with a lid on for 20 mins stirring occasionally. Then remove lid and add 100ml honey bear and reduce until the liquid is almost evaporated then blitz in Thermomix at 80 degrees for 8 minutes, season and reserve until required
    3. Remove the skin from the pork loin and prepare the loin, roll it in cling film tightly, place in a Vac Pak bag and add a sprig of sage, ¼ clove garlic sliced & 50g butter, Seal and place in Water bath at 59oc for 40 minutes
    4. Take the removed pork skin and trim excessive fat, cut into thin long strips and season with table salt & pepper add a touch of vegetable oil. Place the strips in between 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper top and bottom, bake at 160 degrees for 20-30 minutes until crisp may take longer or require a temperature increase.
    5. Place 00 pasta flour, eggs & olive oil into the Thermomix and blitz at speed 6 for 10-20 seconds until crumb like, place in a bowl and bring dough together until smooth, wrap in Clingfilm and rest in fridge for 15-20 minutes. Put pan of water on at this point ready to blanch pasta.
    6. Place ½ tub of watercress & smoked rapeseed oil into the Thermomix and blitz with a pinch of Vitamin C powder to retain the colour, season with salt and pepper and pass through a fine sieve and place into a small squeezy bottle and place in fridge to be served later.
    7. Finely dice 2 banana shallots, ½ carrot, ½ leek & ½ clove garlic sweat it in a little vegetable oil, remove hock from cooking liquor and warm the liquor, pass and ass 200ml of the liquor to the vegetables, reduce by half and add 200 ml double cream and reduce by half again, pick the meat off the hock and add to cream reduction, dice smoked eel & Chop flat leaf parsley add to mix and leave to cool slightly.
    8. Remove pasta from fridge and run through a pasta machine down to setting 8 then cut into suitable size rounds 3 per portion and blanch in boiling water for 20-30 seconds to set the pasta and then refresh in ice water, pat dry and layer up in small copper pans with the hock mix, grate over the parmesan using the Microplain and place in over at 160oc for 10-12 minutes.

10.Unwrap beetroot and remove skin, cut each beetroot in half and place on a tray with a little butter, salt and pepper ready to be flashed through the oven just before serving.

11.Remove pork from the Waterbath and remove it from the bag, unwrap the cling film and pat dry, season with salt and pepper and place in hot pan to seal the outside, once sealed turn down the heat, add 50g butter, sprig of sage & ½ clove garlic and carry on colouring the pork in the butter basting as you go, remove from the pan after a couple of minutes and rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

12.Slice streaky bacon, 1 banana shallot and sweat in a pan with a little vegetable oil, add 50g of butter, slice the Cavalo Nero and add it to the pan, add splash white wine and cover the pan with a lid, steam for 1-2 minutes then season with salt and pepper

13.Place beetroot in the oven to reheat, remove the lasagne and reheat the onion puree, carve the meat, slice the apple batons and then dress the dish, finish with watercress oil and serve.



The Pork will be placed on top of the Cavalo Nero on the left hand side of the plate, a swipe of the onion puree will be on the right hand side of the plate with the beetroot, watercress & apple arranged on top of that & the watercress and smoked rapeseed oil dressing will go around the whole dish. The lasagne will be served in individual small copper pans served on a small slate.


Best Pork Dish