Brasserie Blanc has brand-new spring menu recipes, inspired by Raymond Blanc’s travels around the world.

mcith_pork.jpgFrom a Chinese-inspired gunpowder chicken to a smoked pork belly with rhubarb compote, Raymond’s love of travel combines with classic French dishes for an exciting fusion of flavours this spring.  

Smoked Pork Belly with Rhubarb Compote

Serves 4


For the rhubarb compote

1 ½ tsp coriander seeds

2 small onions, diced

150g caster sugar

180ml cider vinegar

40g ginger, peeled and grated

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

1 tsp chilli powder

2 tsp salt

2-3 Bramley apples (approx.. 300g once peeled and diced)

600g forced rhubarb, chopped

For the pork belly

1kg pork belly, skin scored

1 tbsp sea salt

1 large onion peeled and cut into wedges

For the poached rhubarb

300g forced rhubarb, cut into 5cm pieces

60g caster sugar

For the pork gravy

2 tsp flour

125ml white wine

1-2 sprigs of marjoram, leaves picked and finely chopped

For the sautéed potatoes

750g new potatoes, boiled or steamed and then cut into quarters lengthways

75g butter

Small bunch of parsley, finely chopped

Salt and pepper


1.     To make the compote, put the coriander seeds into a small frying pan and toast until fragrant. Transfer to a pestle and mortar and coarsely grind.

2.     Tip the seeds into a large casserole pan along with the remaining ingredients except for the apple and rhubarb. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved then boil for 10 minutes.

3.     Add the apple and rhubarb, turn down the heat and simmer gently for a further 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside four heaped tablespoons and decant the rest into sterilised jars.

4.     To cook the pork belly, preheat the oven to 190ºC/170º fan. Pat the pork belly dry with kitchen paper and rub the salt all over the skin. Place the onion wedges in a roasting tin with the pork belly on top, skin-side up, and roast for 1 hour.

5.     In the last 20 minutes of the first stage of pork cooking time, arrange your rhubarb snugly in a single layer in a small baking dish with sides, sprinkle over the sugar so the rhubarb is well coated and cover with foil. After 15 minutes, remove the foil and cook for a further 5 minutes. The rhubarb should be tender but still hold its shape. Set aside.

6.     Once the pork has had an hour in the oven, increase the temperature to 220º/200ºfan and roast for a further 20 minutes until the crackling is crisp. Transfer the pork to a carving board and cover with foil while you make the gravy.

7.     Spoon off any excess fat from the roasting juices, then place the roasting tin on the hob over a gentle heat. Add the flour and stir into the meat juices, scraping all the caramelized bits from the bottom of the tin. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken then gradually pour in the wine, stirring vigorously and then bring up to the boil. Check the consistency and add a splash more liquid if required. Taste and season then sieve into a saucepan. Stir in the marjoram.

8.     For the potatoes, melt the butter in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add the potatoes and sauté until golden brown. Drain off the excess butter and toss with the parsley, salt and pepper.

9.     Reheat the rhubarb and gravy and carve the pork. To serve, spoon the chutney onto one side of each plate, followed by the poached rhubarb. Place a pile of potatoes on the other side of the plates with the pork belly in the middle. Pour the sauce and serve immediately.

N.B the compote recipe will make more than you need but will keep for at least a year in sterilised jars so you can easily make this step in advance to save time.