Shaun Dickens of the Boathouse in Henley shares his recipes with Standard readers.
THIS is a great little starter we have on at the restaurant at the moment. It has a great heat and meatiness about it and works really well with the squid. It can be made at home to be a starter or main course and could be bulked out with a fresh salad or couscous.
1kg pork belly
1litre chicken stock, 1 garlic, 5 sprigs thyme, pinch of salt and pepper
6 spring onions
10 baby onions
5 fresh jalapeņos
150ml white wine vinegar
Juice of a lemon
Score the pork belly skin and place in a deep oven-proof dish. Cover with the chicken stock, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper, then cover with foil and cook at 140e_SDgrC for seven hours. Take the belly out on to a tray and chill in the fridge until cold. Portion into the desired size. Pan fry with a little oil and salt until golden and crisp.
Place the baby onions in aluminium foil, sprinkle a little olive oil and salt and wrap into a little parcel, and roast in the oven for 30 minutes at 170e_SDgrC. Take out of the foil and peel for a beautiful sweet onion.
Blanch the spring onion for 30 seconds in lightly salted water. Drain and then place onto a hot griddle pan to get a nice caramelisation and smoky flavour. Slice the jalapeņos into thin discs. Bring the water, vinegar and sugar to the boil and add the peppers, bring back to the boil, then take off the heat and leave to cool.
Portion the squid into 2in triangles, and fry in a red hot frying pan and season with salt and lemon juice. To finish, use a little of the pickling liquid with some oil to dress the onions and serve with the warm belly and squid.