Fragrant Crispy Pork Belly with Parsnip Puree

My wife showed me some pictures my youngest sister posted on Facebook last night. She and her husband (check that; her husband – my youngest sister is married. How old am I?) treated themselves to a trip to The Fat Duck, home of the food wizard-cum-scientist Heston Blooming-utter-nutter-thal or whatever his name is.

She noted that the menu took about three hours to get through, which it should do given it’s £200-a-head. The pictures of the food items looked very familiar – and they are to many foodies of course because you see them on TV – whisky jellies, snail porridge (which looked alarmingly green – I mean like fluorescent green), various foams, foggy mist-like creations and so on.

Heston Blumenthal is an interesting character – well known over here in Blightly; elsewhere I don’t know. He is the antithesis of the better known Gordon Ramsay. Where ‘G’ is a shouty, sweary cartoon-like creation, Hessie is more menacing – shaven-headed, thick rimmed spectacles, piercing stare.

But my personal preference in the celebrity cook stakes is Tom Kerridge. A man mountain, Kerridge cooks things that I can relate to – food you can find in a gastropub. Things like bacon joints braised in maple syrup, carrots cooked in loads of salt, butter and sugar…you get the idea.

But just because it’s food that you understand, and looks like something you recognise, doesn’t make it any easier to cook. Oh no. Try pork belly.

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Slow Roast Pork Belly with Additional Bacon (because one pig ingredient is never enough)

You know when you do something by the numbers? To the letter. You don’t deviate from the path. You follow the instructions. Step-by-step.

And it still goes wrong. It doesn’t work, or it tastes weird, whatever it might be.

Sometimes I actually quite enjoy it when things go wrong. Take my ‘homemade Crunchie bar’. Total disaster but much more interesting reading than if it had gone to plan. Or my ‘prolapsed pear and chocolate pastry’. Looked like it had erupted; great picture!

But for my latest attempt at recreating something I saw being made on TV, it wasn’t that it didn’t look right, it just didn’t taste that great. It was like my school reports – ‘Could have done better’.

Slow Roast Pork Belly with Lentils and Bacon ticks most of the boxes for me – I mean there’s pork belly and bacon in there, so what’s not to like?

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Chicken in a Bun

Now I know what you’re thinking. He’s done a chicken burger. Big deal. But no. Oh no. Not this bad boy. This is, literally, a chicken in a bun. Cock-a-doodle-freakin-do.

Well not an entire chicken. We’ll get to that later. The website I found this on claims to be based on a Tom Kerridge creation (although I couldn’t find anything to corroborate that) so I just took their word for it.

Here’s a picture of Chicken in a Bun.

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