Jowled Eel Recipe & Buttermilk Bun

This dish was created as part of Northern Ireland’s Signature Dish, to create a lasting legacy to Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink 2016.

The talent chefs and creative minds behind this fantastic legacy referred to as the ‘cooking collective’, are Niall McKenna from James Street South in Belfast; Ian Orr from Browns Restaurant and Ardtara House in Derry~Londonderry; Kelan McMichael from Bull and Ram in Ballynahinch and Chris McGowan from Wine and Brine in Armagh.

All ingredients used in the dishes have been sourced from Northern Ireland food and drink producers and suppliers. Comber Early Potatoes currently not in season and wild garlic, usually available from late January onwards, must be washed before use.

Preparation Time
Cooking Time
Main Ingredients
  • Smoked eel 150g (Lough Neagh Fisherman’s Co-operative in Toomebridge/Creightons)
  • Pork cheek. 300g (The Meat Merchant in Moira or your good butcher could order it in)
  • Chicken stock. 1 litre (Carol’s stock market or local deli)
  • Chicken wings. 200 grams (Local butchers and Moy Park)
  • Sliced onion 1 Lge (Milgro in Limvady)
  • Garlic cloves. 1 chopped (wild garlic can be found in various locations such as Clare Glen, Co. Armagh. This is a season product availbale late winter and early spring)
  • Leek. 1 no sliced Roy Lyttle leeks
  • Celery 2sticks of celery saving any celery leaf for garnish (local fruit and vegetable shops and supermarkets/ farm shop)
  • Thyme. 1tsp (farm shop)
  • Seaweed /kelp./dulse. 50grms (St George’s market/farm shop)
  • Spring onions 1 bunch (local independent stockists of Roy Lyttle Limited)
  • Butter. 50 gems ( Donnybrewer butter/Dromona)
  • Salt/pepper
Buttermilk Bun
  • Strong flour. 350grams (Andrews Flour)
  • Yeast dried. 15 grams
  • Buttermilk. 250mls (Dale Farm)
  • Sugar. 20grams
  • Salt. 25grams
  • Baking powder. 1tsp
  • Rapeseed oil. 1tbsp (Broighter Gold or Harnetts Oil)

Main Instructions
  1. In a roasting pan, caramelise the chicken wings until golden brown in the oven at 180c. Then in a heavy base pan, season and caramelise the pork cheek and then remove and leave to one side.
  2. In the same pan caramelise the onion with the garlic, leek, celery, thyme, parsley, add the chicken wings and chicken stock, bring to the boil then reduce the heat.
  3. Cook it for 1 hr then pass through a sieve and pour over the cheeks.
  4. Braise for 1 hr then leave to cool in the stock.
  5. To serve place 1 cheek in each warm serving bowl, dice the smoked eel into a 2cm dice and lace in the bowls. Add the trimmings to the braising liquor, slice the spring onions and place on top. Heat the braising liquid and pour over the eel and cheek and serve.
  6. You can use pork belly if you can't get cheek for this recipe.
Buttermilk Bun Instructions
  1. Combine all dry ingredients except the baking powder into a mixing bowl and gradually add the buttermilk to make a bread-like dough.
  2. Cover with cling film and prove for 1 hr or until it is double in size then knock back by hand.
  3. Add the baking powder and knead for 2/3 mins.
  4. Roll by hand roughly 50 gram balls and place on an oiled baking sheet cover and prove for 40mins.
  5. Line a bamboo steamer with parchment paper and steam the buns for 7 mins and serve straight away.
  6. Note: they freeze really well.
Allergy Advice
This recipe may include:
  • Fish
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