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Did you miss me?

Dear reader, it’s been four weeks since we last spoke.

In that time, a Prime Minister made headlines for his dealings with pigs, restrictions returned, and celebs (in the loosest sense of the word) ate cow’s anus on TV. Plus ça change.

In other news, Eat My Words hosted two sold out supper clubs (if you’re on gram then here are some highlights) and the main event was this week’s recipe for braised lamb belly, cannellini beans, salsa verde, and sprouts. 

It’s a delicious dish with Italian herbs running through it and a touch of Xmas sitting on top.

This week’s album
Sigh No More by Mumford & Sons

I saw Mumford & Sons live just before Xmas in 2012. They were great. Atmospheric, feet-stomping, good-mood inducing. This is their first album which brought a new sound to the charts and folk music in general. 'Little Lion Man' and 'The Cave' remain standout tunes.

A bellyful of flavour

Lamb belly, also known as lamb breast, is a dream cut of meat that is loved by chefs for two reasons:

1. It’s the least expensive cut because it’s quite fatty.

2. This fat means that when you slow-cook the belly, the fat melts away to leave a tender and tasty meat. It’s packed with flavour.

Doing lamb belly well does require a longer cooking time (I suggest about eight hours). However, most of this is hands-off time.

To keep things simple elsewhere, we’ll pair the lamb with cannellini beans which are light and contain very little fat. And, because lamb belly works so well with Italian herbs, we’ll mix a super-simple salsa verde sauce through the cannellini beans.

“It’s not easy being green,” said Kermit. I disagree. This salsa verde is very easy to make.

Finally, we’ll garnish everything with some sprouts. Fear not. These aren’t your usual over-boiled or bacon-laced brussel sprouts. Instead, we’ll shred the sprouts and fry them in oil so they taste more like crispy seaweed.

What you need

The below serves 4. It takes 1 hour to prep (with some time for overnight soaking and chilling), then 8 hours to cook (mostly hands-off).


Salsa verde ingredients:

25g coriander

25g parsley

12g mint leaves (leaves only)

25g capers

1 small clove garlic (roughly chopped)

4 tbsps olive oil

1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar

½ lemon (juice only)

Sea salt & black pepper


Everything else:

150g dried cannellini beans

1 fresh red chilli

1 garlic bulb (cut in half)

1 carrot (peeled & cut in half)

1 shallot (peeled & cut in half)

1 celery stick

1 lamb belly (bones in)

2 tbsps ground fennel seeds

12 brussel sprouts

Vegetable oil for frying

Sea salt & black pepper

Ready, steady, cook

1. Soak the beans in a large amount of cold water overnight.

2. Season the lamb belly all over with salt. Then, only on the underside of the belly, season with black pepper and ground fennel seeds. Place on an oven tray lined with baking paper, cover with foil, and cook for 8 hours at 120°c.

3. Once cooked, remove from the oven. Allow to cool slightly, then pull out all the bones. Place the lamb flat between two trays (lining each side of the belly with baking parchment) and add heavy weights on top of the trays (cans of tomatoes work well). Put in the fridge to cool completely. Ideally overnight.

4. About 90 mins before you want to eat, finely shred the brussel sprouts (excluding the core). Transfer to some paper to dry, then fry in oil at 180°c for 45 secs. Use a large, tall pan as the sprouts will spit/bubble a lot when you first add them. Drain well on kitchen paper, transfer to a tray lined with fresh paper and put in your oven for an hour at 100°c. This will dry the sprouts out and make them nice and crispy.

5. Get your beans out of the fridge, drain well, and add to a saucepan. Cover with fresh cold water, bring to the boil, and simmer for 10 mins. Drain again and return to the pan.

Cover them again with about 5cm of water and add your garlic, chilli, carrot, shallot, and celery. Put a lid on top and simmer for 40 mins, skimming scum away as they cook. Store in the cooking water until you need them later.

6. Blend all the ingredients for your salsa verde until a loose ‘pesto’ consistency forms.

7. When you’re ready to assemble the dish, portion the lamb belly into four pieces. Place each piece, fat-side down, in a medium-hot pan, then turn the heat up fully to crisp the skin. Warm the beans then drain and mix with the salsa verde.

8. Place the now-seasoned beans on a plate, top with lamb belly, and add your fried sprouts. Call Santa. Xmas is coming.

Ben (writer) and Fraser (chef) - the Eat My Words 'leadership' team - post lamb belly prep at the supper club.

Final thought

Thanks to everyone who came to last weekend’s supper clubs or who sent messages of support. At the risk of blowing trumpets, they seemed to go down pretty well so we’ll be back with another couple in 2022. Dates and deets TBC.

Back to our humble newsletter and this month you can expect recipes for a Xmas sweet treat, some Xmas Day side dishes, and a Boxing Day lunch. 

Until then, I’m off to Peppa Pig World to see what all the fuss is about.

Speak next week,


Last week’s supper club

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Tag your dishes with #eatmywordslondon, or hit reply to this email with a photo.


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Eat My Words · Kew Gardens · Kew, TW9 · United Kingdom

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