The Sportsman – Stephen Harris – Recipe and Giveaway

The resume of Stephen Harris might cause one to scratch one’s head. How does a punk rocker, turned history teacher, then financial advisor end up a self-taught Michelin-starred chef? The author’s incredible journey is told in his new stunner of a debut cookbook, The Sportsman, released last month by Phaidon. 

The Sportsman, the restaurant located in Kent, has earned a Michelin star every year since 2008 and was also voted number one gastropub in the UK. The Sportsman, the cookbook, blends age-old techniques with those of today to perfect 50 British classics just as Harris does at the restaurant.

Along with full page photographs, Harris profiles each of the key players at his restaurant from the front of the house to the pastry chef. Kent and the places that surround this region are prominent characters as well. The author strikes the perfect balance with a great story, profiles of the area and his team, stunning photographs and elegant recipes. 

Lamb breast and mint sauce, Wild blackberry lollies with cake milk, Crab, carrot and hollandaise, and Elderflower posset and fritter are a few examples of the recipes here, all with detailed instructions. The Sportsman is a stellar offering from the multi-talented Stephen Harris. Please remember Eat Your Book members receive 30% off Phaidon titles when using the link provided. 

Phaidon is sharing one of the dishes from this book for our members the Pork belly with applesauce. This dish has multiple components and will take some planning but is brilliant in its simplicity. Please be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to enter our contest open to members in the UK, US, Canada, and Australia for a chance to win a copy for yourself.

Pork Belly and Applesauce

Serves: 8-10 as part of a tasting menu 


Pork belly
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1 x 2 kg / 4 lb 8 oz pork belly, bone in good handful of sel gris
3 liters / 100 fl oz (12 cups) duck fat
Apple sauce
Mashed potatoes, to serve
Sautéed cabbage or steamed spinach, to serve

Applesauce – 
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makes 600 ml / 20 fl oz (2 ½ cups)

2 large Bramley apples, unpeeled, quartered and cored
350 ml / 12 fl oz (1 ½ cups) sugar syrup

Mashed potatoes
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serves 6

5 medium potatoes
300 ml / 10 ½ fl oz (1 ¼ cups) double (heavy) cream
50 g / 2 oz (¼ cup) butter
1 teaspoon salt

Sautéed cabbage
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serves 4

1 Savoy cabbage (or another green cabbage), outer leaves discarded 
50 g / 2 oz (1/4 cup) butter 
lemon juice 
sea salt and pepper 


To make the Applesauce

To make the apple sauce, cut the apples into small chunks and put into a small food processor or jug blender. Pour in enough sugar syrup to almost cover the apples. Blitz on high until you have a smooth, bright green sauce.

To make the Mashed potatoes
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF.

Roast the potatoes in their skins for 2 hours, then remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the flesh (use rubber gloves if they are too hot). Press the potato flesh through a ricer into a mixing bowl. Heat the cream in a small pan and simmer for 5 minutes, taking care it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan. Mix the hot cream into the potato then press it through a fine sieve. Mix in the butter then season with salt and serve.

To make the Sautéed cabbage

Cut the cabbage into quarters and discard the hard core sections. Cut into thin slices and wash.

Melt 20 g/3/4 oz of the butter in a lidded frying pan. Add the wet cabbage, cover the pan, and cook for 2 minutes over medium heat. Remove the lid and cook for around 2 minutes, or until the water has evaporated and the cabbage is soft, but still green. 

Add the remaining butter, then add lemon juice and seasoning to taste. Stir briskly to amalgamate, check the seasoning again, then serve.

To make the Pork belly

Sit the pork belly in a large roasting pan and rub the salt into the pork flesh. Put the pan into the refrigerator and pour in enough water to cover the mea completely. After 12 hours, take out of the refrigerator and pour away the water. Rinse well.

Preheat the oven to 100ºC/210ºF. Put the duck fat into a large pan and melt it slowly. Pour a layer of fat into the roasting pan and arrange the pork belly on top, skin side down. Pour in the rest of the fat and cover loosely with greaseproof (wax) paper. Cook for 12 hours.

After 12 hours, check that the pork belly is cooked by pulling at a rib bone. If it doesn’t move freely, then return to the oven for another 20 minutes and check again.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool. You can strain off the duck fat to be used again. Transfer the pork belly to the refrigerator and leave overnight to set hard.

Remove the bones and trim the edges to create a neat rectangle. Keep the trimmings to make the pork scratchings.

Cut the belly in half down the middle and then divide into portions as you wish. We get 8-10 main course portions from one belly. Wrap the individual portions in clingfilm (plastic wrap) until they are needed.

When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF and take the belly portions out of the refrigerator.

Arrange the belly portions in a non-stick, ovenproof frying pan and loosely cover with a baking paper. Roast for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven. If the skin isn’t nicely browned, then finish on direct heat on the stove. Remember the skin is like glass: it will be gel like when hot, but will crisp up as it cools. Turn the portions over and leave to cool slightly before serving with applesauce, mashed potatoes and cabbage.

Adapted from THE SPORTSMAN by Stephen Harris (Phaidon, $49.95 US/59.95 CAN, September 2017) 

The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the UK, US, Canada and Australia. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won’t be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on November 25th, 2017.

Post a comment


  • lgroom  on  October 15, 2017

    I'd try the mushroom and celeriac tart first.

  • Kristjudy  on  October 15, 2017

    The cheese biscuit recipe looks wonderful.

  • ravensfan  on  October 15, 2017

    Oysters and chorizo

  • heyjude  on  October 15, 2017

    Mussel and Bacon Chowder

  • Titch  on  October 16, 2017

    I would try the Pickled herrings I love anything pickled & have not tried them before

  • Foodycat  on  October 16, 2017

    The slipsole in seaweed butter is famous, but I am not sure where I would get gutweed! So probably the featured pork belly dish – that looks amazing.

  • sgump  on  October 16, 2017

    Ooh . . . milk sorbet (with rosewater in the ingredients list): yum!

  • kmn4  on  October 16, 2017

    Baked cod with chestnuts, parsley and bacon

  • sarahawker  on  October 16, 2017

    Cream cheese ice cream with pear purée and gingerbread crumbs

  • lebarron2001  on  October 16, 2017

    Chocolate Mousse Cake

  • lpatterson412  on  October 16, 2017

    Wild Blackberry Lollies with Cake Milk!!!!!!

  • jifar  on  October 16, 2017

    The cream of vegetable soup which has an intriguing set of ingredients.

  • skipeterson  on  October 16, 2017

    Mushroom and celeriac tart

  • LaurenE  on  October 16, 2017

    Mushroom and celeriac tart

  • Siegal  on  October 18, 2017

    I always wanted to make pork scratching

  • kitchenclimbers  on  October 18, 2017

    cheese biscuits

  • Scotsman61  on  October 20, 2017

    Chocolate Mousse Cake & Pork Belly Applesauce

  • contest718  on  October 22, 2017

    Pork belly is something I would like to learn how to work with better. Mine always comes out terrible tasting. Maybe a new recipe will help with this lol.

  • lindaeatsherbooks  on  October 22, 2017

    I want to make the Salt-baked gurnard with braised fennel. I never heard of gurnard before now.

  • trudys_person  on  October 22, 2017

    Warm chocolate mousse, milk sorbet and salted caramel!

  • Jenamarie  on  October 22, 2017

    Mussel and bacon chowder

  • Livia  on  October 23, 2017

    Braised lamb shoulder

  • t.t  on  October 25, 2017

    Confit pork belly

  • milliganf190  on  October 26, 2017

    Pot roast red cabbage

  • lapsapchung  on  October 26, 2017

    Mushroom and celeriac tarts

  • kennethjohngilmour  on  October 26, 2017

    love lamb so would start with Lamb Breast and Mint Sauce found on page 142

  • silversand  on  October 26, 2017

    Meringue ice cream, sea buckthorn, sea water and seaweed powder – sounds intriguing!

  • readers  on  October 27, 2017

    Great Opportunity

  • Markew  on  October 27, 2017

    Pork belly and apple sauce for me!

  • Dmartin997  on  October 28, 2017

    Braised lamb shoulder

  • Lynnclair  on  October 28, 2017

    Cod with chestnuts, parsley and bacon sounds interesting

  • br22  on  October 28, 2017

    Rhubarb sorbet with burnt cream and shortbread sounds great.

  • jim.windle  on  October 28, 2017

    Confit pork belly

  • PennyG  on  October 28, 2017

    Pot-Roast Red Cabbage sounds interesting.

  • Susiegee  on  October 28, 2017

    My favourite Pork Belly with Applesauce

  • rchesser  on  October 28, 2017

    Chocolate mousse cake

  • musingsondinner  on  October 29, 2017

    The cooked crab – I'd love to tackle this for myself!

  • annieski  on  October 30, 2017

    you had me at Seaweed Butter (Scallops)

  • RickPearson54  on  October 30, 2017

    confit port belly

  • ladybrooke  on  October 31, 2017

    Grilled plums with plum stone ice cream and brioche sounds interesting. 😀

  • fiarose  on  October 31, 2017

    seaweed butter! how cool!

  • tararr  on  November 1, 2017

    milk sorbet

  • KatB  on  November 4, 2017

    Mushroom and celariac tart sounds the go

  • Katiefayhutson  on  November 4, 2017

    Baked cod with chestnuts, parsley, and bacon

  • tcjanes  on  November 7, 2017

    Mussel and Bacon Chowder

  • v.t  on  November 7, 2017

    Pot-roast red cabbage

  • IngridO  on  November 8, 2017

    Rhubarb sorbet with burnt cream and shortbread

  • robynsanyal  on  November 12, 2017

    Lamb breast and mint sauce

  • AnnaZed  on  November 13, 2017

    Turbot with a smoked roe sauce

  • Amandaspamanda  on  November 14, 2017

    Salt-baked gurnard with braised fennel – I haven't triedsalt-baking yet, I'm intrigued!

  • jmay42066  on  November 20, 2017

    Pot-Roast Red Cabbage

  • shaunterria  on  November 22, 2017

    The pork belly with applesauce looks great!

  • lhodder2016  on  November 24, 2017

    Mushroom and celeriac tart!

  • SheenaSharp  on  November 25, 2017

    nope nope nope. it has to be pickled herring and cabbage salad.

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