Smoked eel with bacon, apples and cider

Matt Tebbutt creates a winning autumn combination of smoky eels and bacon with sweet, crisp apples and dry cider
By Matt Tebbutt
Smoked eel with bacon, apples and cider
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 slices thick cutsmoked bacon
  • 8-10 cm length of smoked eel fillets, deboned
  • 1 handfuls thyme
  • 50 ml dry cider
  • 1 Cox's apple
  • 3 tbsp double cream
  • watercress, for serving
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard


1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the bacon. Fry for 4-6 minutes, or until the bacon is just crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside once cooked.

2. Peel the skin off the eel and reserve. Cut the flesh into four strips, lengthways, and then cut each length in half.

3. Add the apple quarters to the bacon pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until the flesh turns lightly golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.

4. Pour cider into the pan to deglaze, scraping at the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the eel skin to the pan. Cook for a further 4-5 minutes, or until the cider has reduced slightly. Add the thyme to the pan.

5. Pour the cream into the cider, then stir in the mustards. Cook for a further 1-2 minutes, then remove from the heat.

6. To serve, put a small handful of watercress on two serving plates and spoon the apples, eel and bacon alongside. Drizzle the cider and mustard sauce over the top and serve immediately.

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