Chef - Neil Forbes

Ark of Taste Product - Bath Chaps

Producers - Berkshire or Tamworth pigs from Grierson Organic or Peelham Farm if you want to make your own Bath Chaps. Prepared Bath Chaps can be purchased from Butts Farm, and smoked Bath Chaps from Trealy Farm.

Photograph Copyright: Paul Johnston at Copper Mango

Chef Neil Forbes makes the most of this fatty and flavoursome cut in a delightfully simple dish. If making your own Bath Chaps seems like a lot of work, ask your local butcher or contact one of our Ark producers for prepared chaps. It's a labour of love, but it's well worth it!

(Makes 4 portions)

Preparing the Bath Chaps: 

– Tie each piece of the pig’s head into a thick sausage shape using butchers twine, your butcher may do this for you, but give it a go.

– Next, make brine by adding the salt to the water and bringing to the boil along with 3 bay leaves, the thyme, the onion and the blade of mace. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, and when it’s cold, submerge the pork and leave it covered in a cool place for up to 7 days. Neil usually leaves it for 3 to 4 days to take on all the flavour of the aromats.

– Then braise the Bath chaps. Add them to a pan of fresh, clean water with 3 bay leaves and cook them slowly in the oven for 4 to 6 hours (at around 140-160°C) until they are very soft and well cooked. Allow the chaps to cool in the liquor, and when cool enough to handle, remove and set aside.

– Once they are cool, lay 2 or 3 layers of cling film on a work surface and remove the twine from the chaps. Now roll them up in the cling film – nice and tight – and pop them in the fridge overnight.


Bringing the dish together:

– The next day it’s time for the good bit! Put a frying pan on a moderate heat on the hob and add the rapeseed oil. Cut the Bath chaps into 5mm-thick slices, and fry for 7 to 8 minutes on each side, ensuring they don’t burn, you want them to turn golden.

– Then blanch the kale in boiling, salted water for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pan, and stir in the mustard before adding the drained kale. Season with salt and pepper.

– To serve, divide the kale between four warmed plates and top with the crispy, browned chaps. Delicious served with a buttery mash.

Bath Chaps

1 pig’s head (Neil uses Berkshire or Tamworth pigs from Grierson Organic or Peelham Farm), eyes and hair removed, fully boned and in 2 pieces

5l water

500g salt

6 bay leaves

A sprig of thyme

10 peppercorns

1 onion, sliced

A blade of mace


The Dish

25ml rapeseed oil

Good salt and pepper for seasoning

4 handfuls of kale, stalks removed

A tablespoon Arran Mustard

A knob of butter

Buttery mash to serve