Duck with Caramelised Rhubarb and Braised Beetroot

Paul Heathcote cooks a stunningly colourful game dish that's as much a treat for the eyes as for the stomach
By Paul Heathcote
Duck with Caramelised Rhubarb and Braised Beetroot
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the duck

  • 4 duck breast

For the braised beetroot

  • 6 beetroot
  • 60 ml red wine
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp demerara sugar
  • 1 sprigs thyme
  • 4 black peppercorns, lightly crushed
  • 10 g cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 100 ml chicken stock

For the caramelised rhubarb

  • 2 sticks forced rhubarb
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 20 g icing sugar

To serve

  • small leaves of spring cabbage, steamed


1. Preheat the oven to 160C/320F.

2. For the duck: season the duck breasts with salt and pepper. Heat a frying pan and cook the duck skin-side down for 4-5 minutes, then flip over and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, until the duck is cooked but still slightly pink in the middle. Remove from the heat and leave to rest skin-side up.

3. For the braised beetroot: create a large 'pocket' with a large piece of aluminium foil folded over in half and crimped on three sides. Place the beetroot inside, along with the wine, onions, garlic, vinegar, sugar, thyme and peppercorns.

4. Seal the package tightly and place in an ovenproof dish with a generous amount of water in to prevent burning the foil. Bake for approximately 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes. Open the foil package with caution as the steam could burn. Test with a sharp knife to see if the beetroot is cooked and tender (otherwise return to the oven until cooked).

5. When cooked, drain the beetroot cooking juices through a sieve into a pan, bring to boil and add the chicken stock.. Whisk in the butter and mix well until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Set aside.

6. For the caramelised rhubarb: place the rhubarb in a large bowl and cover with boiling water and leave for 15-20 seconds. Drain, then pat dry.

7. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the icing sugar, followed by the rhubarb. Toss until well coloured and golden. Remove from the pan.

8. To serve, reheat the cabbage and pile onto plates. Slice the duck and arrange on top of the cabbage, then place the beetroot and rhubarb around and spoon around the sauce.

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