Mallard with spiced red cabbage

Nigel Haworths roast crown of mallard comes with chilli-spiked red cabbage and Vichy-style baby turnips
By Nigel Haworth
Mallard with spiced red cabbage
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 30 mins salting
  • Effort: medium


  • 350 ml mead, preferably Lindisfarne mead
  • 1 large orange, juice only

For the spicy red cabbage

  • 200 g red cabbage, finely sliced
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 25 ml sesame oil
  • 25 g icing sugar
  • 25 ml sherry
  • 25 ml white wine vinegar
  • ½ red chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • splash of mead, (optional)

For the turnips

  • 8 baby turnips
  • 100 ml water
  • 40 g butter

For the mallard

  • 1 duck, preferably a mallard crown
  • pumpkin seed oil, for rubbing
  • 2 tbsp roasted, salted pumpkin seeds, to serve


1. For the mead syrup: simmer the mead and orange juice together in a small pan until reduced to a syrup. Leave to cool and pour the liquid into a squeezy bottle. Set aside.

2. For the cabbage: sprinkle the salt over the cabbage and leave for 30 minutes for the salt to penetrate the cabbage leaves. Wash the cabbage thoroughly and drain well in a colander.

3. Heat a large, heavy-based pan and fry the cabbage in the sesame oil over a high heat until softened. Push the cabbage to the side of the pan and sprinkle in the icing sugar. Allow it to slightly caramelise and then add the sherry, white wine vinegar, chilli and ginger.

4. Mix well with a wooden spoon and continue frying for about 2 minutes. Add a splash of mead if the mixture is too dry. Remove from the pan and keep warm.

5. For the turnips: peel the turnips and place in a pan with the water, butter, and salt and sugar to taste. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Once the turnips are tender but not too soft, drain and keep warm.

6. For the mallard: preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5. Lightly season the mallard crown with salt and pepper and rub with pumpkin oil.

7. Fry the mallard in a hot frying pan until golden brown on all sides. Place the duck in a roasting tin, back side-down and roast for 8 minutes. Leave to rest, covered, in a warm place for 5 minutes.

8. To serve, divide the cabbage among two plates. Remove the duck breasts from the crown with a sharp knife and place one on each plate. Garnish with the turnips and roasted pumpkin seeds. Finish with a squeeze of the mead syrup and serve at once.

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