Slow-cooked Duck with Gooseberry Puree

In an interesting variation on Chinese-style pancakes, Martin Blunos adds a modern European flavour to a confit of duck
By Martin Blunos
Slow-cooked Duck with Gooseberry Puree
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4 as a starter, 2 as a main course
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

To serve

  • 200 g cucumber, peeled and cut into batons
  • Chinese-style pancakes

For the duck legs

  • 4 duck legs, skin on
  • 1 head garlic
  • grated nutmeg
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 small sprig thyme
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 kg clarified duck fat
  • cider vinegar, to taste
  • sea salt

For the gooseberry puree

  • 500 g fresh gooseberries
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 25 g unsalted butter
  • salt

Method

1. Cut the garlic in half and rub the cut sides over the duck legs. Sprinkle with grated nutmeg, salt and black pepper.

2. Preheat the oven to 140C/gas 1/2. Put 2 of the duck legs, bone down, into a snug casserole dish. Lay over the bay leaves and thyme sprigs and cover with the remaining 2 duck legs. Tuck the cut garlic halves into the dish.

3. Heat the duck fat in a medium saucepan, and when hot, pour over the legs - the legs should be completely immersed in the fat.

4. Cover the casserole dish and cook the duck in the oven for about 1 ½ hours - or until the meat is soft and tender.

5. Take the duck out of the oven and leave the legs in the fat to cool.

6. Lift the duck out of the fat, and remove the bay and thyme sprigs. Place the legs, skin side down, in a frying pan and cook over a moderate heat until crisp - about 10 minutes.

7. Remove the duck from the pan and pour off any excess fat. Shred the meat with two forks and discard the bones. Season the meat with salt and pepper and sharpen with a little cider vinegar.

8. For the gooseberry puree, wash, top and tail the gooseberries and put in a stainless steel or non-stick pan with the vinegar. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Take the lid off after 5 minutes, and simmer for a further 20 minutes to thicken the puree.

9. Rub the puree through a coarse sieve, and return to a clean pan. Reheat, add the butter and season with salt to taste.

10. Serve the shredded duck meat with cucumber batons, the gooseberry puree and Chinese-style pancakes.

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