Tagged: cherries

Duck Breast with Cherry Sauce, Parsnip Mash and Pointed Cabbage


I love duck, roasted, crispy but mainly duck breast, pan fried. One of it’s main benefits is that it always goes well with a sauce, and a tart fruity sauce is best.

But isn’t duck expensive? Well if you shop at Tesco, yes. But guess where I found a very cheap duck breast at? – yes, Lidl. These buggers are BIG. At Tesco you get 2 in a 400g pack for £7. At Lidl you get just the one 400g breast for under a fiver. They are frozen so perfect to get some in for just when you francy some.


And why pointy cabbage? Well basically it’s what the missus brought home cheap from M&S. I would usually use Savoy cabbage but we use what we have, dont we! I won’t give a list of ingredients as there is nothing that you won’t have in and the rest is in the title of the dish.

First thing you need to do is defrost the duck and then score the fat by making a criss cross pattern in the skin, season the fatty side and place on a plate for later.

Next take a couple of spuds and a couple of parsnips, peel them, put them in a pan and just cover with water. Cut the potatoes small as the parsnips cook very quickly and you want them to be done at roughly the same time. Bring to the boil and cook until soft enough to mash.

While the spuds & parsnips are cooking, prepare your cabbage. I like to cut it into thin strips, place in a pan, add some water – but not so much that you cover the cabbage, add a pinch of salt, put on the lid and bring to the boil for a minute or 2, so still slightly undercooked. Then drain the hot water off and then rinse your cabbage through a few times with cold water to stop the cooking process and leave in cold water till later when you can bring it back to life.

You can start on the sauce. I used some cherries in a jar that I also used for my Black Forest Cheesecake. Blitz around half a jar with some of the syrup.

Put the mixture into a small saucepan and add a glug of Red Wine, a little sugar to sweeten the cherries a bit, and a little of your homemade chicken stock and bring to the boil and reduce to a nice thick double cream consistency. You can now leave this till plating up.

Now cook the duck. Put into a frying pan, fat side down on a medium heat, no need for oil as the fat will release loads as it renders down. Fry it on this side for 10-12 minutes then turn over and cook for another 5 minutes. Make sure the edges get done by fryng the duck with the edges touching the side of the pan.

While this is cooking you make your mash. Add a knob of butter and a splash of milk to the drained spuds & parsnips – add a little sea salt too. Now mash and test for seasoning, add some more salt if you want, but not too much. Leave in the same hot pan till serving.

When the duck is done, you want it pink in the middle. Trust yourself, keep poking it till you feel satisfied that it isn’t raw in the middle or even worse, that it has gone dry and overcooked. Put it on a warm plate to rest. This does two things, the meat relaxes so it will be tender and secondly, juices will leech out which you can use in the sauce. Collect the duck fat from the breast to use next time you want roast spuds for a sunday lunch, but  leave a smidgen to use with the cabbage

While the Duck is resting you need to reheat the cabbage . Finely chop a clove of garlic and add to the pan the duck was cooked in, I also added a finely chopped slice of bacon and fry gently and when the bacon is cooked throw in the cabbage and mix till cooked through.

Heat up your sauce and add the juices from the rested duck and a little knob of butter, it makes the sauce shiny! Now plate up. A good dollop of mash in the middle of the plate, cabbage on the side and slice the duck breast into half centimetre slices and lay on top of the mash. Drizzle the sauce over and around the duck and there you go. Top quality scran for less than £3 each for 2 people.

Right, that’s my Cherries used up, but I still have more Duck left.

Try it and let us know how you got on. Was lovely with some Shiraz.  Yours, Mugsie.

Black Forest Cheesecake

I love cheesecake. It’s a pud that does me fine as I don’t like too sweet a dessert. My lad, Archie, loves my lemon cheesecake but I thought I’d make something for me and the missus, and as I guessed, Archie, the lard loving child , liked it too.

I can’t say I’ve seen this recipe anywhere else so I’ll claim it as my own.

What you need:

For the base, 3 quarters of a packet of chocolate Bourbon biscuits . A tablespoon of good cocoa powder, and just less than a quarter of a block of unsalted butter

For the cheese bit I used a tub of low fat cream cheese and 2 tablespoons of caster sugar and a glug of double cream. I like glugs!

For the topping I used just under half a jar of cherries in syrup, A leaf of gelatine and some grated 74% chocolate .

First of all I blitzed the biscuits in a blender. I then put them in a large bowl and added the cocoa powder and butter (which I had melted in a microwave). I gave it a good mixing to ensure the butter had coated everything and pressed this into a shallow cake tin.

– firming it down till all the biscuit mix was level. Put this in the fridge to let it set.

Now to the cheese. Into a bowl empty a carton of cream cheese (mine was 200g), add the sugar and then add the cream and whisk. It will go loose but keep whisking till it goes slightly stiff again. Then evenly spread this over your biscuit base.

Now for the cherry topping. Get your jar of cherries and take a few out and leave aside. MThen blitz the rest in a blender till totally liquidised. Now take a leaf of gelatine and soak it in water

when it has soaked and is supple, add it to the cherry liquid which you have on a gentle heat in a pan and stir it until it has disolved. Now take the pan off the heat and let it cool down till only just above room temp – you don’t want it to set in the pan!

With the cherries that you set aside, chop them into small pieces and push them into the cheese topping and then slowly and carefully pour the cherry mixture evenly on to the cheese. Finely grate some decent dark chocolate, and I mean decent (Bourneville is not decent!) – it has to be a bitter chocolate 60% or above. I didn’t actually grate it this time, I used a sharp knife and shaved slithers off. Drop these all over the cherry topping, as much as you like, and now put back in the fridge to set. Give it a couple of hours at least and you’re ready. Serve with some cream. If you want a more authentic/grown-up taste, add a little cherry liquer to your cherry mix or even to your biscuit base, but personally I don’t think it needs it.

So there you have it. An adult cheesecake – if you find this anywhere else in a shop, let me know so I can sue them for copyright. I must apologise for the scruffy cutting, but Carol did that using a common table knife! Honestly, I ask you! Sheesh!

Herr Von Mügsie.