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