Duck in a rich red wine sauce

After a snowy weekend the rain has well and truly arrived and how!  Hetti (the now somewhat longer Dachshund puppy) does not like the weather much.  From day one, she established that she could retreat indoors via the cat flap whenever it suited her, much to the bemusement of the cat and the other dogs.   On the occasions that she feels that she is missing out on something exciting outside, she merely peers half in/half out of the cat flap to assess whether it is worth getting her paws wet…

Due to the cold and wet weather we have been ‘hibernating’, taking refuge close to the wood burner and/or Rayburn.  Consequently, there has been time to ‘play’ in the kitchen and cook things that take a little bit longer.  This is a new recipe that I came up with before Christmas.  I think what makes this dish is the sauce that is made from the juices that the duck is cooked in.  The sauce has a lovely deep flavour which is lifted by a little redcurrant jelly that complements the duck nicely.  I tend to serve the duck with either mashed potato or chips so that you can really soak up the juices.

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Duck in a rich red wine sauce (serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 1 duck (roughly 1.5kg in weight, with giblets)
  • 2 glasses of red wine
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  • ½ glass water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 small bunch of thyme
  • 1 tsp juniper berries
  • 2 celery sticks, cut into chunks (optional)
  • seasoning
  • 150ml duck stock (see guidelines to making a stock below)
  • 2-3tbsp redcurrant jelly
  • 2tsp corn flour (mixed in a little water to form a paste)

Steps:

1.  Prepare your duck by removing the wings and the giblets.  (Use the wings and giblets to make a stock following the guidelines below).

2.  Place the duck in a large casserole pan along with the wine, water, bay leaves, thyme, juniper berries and celery.  Season well and then place in a preheat oven at 170C fan for 1 hour.

3.  After an hour, remove the duck from the casserole dish, cover with tin foil and allow to rest in warm place for 15 minutes whilst you make the sauce.

4.  Pass the juices from the casserole dish through a sieve to remove the celery and any other bits and pieces; then place in a saucepan on a high heat.

5.  Add the duck stock and the redcurrant jelly and bring to the boil.

6.  After about 5 minutes add the corn flour paste, stirring continuously so that you have a smooth sauce, taste and add more stock or redcurrant jelly as required.  Serve.

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Guidelines to making a basic stock

It is incredibly simple to make any meat stock for use in a soup, risotto, pie, gravy etc. Stocks can be frozen so are worth making even if you can’t use them straightway.  So, make sure you save the bones after a roast.

There is no right or wrong way for making a good stock. Below are merely the guidelines on how to make a basic stock which you can vary according to what vegetables you have lying around.

Ingredients

  • Bones and any scraps of meat left over (if making the stock after a roast) or giblets and wings (from a duck, chicken, turkey etc.)
  • 2 carrots (peeled and cut into 1” pieces)
  • 1 onion (cut in half)
  • 1 celery stick (cut into 1” pieces)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • small bunch of thyme
  • seasoning
  • water (enough to cover the bones)

Steps:

1. Place all of the ingredients in a large saucepan, add enough water so that the bones are covered then cover with a lid.

2.  Cook the stock on a medium heat for at least an hour but preferably 2+hours in order for your stock to have a lovely deep flavour before passing it through a sieve to remove any bits before using.  (Allow to cool completely if you are freezing the stock).

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