Duck ragout with mustard croutes

    2 hours

    Duck legs become beautifully succulent when slow-cooked with wine and vegetables, and are very lean without the skin. Boiling the cooking liquid to reduce it results in a sauce with a wonderful flavour, which is great soaked up by the crisp, piquant bread croutes that accompany the dish.

    4 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 4 duck leg joints, about 800–900 g (1¾–2 lb) in total, skinned
    • 250 g (8½ oz) button mushrooms
    • 250 g (8½ oz) pickling onions, shallots or button onions
    • 2–4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • ½ tsp dried thyme
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 300 ml (10 fl oz) red wine
    • 750 ml (1¼ pints) chicken stock, preferably home-made
    • 250 g (8½ oz) baby carrots
    • 250 g (8½ oz) baby turnips, halved if large
    • 250 g (8½ oz) sugarsnap peas
    • 2 tsp redcurrant jelly
    • salt and pepper
    • sprigs of fresh mint to garnish
    • Mustard croutes
    • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
    • 12 thick slices of French bread

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:1hr30min  ›  Ready in:2hr 

    1. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole over a moderate heat. Add the duck and cook for about 10 minutes, turning the pieces so that they brown lightly on both sides. Use a draining spoon to transfer the duck to a plate.
    2. Add the mushrooms, onions, garlic, thyme and bay leaf to the casserole. Increase the heat slightly and fry for 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to colour.
    3. Pour in the wine and let it bubble briefly. Return the duck to the pan with any accumulated juices. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the casserole and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Add the carrots and turnips, pushing them into the liquid. Cover and continue simmering for 15 minutes. Add the sugarsnap peas and cook for a further 5–10 minutes or until the duck and vegetables are tender
    4. Meanwhile, make the croutes. Preheat the oven to 190ºC (375ºF, gas mark 5). Mix the oil with the mustard and spread thinly over the slices of bread. Place on a baking tray and bake for 10–12 minutes or until crisp and browned.
    5. If necessary, use a metal spoon to skim off any fat from the surface of the liquid in the casserole. Place a colander or strainer over a large saucepan. Drain the duck and vegetables, then return them to the casserole, discarding the bay leaf. Cover the casserole and set it aside. Boil the strained cooking liquid vigorously over a high heat for about 10–12 minutes or until reduced by about half to a rich, full-flavoured sauce. Stir in the redcurrant jelly until it has melted, then add seasoning to taste.
    6. Arrange the croutes on the duck and vegetables – any that do not fit in the casserole can be served separately. Spoon the sauce over the top, allowing some to soak into the croutes. Garnish with mint sprigs and serve.

    Some more ideas

    Guinea fowl or pheasant portions are also delicious cooked this way, as are chicken leg quarters. For chicken you could use white wine for a lighter sauce. * Another alternative is venison, which goes very well with the robust flavours in the red wine sauce. Use 4 small tender venison steaks, about 800–900 g (1¾–2 lb) in total, and brown them briefly on both sides in step 1. * Vary the vegetables according to what is available. Scrubbed Fir Apple potatoes are a delicious addition and baby parsnips can be used instead of the turnips. Try French beans or baby courgettes instead of the sugarsnap peas or substitute button Brussels sprouts.

    Plus points

    Duck is a good source of many of the B vitamins, iron and zinc. Weight for weight, it contains over twice as much B1 and B2 as chicken, and three times as much iron. * Red wine is rich in flavonoids, which can help to protect against heart disease and stroke. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir wines, particularly from Chile, have higher levels of flavonoids than other wines.

    Each serving provides

    B6, B12, C, copper, iron, phosphorus * A, B1, B2, folate, niacin, calcium * potassium, selenium, zinc

    Recently viewed

    Reviews & ratings
    Average global rating:

    Reviews in English (0)