Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Duck and Cabbage

Well that doesn't sound very exciting does it?  Actually it was delicious and different so I thought I would share.

Now I am not a fancy chef, I just enjoy cooking and I love food.  So.... who says the duck has to be red raw in the middle?  I suppose it might have tasted better if I had taken it off the heat a tad sooner but I am not a fan of underdone meat so my duck was perhaps a little overcooked for a real chef's taste but you can cook it for as long as you want.

For the duck breast.
Ingredients:  A large duck breast (this will serve two people in my house), a huge knob of butter.  How much is a knob?  Seriously guys... !  A little salt and pepper.

How To
Melt the butter and when it has stopped foaming pop in the duck breast skin side down.  Cook it quite fiercely on each side to start with and then turn down the heat and cook for about 8 - 10 mins (this should give you the classic red in the middle duck breast)  After cooking rest the breast under a little tin foil for about five minutes before slicing.  Nothing could be easier... oh yes... season with salt and pepper before pan frying.

Oh And I forgot!!!  Green pepper Sauce:
Ingredients:  1/4 pint red wine (I suspect you could do this with white wine, or even cider might be nice), splash of brandy, splash of port, two tablespoons of pickled green peppercorns, 1/2 pint cream, five tablespoons chicken stock (or water), teaspoonful of sugar.  Salt and Pepper.

How To:  Boil the red wine and brandy for five minutes - make sure it doesn't reduce away to nothing but it should shrink down by about a third.  Add the stock or water and boil again for five more minutes.  Add the peppercorns and the cream and once again boil for five minutes... it should reduce down by about half now.  Add the sugar and the port and stir until the sugar dissolves, taste and then season to suit.  Put in a jug and serve warm with the duck.

Cabbage - this is a spiced cabbage braised with apple and onion and needs to be prepared some hours before.
Ingredients:  Red cabbage (I used only half), Onion, one or two cloves of garlic depending upon size, two eating apples (the tarter the better), a couple spoonfuls of demerara sugar, a sprinkling of ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground nutmeg.  Three tablespoons wine or cider vinegar.  A couple of knobs of butter.

How To
Shred the cabbage and the onion and then peel and grate the apple.  Layer these three in a casserole dish sprinkling the garlic, sugar and spices between the layers.  Drizzle on the vinegar.  Top with the knobs of butter.

Cover the casserole and pop into a slow oven (130C max) and cook for 2 - 3 hours or even longer if the oven is really slow.  I used the wood fire oven and the temperature gauge no longer seems to work but it still turned out.  Give it a stir every half hour or so to mix up the flavours.  This will keep warm and reheat without spoiling and goes really well with the pan fried duck.  Enjoy!

 And no, we didn't have potatoes or anything else with this... it just seemed to be enough on its own... mashed spuds would probably be nice to soak up the sauce... or you could just do what we did... slice of bread to mop the plate mmmm yum.

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