Duck with a dif­fer­ence

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I can’t help feel­ing that writ­ing a duck recipe for Cen­tral and South­land read­ers is not dis­sim­i­lar to try­ing to teach your grandma to suck eggs so I have tried to put a bit of a twist on aWild Duck Ragu.

This is a fab­u­lous dish to serve at a din­ner party, and the best thing is if you have any ragu left over you can pop it into a pie or serve with pap­pardelle or even spaghetti later in the week.

Thanks also to all the won­der­ful read­ers who have emailed in with feed­back on the recipes. En­joy!

Wild Duck Ravi­oli with Quail Egg and Browned Sage But­ter

Pasta 200g 00 Flour 2 eggs 1 egg yolk 1. To make the pasta dough, place flour on a clean bench and make a well in the cen­tre. Crack the eggs into the cen­tre of the flour and slowly mix with your fin­gers in a cir­cle, grad­u­ally col­lect­ing more and more flour on the way. 2. Once you have cre­ated a ball of dough, you can be­gin knead­ing. Do this un­til the dough feels smooth, usu­ally around 6-9 mins. Wrap in glad wrap and rest in the fridge for at least 30 mins (or up to three days if nec­es­sary) Bring it to room tem­per­a­ture be­fore rolling it out.

Wild Duck Ragu

3 skinned wild duck breasts 2 Tbsp olive oil 1 onion diced 1 Tbsp ju­niper berries 1 car­rot chopped 1 cel­ery stalk chopped 2 cloves gar­lic finely chopped lemon zest or­ange zest 1 rasher ba­con chopped

Cup of good red wine 1 Cups of good qual­ity chicken stock

can of chopped toma­toes 1 sprig of Rose­mary 1 bay leaf Salt and Pep­per for sea­son­ing 1. Place 2 Tbsp of olive oil into a large pan and sear each duck breast on high for 1 min each side. Re­move from pan and set aside. 2. In the same dish, add the chopped onions and cook for 3-4 mins un­til soft­ened. Add in the chopped ba­con and gar­lic and fry for a fur­ther 2-3 mins. Then add the car­rots, cel­ery, or­ange and lemon zest and rose­mary and cook till soft­ened. 3. Add the duck breast back in the pan, pour in the red wine and re­duce by two thirds. Pour in the stock, toma­toes , ju­niper berries, bayleaf , bring back to a sim­mer, cover and cook for 50 mins with the lid on. Stir oc­ca­sion­ally. 4. Re­move the duck from the sauce, turn up the heat and boil for 15 mins un­til the sauce has re­duced and thicken. Blend with a stick blen­der. Mean­while shred the duck with two forks and add back to the thicken sauce. Set aside.

Make the ravi­oli

1 egg white 6 quail eggs 1. Start on the high­est set­ting of your pasta ma­chine (if you do not have a ma­chine, you can use a trusty rolling pin). Cut off quar­ter of the pasta and use your fin­gers to flat­ten into a rec­tan­gu­lar shape. Roll the en­tire sheet through the ma­chine, fold the dough in two and pass through the ma­chine again. Re­peat this 2-3 times, dust­ing the dough with flour be­fore send­ing through the ma­chine again. Work it through all the set­tings from the widest to the most nar­row. It’s best to get ravi­oli pasta down to the thinnest set­ting. 2. Lay a sheet of pasta on flour­dusted bench. Brush with egg white. Place a heaped ta­ble­spoon of the cooled duck ragu onto the pasta in a mound shape. 3. Make a well in the mix­ture and place the egg yolk only of the quail egg into the well. 4. Cover with an­other layer of pasta, and press around the edges in a cir­cle shape to seal the ravi­oli. En­sure you get as much air out as pos­si­ble. 5. Get a pasta cut­ter or knife and cut out the ravi­oli. Let this rest for around 30 mins be­fore cook­ing. 6. Put a large pot of salted wa­ter on to boil.

Browned sage but­ter

4 Tbsp but­ter (for some­thing a bit more spe­cial, use White­stone Smoked But­ter) 20 de­cent sized sage leaves Salt and Pep­per Melt the but­ter in a pan on a low to medium heat. Add sage once the but­ter is foam­ing and cook for 1-2 mins un­til the but­ter is light brown.

Bring it all to­gether

Once the wa­ter is boil­ing, cook the ravi­oli for 2mins. Drain, place on plate, driz­zle over but­ter, and sprin­kle over the cooked sage. When you cut into your ravi­oli the egg yolk should ooze out. Serve with a glass of beau­ti­ful Mt Rosa Pinot Noir. Serves 6, en­tree sizes (2 or 3 ravi­oli per plate as main).

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