ONE FOR THE POT:

Noth­ing quite warms the soul on a chilly win­ter’s day like a hot, hearty din­ner. This slow-roast duck recipe from Tim Mad­dams is de­li­ciously sim­ple and low faff too!

Sporting Shooter - - Contents -

De­li­cious slow-roasted mal­lard recipe

With the ducks well un­der way I tend to get stuck in a bit of a rut in the kitchen, not helped by the fact that I am busy cook­ing and host­ing on shoot days and so tend to be pretty ex­hausted by the time it gets to think­ing about sup­per for my­self and Mrs M. Now, when you have some great ducks and you know it, a good roast is all that is needed to make a crack­ing meal.

If you are like me and find your­self in the pos­ses­sion of a few mal­lard that have, let’s face it, been reared and re­leased onto a muddy pond for a few months be­fore get­ting shot, then you may wish to try this dish. It’s a proper favourite of mine and it pretty much takes care of it­self as well, so there’s not too much faff at din­ner­time. You will need to pluck and gut your birds for this though, so make sure you pick nice plump spec­i­mens that haven’t been heav­ily shot. These bad boys will be fall­ing off the bone when they are done, and you con pop them in the oven and for­get about them af­ter their ini­tial blast in the fur­nace.

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

2 oven-ready mal­lard or 3 wigeon if you have had a wind­fall 1 bot­tle of good, dry cider 3 onions, sliced 1 bulb of gar­lic, peeled and sliced 3 fresh bay leaves 2 cloves salt and pep­per 1 cin­na­mon stick ½ pint of wa­ter

METHOD

1. To start with, crank the oven right up high. Sea­son your ducks and find a de­cent roast­ing or casse­role dish that will sur­vive the heat.

Sling the ducks in the oven (or you could get them started off on the top of the cooker if you have the time) and roast on their backs for as long as it takes to pre­pare your other in­gre­di­ents or for them to take some colour and get go­ing – which­ever is soon­est.

2. Now, turn the oven way, way down to 120°C. Add the cider, onion, gar­lic and spices to the cook­ing ves­sel. Put a lid on it or cover it well with foil, hav­ing first turned the ducks breast side down.

3. Pop them back in the oven and leave them well and truly alone for at least four hours.

4. When you take them out and open up the lid or re­move the foil, you will dis­cover some magic has oc­curred in the oven! Care­fully scoop out the ducks and place them some­where on a plate.

5. Re­move the cloves and bay leaves, and place the onion and cider juices in a blender. Blend to a smooth con­sis­tency and place in a pan to keep warm un­til you’re ready to serve.

6. Pull the duck meat from the bones and serve up with the blended sauce – with maybe a cou­ple of baked spuds and some wilted kale to fin­ish the job off nicely.

Any left­over sauce makes an ex­cel­lent stock for soup and any left­over duck – yeah right! – is per­fect for a myr­iad of uses in­clud­ing sand­wiches, pies, pasties… what­ever you fancy re­ally. I

“POP THEM IN THE OVEN AND FOR­GET ABOUT THEM AF­TER THEIR INI­TIAL BLAST IN THE FUR­NACE”

The duck meat will be fall­ing off the bone by the time you’re done

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