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!
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.
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
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