I’ve no grouse with duck

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE -

AS I am sure many of you are aware, Tues­day was the glo­ri­ous 12th — the first day of the grouse shoot­ing sea­son in Scot­land. How­ever, there will not have been an in­flux of game birds at your kosher butcher over the past few days.

Be­fore you cry fowl (see what I did there?), there are ob­vi­ous rea­sons why we do not see a pro­fu­sion of grouse on our ta­ble at this time of year.

While, as far as I can work out, grouse is, in the­ory, kosher, it is also im­prac­ti­cal for us.

While the Scots pick up their shot­guns, down a wee dram and head out to the moors, we would have to sneak up on the bird, catch it with our bare hands and then hope there was a shochet on hand to dis­patch it. Also, grouse are fairly small birds so you would prob­a­bly have to catch more than one if you wanted to make grouse soup and knei­d­lach for the fam­ily.

There­fore, I have de­cided to ig­nore grouse this week and in­stead go for a bird which is much eas­ier to catch and has a long his­tory in Jewish cui­sine — the duck.

When I was re­search­ing recipes for the Bagels and Ap­ple Strudel cook­ery book, I came across this one for roast duck in the Pol­ish style.

I have no idea whether shtetl Jews in Poland also cooked their duck this way, but it’s cer­tainly very tasty.

Take a whole 2kg duck, re­move any wrap­ping and al­low it to dry out in the fridge overnight. Prick the skin all over. Take three cloves of gar­lic, a hand­ful of fresh mar­jo­ram or oregano and pound in a pes­tle and mor­tar to cre­ate a paste. Add a lit­tle olive oil and sea­son with salt, then smear over the duck’s skin.

Next peel and cube three eat­ing ap­ples and dice one cel­ery stick and saute in a lit­tle veg­etable oil un­til slightly soft­ened. Place the stuff­ing in the duck’s cav­ity and roast on a rack in a roast­ing tin for one-and-ahalf hours to one hour 45 min­utes un­til cooked through. You will need to drain the fat two or three times dur­ing the cook­ing process.

Once rested (the duck not you) serve with roast pota­toes and per­haps some red cab­bage.

If you are look­ing for a di­ges­tif for af­ter the meal, might I sug­gest a glass of Fa­mous Grouse — no shochet re­quired for this one.

The duck has a long his­tory in Jewish cui­sine

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