I’ve no grouse with duck
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