How to make Brownrigg Farm Confit Duck Leg on Pumpkin Purée, Roasted Beetroot and Port Sauce.
Duck Confit is one of the tastiest ways to prepare duck and actually a surprisingly easy dish to make. The secret is to cook it slowly letting the meat cook in its own juices.
Small cooked beetroot
Red wine vinegar
For Confit Duck
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Pat the duck legs dry with paper towels. Find a needle or a very pointy knife and prick the skin of the duck all over. Focus on the skin that covers fat. Do your best to avoid piercing the meat itself by pricking the skin at an angle over the drumstick and the centre of the thigh. You are doing this to give the fat that lies under the skin a place to seep out – if you don’t do this, it will be far more difficult to get crispy skin.
Salt your duck legs thoroughly. Let them rest at room temperature for at least 20 minutes and up to an hour.
Put the duck legs in a small casserole, skin side up. You want it just big enough to hold the legs. Put a thin sheen of oil or melted duck fat on the bottom of the casserole, then place the duck legs in close together but not overlapping.
Put the casserole in the oven and turn it to 150C; if you have a digital oven, you could even go down to 140C. Do not preheat the oven. You want to cook the duck as gently as possible.
After 90 minutes, check the duck: It should be partly submerged in melted fat and the skin should be getting crispy.
When the skin is starting to look crispy, turn up the heat to 190C.
Check after 15 minutes. You’re looking for a light golden brown. If you missed some spots with the needle and there are places where the skin won’t crisp that’s OK – better that than burnt skin elsewhere.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 – 15 minutes before eating. Save the accumulated fat for cooking vegetables, other meats or for keeping your skin shiny. I strain the fat through cheesecloth, but you really only need to do this if you are saving the fat for several weeks or months; strained, it will keep for 6 months tightly covered in the fridge. Well wrapped, the duck meat itself will last up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Preheat oven to 160 C / Gas mark 3.
Cut the pumpkin in half, stem to base. Remove seeds and pulp. Cover each cut half with aluminium foil.
Bake in the preheated oven foil side up for 1 hour or until tender.
Scrape pumpkin flesh from shell and purée in a blender or food processor. Season to taste.
For Roast Beetroot and Port Sauce
In a separate saucepan, heat a little olive oil and brown the cooked beetroot over a high heat so that the beetroot lightly caramelises on the outsides.
Pour in the port and reduce it by two-thirds until thickened and syrupy and coating the beetroot.
Finish with a small amount of red wine vinegar, to sharpen the sauce.
Serve with seasonal vegetables.