Tag: duck

7 Meat & Roast recipes to indulge in on Thanksgiving

porkrollricotta2

A meal at a festive table, in the dimmed light of flickering candles, all our loved ones around us, is always a gift, it’s a feast of love and sharing. These are very precious memories of our lives, we’ll never forget the food we smelled and tasted, the grateful happiness in the eyes of our family and friends, the room filled with music and laughter.

Let’s talk about meat and roast recipes to make our Thanksgiving table complete and accompany my 10 pumpkin recipes that I shared with you a couple days ago. I love my juicy Roast Rosemary Lamb or the tender Thyme and Lemon Ricotta stuffed Pork Roll. You can also find a recipe for a delicious German pork roast with crackling in my cookbook, on page 163. Slow roasted duck, preferably cooked together with fruit, will always find a special place in my heart, the meat is so tasty and tender, the skin crisp, it’s definitely one of my favourites for a special feast at the table.

Besides the classic roasts, there are other scrumptious recipes that I could indulge in with the greatest pleasure, also on Thanksgiving: Coq au Vin, tiny Lamb Chops with Orange and Herb Crust, or Spice Roast Chicken Legs with Butter Beans.

(Click on the titles to get to my recipes)

Roast Rosemary Lamb with Garlic and Tomatoes:

Roast Rosemary Lamb

 

Thyme and Lemon Ricotta stuffed Pork Roll:

porkrollricotta1

 

Slow roasted Duck a l’Orange with Lingonberry Port Gravy:

slowroastedduckalorange1

 

Coq au Vin:

Coq au Vin

 

Roast Chicken with spiced Peaches:

(you can replace the peaches with plums)

Peach Chicken

 

Lamb Chops with Orange Herb Crust:

Orange Lamb Chops

 

Spice Roast Chicken Legs with Butter Beans and Mint:

spicechickenbeansmint1

Ginger Honey Glazed Duck with Spices and Polenta

Honey Glazed Duck

Sometimes I don’t have the time or patience to slow cook a whole duck for hours like I do with my Christmas Duck. Although this really makes for the most tender and juicy meat, I need a quicker alternative. Here’s what I came up with, honey glazed duck legs, juicy as well, with crisp skin, rubbed with spices and – most importantly – you can enjoy all of this after about an hour. If I find the time I marinade the meat in the morning so that the flavours can spread and soak into the skin during the day but it’s great either way.

I prefer the darker, deeper meat of wildfowl like duck, goose and pheasant, especially in the cold season. They allow you to rub strong spices and herbs into their skin without loosing their own qualities. For my duck legs, I went for an aromatic mixture of clove, bay leaf, ginger, star-anis, thyme, allspice and a good amount of honey for a crispy caramelized skin. The juices made an amazing sauce, a concentrate of all the spices, I just added some red wine. Perfect to dip the polenta in which I seasoned with thyme and rosemary.

Honey Glazed Duck

 Ginger Honey Glazed Duck with Spices and Polenta with Thyme and Rosemary

I prepare the polenta around 4o minutes after I put the duck legs into the oven.

For 2 people you need

duck legs 2
red wine 250ml
(or 100ml red wine and 150ml broth)
salt and black pepper
olive oil

 

For the marinade

strong honey 2 tablespoons
ginger, thumbnail sized, grated
thyme, leaves of 5 sprigs
allspice berries, ground, 3
cloves, ground, 5
bay leaf, ground, 1
star-anis, ground, 1
cinnamon, ground, 1/4 teaspoon

Warm up the honey in a small sauce pan until it becomes liquid, spread on the duck legs together with the spices and rub everything into their skin marinating them for 1 hour (if possible). You can also prepare them in the morning (like I do) and keep them in the fridge all day before you cook them in the evening.

 

 For the duck legs

Set the oven to 260°C / 500°F. My oven has a Rotitherm roasting setting which works perfectly for poultry.

Put the duck legs into an oiled baking dish, skin side up, and season with salt and pepper. Pour the remaining honey and spices of the marinade over the duck and place the dish in the hot oven. When the skin starts to get brown after a few minutes turn the temperature down to 130°C / 265°F and pour the red wine into the baking dish (a little over the duck as well) and bake for 60 minutes. Check with a skewer, if only clear juices come out the duck is done. Keep the duck legs in a warm place, pour the juices into a sauce pan and season with salt and pepper to taste. I didn’t even need to cook the sauce down. It was perfect, very intense, it didn’t need anything else. If you like you can add some more honey, Balsamico or a little orange juice.

 

For the polenta

polenta 120g / 4 ounces
water 250ml plus 150ml for cooking
milk 250ml
thyme, leaves of 4 sprigs
rosemary, chopped, 1/2 – 1 teaspoon
salt 1 teaspoon
olive oil 2 tablespoons

In a sauce pan, mix 250ml of water with the milk and salt and bring to the boil. Take the pan off the heat, add the olive oil, polenta and herbs and mix with a whisk. Turn down the heat to the lowest temperature and put the pan back on. Cook the polenta for 10 minutes mixing and adding the rest of the water once in a while.

Honey Glazed Duck

A Feast of Leftovers

Pasta with Duck

It is so satisfying to create meals with leftovers. Although it is exciting to cook a special meal for a special event, the next day when I see the food that is left I get inspired to combine it differently and create something new. When I enjoyed our Christmas duck and the tasty gravy on Christmas Eve I knew I would make a hearty, wintery pasta dish with the leftovers. This has become something of a tradition. Every year in the days after Christmas, when we need a break of our extensive meals, we eat the meat leftovers and gravy mixed with pasta.

I have Delverde’s Conchiglioni in the shelf – they look absolutely beautiful, like big shells, and they are perfect to catch the rich gravy and duck. I chop up the duck meat into bite sized pieces and warm it up in the sauce. To offset the richness of the gravy I fry two carrots (cut into thin slices) in some oil and a bit of sugar and add a few thyme leaves. I don’t want the carrots to be too soft, it just takes a couple minutes and they still have some bite. When the pasta is ready – al dente – I place the pasta shells on big plates and add the sauce with the meat and the vegetables. You can sprinkle them with crushed pepper if you like it more spicy. It’s nothing short of a feast, just lighter and quicker than the first.

Pasta with Duck

Slow Roast Duck and Yorkshire Pudding – our Christmas Dinner

Christmas Duck

Christmas is one of the special silent moments of the year, it feels like time stops for a few hours. The streets are empty and we share some precious time with the ones we love. It’s a beautiful celebration of love and gratefulness – I wish you all a wonderful and joyful Christmas with the ones who are special to you!

At Christmas time, we share many traditions but each family also creates their own, especially regarding the festive meal. Some of my friends have sumptuous meals and cook for hours, some prefer it simple – like my aunt and uncle – they always celebrate Christmas night with Wiener sausages and potato salad. For me, it has to be duck – together with Yorkshire pudding on the side for the gravy and red cabbage, that’s my tradition.

My duck takes its time and cooks very slowly. It stays in the oven for around 4 hours and cooks on very low temperature (85°C / 185°F) which guarantees the juiciest and most tender meat you can imagine. It never fails! I always make a rich filling with apples, mushrooms, minced meat, liver, bacon and lots of herbs. It’s more like a terrine than a traditional filling – it could be a meal on its own. I prepare a bit more than I need for the duck and cook it in a little terrine dish in the oven (not as long as the duck, just for an 1 1/2 hours). It is similar to French Paté and I love it cold on bread the next day.

Christmas Duck

 

Christmas Duck

 A duck which takes its time

For 4 people you need

duck, rinsed, dried, rubbed with salt and pepper, around 2kg / 4 pounds
with neck, liver and kidneys
olive oil for frying

For the gravy

chicken, duck or goose broth 500ml
rind of 1/4 orange cut in strips
a sprig of thyme
brandy for deglazing
balsamico vinegar to taste
plum chutney or plum butter to taste
salt and pepper
sugar for caramelizing

For the filling

minced beef 80g / 3 ounces
thin slices of white bacon, finely chopped, 2
organic chicken liver, finely chopped, 60g / 2.5 ounces
thin slices of ham, finely chopped, 2
mushrooms, finely chopped, 50g / 2 ounces
sour baking apple, peeled and finely chopped, 1
organic egg 1
breadcrumbs, soaked in cream or milk, 1/2 cup
a small onion, finely chopped
clove of garlic, crushed, 1
parsley, chopped, 1 tablespoon
thyme leaves of 1 sprig
lemon zest 1/2  teaspoon
bay leaf, ground in a mortar, 1
juniper, ground in a mortar, 1
nutmeg, grated
brandy for deglazing
butter for frying
salt and pepper

Heat some butter in a large pan and fry the bacon, mushrooms, apple, onion, garlic, juniper and bay leaf until golden and deglaze with brandy. Put in a large bowl and mix with the other ingredients.

The duck and the gravy

Set your oven to 85°C / 185°F. Our oven has a Rotitherm roasting setting which works perfectly for poultry.

Heat a splash of oil in a large pan and fry the duck on all its sides until golden brown. Take the duck out, place on an oven dish and fill with your prepared filling. If you have some filling left put it in a terrine dish and cook in the oven together with the duck (covered with a lid, for 1 1/2 hours). Leave the duck in the oven for around 4 hours. Check with a skewer after 3 1/2 hours to see if the duck is done, when only clear juices come out, the duck is ready. Brush the top of the duck with gravy (see below) and put under the grill for 3-5 minutes until the skin is golden brown.

My gravy isn’t thick as I prefer it natural without thickening agents. After you put the duck in the oven, fry the duck’s neck, liver and kidneys in the pan you used for the duck and deglaze with brandy. Take the giblets out, pour the broth into the pan and let it simmer down together with the other ingredients for the gravy until it reached its right concentration and taste. Take out the orange rind and thyme sprig and season with salt, pepper, vinegar and chutney. Caramelize 1-2 tablespoons of sugar until brown and add to your gravy.  You can also add some dark chocolate, honey or a tiny bit of orange juice. Play around with it but always use very small amounts of whatever you add and taste in between.

For the red cabbage

Chop a small red cabbage into very thin strips. Rinse the cabbage and fry it – still wet – in some oil or lard in a large pan with a closed lid for 5 minutes (on medium heat). Add 2 glasses of red wine, a chopped apple, some grated ginger, a bay leaf, 6 cloves, 4 junipers, 2 tablespoon of honey and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 1 – 1 1/2 hours.

For the Yorkshire pudding

Mix 200ml of milk together with 2 eggs, 200g / 7 ounces of plain flour and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Fill a bit of oil in little oven dishes (like the ones you use for crème brulée) or in the cups of a muffin pan and put in the hot oven (250°C / 480°F) for a few minutes until the oil is hot. Pour the dough carefully into the hot oil and bake for 12 minutes or until well risen and golden brown. Don’t open the oven door before the puddings are done as they will collapse.

Prepare your dinner table with all your festive food. Enjoy with loved ones!

Christmas Duck

 

Christmas Duck