Roast duck pies
- November 2005
- Serves 4
- Takes 1 ¾ hours to make, 25 minutes to bake, plus chilling
These individual duck pies will be a sensation at your dinner party – the meat is cooked on the bone for added flavour and maximum impact.
- 59.9g (24.8g saturated)
- 67.5g (12.5g sugars)
- 150g fatty bacon, cut into strips
- 1 tsp sunflower oil
- 4 duck legs
- 225g shallots, halved if large
- 1 tsp sugar
- 175g carrots, chopped (or use whole very small baby carrots)
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 250ml red wine
- 600ml beef stock
- 1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
- 5 tsp butter, very soft
- 5 tsp plain flour
- 175g peas, fresh or frozen (and thawed)
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
For the pastry
- 225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- ½ tsp salt
- 65g butter, chilled and cubed
- 65g lard or white vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 medium egg yolk
- Make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a food processor, add the butter and lard or shortening and whizz for a few seconds until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the thyme leaves and 4-5 tablespoons cold water and whizz briefly until the mixture just starts to come together. Tip onto a surface lightly dusted with flour and knead briefly until smooth. Wrap in cling film and chill until needed.
- Heat a large, flameproof casserole over a high heat, lower the heat slightly, add the bacon and oil and fry until crisp and lightly golden. Lift onto a plate with a slotted spoon. Season the duck legs with salt and pepper, add to the casserole and fry all over, until golden brown. Set aside with the bacon.
- Pour away all but 1 tablespoon of the duck fat from the casserole, add the shallots and fry until they begin to take on a little bit of colour. Sprinkle them with the sugar and continue to cook until nicely golden on all sides. Add the carrots and fry for 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and fry briefly. Pour in the red wine, beef stock and redcurrant jelly, and bring to the boil.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Stir the bacon into the casserole, rest the duck legs on top, cover and roast for 1¼ hours, until the duck is very tender.
- Lift the duck legs out of the casserole and set aside until cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, skim off the excess fat from the top of the sauce, place the casserole over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Mix the soft butter and flour until smooth, then stir into the sauce. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until thickened, then stir in the peas, chopped mint and seasoning to taste. Remove from the heat.
- Discard the skin from each of the duck legs and cut them in half at the joint. Take the meat off the thighs, (discarding the bones), break into small pieces and stir into the sauce. Stand the duck drumsticks upright in 4 x 350ml deep ovenproof pie dishes (ours were 11cm wide and 6cm deep). Spoon the sauce around each leg. Wrap the top of the legs in foil so they don’t burn in the oven.
- Unwrap the pastry and divide into 4. Roll each piece out on a lightly floured surface to make a 15cm disc, and cut a cross in the centre of each. Beat the yolk with 1 teaspoon cold water, then brush it onto the underside edges of each disc. Position the discs over the pie dishes so that the duck drumsticks poke through the holes. Press the edges firmly onto the rims and sides of the dishes. Chill for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Put the pies onto a baking tray, brush the pastry with the remaining egg/water mix. Bake for 25 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.
If you haven’t got the 4 individual pie dishes, take all the duck meat off the thighs and drumsticks and make a regular pie in a 1.5-litre pie dish.
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