Thursday, February 20, 2014

Duck confit with beets

Well the long wait for the confit to age in the fridge is over, the legs had been submerged in the duck fat for a little over two months and it was well and truly time to dig them out and roast them up. You don’t need to age your confit, but doing so intensifies the gamey ducky flavour. The crispy duck leg was served up with a pan seared pickled beet salad and a beet gastrique made using the cider vinegar that pickled the beets.

The night before beetroot was wrapped up in tinfoil along with some aromatics, allspice, cinnamon and peppercorns, baked in a moderate oven until tender then left to cool. When cool enough to handle, unpack the beets and rub off the skin, slice into bite size wedges, place in a container and cover with cider vinegar and a little salt. Refrigerate overnight.

To make the gastrique, slowly caramelize some sugar in a pan and then pour in an equal quantity of the pickling vinegar and a couple sprigs of thyme. Let the liquid reduce to a syrup, but don’t reduce to far. Pick out the thyme sprigs, and set the sauce aside.

Preheat the oven to about 220°C and get a oven proof sauté pan on a high heat. Dig out the legs from the fat and carefully scrape off and excess fat. Place the legs skin side down in the searingly hot pan and cook for a few minutes then transfer to the oven for about 5 minutes. Place the legs on a board and set aside to rest for a couple of minutes.

While the duck is resting, toast some hazelnuts and sauté the sliced beetroot in some olive oil until caramelised. Toss all together with some chopped parsley.

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