I fancied something a little special for our anniversary and it had been a long time since we’d had duck. We also fancied some beetroot so I put the two together, along with a variation on the mash I did for the fish pie recently to make a delicious dinner.
Duck breast with pomme purée and roast roots:
For the roast roots:
4 fist-sized beetroot, skinned and diced
2 carrots, diced the same size as the beetroots
4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
Sprig of rosemary
Sprig of thyme
For the potatoes:
4 charlotte potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm thick slices
For the duck:
2 duck breasts, skin scored with a diamond pattern
2 rashers of bacon
6 juniper berries, squished a bit
1 teaspoon flour
400ml chicken stock
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
- Pop the beetroot, carrot, garlic, thyme and rosemary in a baking tray and toss in olive oil. Put in the oven for 45 mins – 1 hour until the veg is tender. After 30 minutes add salt, pepper and a sprinkle of sugar, then douse generously with balsamic vinegar and toss well.
- For the potatoes, rinse in cold water then plunge into salted boiling water for 20 minutes or until very tender. Drain and pass through a sieve onto butter. When you’re ready to serve, get the milk to the boil in a pan and beat the potato into it.
- For the duck, heat a dry frying pan to very, very hot. Season the duck generously on both sides and place skin-side down into the pan. When the skin has crisped (about 5 minutes), pop the bacon and juniper in the same pan and put the lot in the oven.
- After 18 minutes remove the duck and allow to rest while you make a sauce. Take the pan on to a hob on a high heat and sprinkle over the flour. Stir in well then add the stock. Bubble furiously until it’s thick and reduced. Serve everything together and eat while piping hot.