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Duck pie

Serves: 6

Duration: 3 hours

Difficulty: Intermediate

Ingredients

  • 4 duck legs
  • 10 juniper berries
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp duck fat
  • 2 large shallots, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 100g celeriac, finely diced
  • 500ml dark ale
  • 500ml fresh beef stock
  • 2x 320g sheets all-butter puff pastry
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten for glazing

When Portland restaurant first opened, their pithivier of wild game was so popular they couldn’t keep up with demand and had to remove it from the menu! Here’s a simplified version of the recipe by Head Chef Merlin Labron-Johnson that has been adapted for home cooks.

1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees, gas mark 2. Season the duck and put it on a baking tray. Cover with foil, roast for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, until the meat comes away easily from the bone. Take it off the bone and shred into medium-sized pieces. Discard the skin.

2. Meanwhile, toast the juniper berries and peppercorns in a dry frying pan until fragrant, then crush in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar. Melt the duck fat in a pan and sweat the vegetables and spices for 25 minutes. Add the ale and boil until it has almost completely evaporated. Add the stock and boil until it has almost completely evaporated. Stir in the duck the mixture should be just coated in a sticky sauce. Season, allow to cool completely, then chill for an hour.

3. Using a 22cm plate as a guide, cut a circle out of 1 puff pastry sheet (you may need to roll the pastry out slightly). Put the duck mixture in the middle and spread out evenly, leaving a 2cm border around the edge. Brush this border with a little egg yolk. Cut another slightly bigger circle of pastry from the second sheet, about 24cm in diameter. Place it over the duck so that the edges of the pastry meet. Crimp all around so the pithivier is well sealed and airtight, then chill for 20 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees, gas mark 3. Brush the pithivier all over with the egg yolk and make decorative lines on top of the pie using a small, sharp knife (do not cut through the pastry). Make a small hole in the middle to allow steam to escape. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, until golden all over. Lave to cool a little before serving with steamed savoy cabbage, if you so please.

Ingredients

  • 4 duck legs
  • 10 juniper berries
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp duck fat
  • 2 large shallots, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 100g celeriac, finely diced
  • 500ml dark ale
  • 500ml fresh beef stock
  • 2x 320g sheets all-butter puff pastry
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten for glazing

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