Thursday, January 16, 2014
Who would have thought that actress Gwyneth Paltrow loves to cook and eat!. I was never a fan of her previous movies, such as Shakespear in Love, then I watched her television show on AFC, (asian food channel) called Spain on the road again along with Mark Bittman, Mario Batali and another spanish actress and discovered she had a lovely personalty with quite a big appetite.( she seems very down to earth and sweet ) Her blog is a bit posh for me but some of the recipes they have are pretty good and even her book , My Father's daughter, features some lovely recipes ( although I don't own one , I have seen some of the recipes featured on various magazines and also on her blog , Goop.)
Duck is not something most Maldivians cook, in fact some would probably run half a mile away from it. My niece now looks at me suspiciously if I bring over something to try she thinks I am trying to feed her duck. ( then again she is ten, about to become a tween ). Now a days I have seen whole duck ( frozen ofcourse) being sold in some of the local supermarkets or duck portions such as leg or breast.
So I decided to try Gwyneth Paltrow ' s Duck Ragu from her book My father's Daughter a try. I changed a little of the method but stuck to most of the recipe. Its a large portion for a family of 4 , so I gave half of the ragu for my mum to try ( who as usual said that I should have added a little more chilli to it). You can even freeze the ragu for later use. I served it with home made pasta, you can serve with dried pasta such as tagliatelli or spagetti or even penne.
Recipe : Duck Ragu recipe adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow's Duck Ragu recipe from My Father's Daughter.
1 whole duck( thawed)
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
1 medium carrot chopped
1 stick celery finely chopped ( optional)
1 ( 425g) can of peeled tomatoes
2 heaped teaspoons tomato paste
1-2 sprig rosemary or 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
a pinch dried chilli flakes
finely chopped parsley ( about an handful)
1. Preheat oven to Gas mark 4, wash and pat dry the duck, the one I bought had its neck attached (gave me the creeps) so I had it chopped off with the cleaver. wrap some foil on the wing tips and feet. Make sure the duck is completely dry. Rub a generous amount of salt and pepper and place on a large roasting tray and pop in the oven for 2 hours. Check the duck after about 2 hours ,baste a little during this time from the juices that comes out from it, the skin should be crisping by the end of 2 hours. Check if the meat is cooked, duck should not be over cooked as the meat becomes tough. Remove and let it rest and cool. Remove the skin ( if are feeling a bit health conscious) shred the meat ( most of the meat is on the breast and legs) set a side the till you prepare the sauce. Reduce the oven temperature to 3
2. Heat olive oil in a large thick bottomed casserole ( use one that has a oven proof handles, if not wrap some foil on the handles before putting in oven later). Saute' onions, along with garlic, celery and carrots till the vegetables go slightly soft. Add rosemary, chilli flakes, tomato paste, tiny pinch salt and pepper. Add can of tomatoes . Fill the tomato can with water and swirl it around and pour the contents into the pot . Stir bring to boil. Stir in the shredded duck meat . Cover and pop into the oven for 1 hour.
3. After one hour remove the pot, if the liquid is still very runny, cook on medium high heat, without lid, on the stove top for about 10 minutes. You should have a nice slightly thick sauce not too thick either. Taste adjust salt , stir in parsley and serve with fresh pappardelle or any cooked pasta of your choice.
Note : Do not throw away the duck fat that seeps out when roasting the duck, its delicious stuff, spoon it into a small bottle and store it to use with sausages or for making roast potatoes.