Roast duck pie with mushrooms & sage forcemeat balls

duck pie

duck pie

duck pieFor the filling:

Fry diced bacon until crisp – drain and reserve

Season the duck legs and fry until both sides are golden

Transfer to oven and cook through

Drain off excess fat

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. 3. 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. 4. 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 11/4 hours, until the duck is very tender. 5. 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. 6. 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. 7. 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. 8. 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. Return bacon to the pan

Add chopped mushrooms

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Fry mushrooms until golden

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAdd red wine + chicken stock + bay leaves

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For the pastry:

Sift the flour & add diced butter

Rub the fat in to the flour until it looks like fine breadcrumbs

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Add chopped parsley & mix

Add cold water & mix until the dough is smooth & firm

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Form a ball and wrap in cling film

Chill for 30 minutes

For the forcemeat balls:

Mix together white breadcrumbs + chopped sage & parsley + finely sliced spring onions
+ grated lemon zest + chopped streaky bacon + sausage meat + salt & pepper + beaten egg

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Roll into balls and chill

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARemove duck legs and allow to cool

Add flour and redcurrant jelly to the wine & mushroom pan to create a rich, well seasoned sauce

Allow to cool

16Remove the duck meat from the legs

Add the meat to the red wine sauce & pour into pie dish

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Arrange the the forcemeat balls over the sauce so that they will support the pastry lid

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Roll out the parsley pastry

Roll out the pastry until it’s about 2.5 cm larger than the top of the pie dish

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Cut off thin strip of pastry from around the edge & brush with beaten egg

Press the pastry strip onto the rim of the dish and brush with more egg

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Top with the pastry lid & press the edges together to sea

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Press edge of fork around the rim

Decorate with pastry ‘leaves’ from the trimmings & make a steam hole in the lid

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Brush the lid with more beaten egg & chill for 30 minutes

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABake at 200C for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden

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Beef ravioli in a chicken, pancetta and mascarpone sauce

Use 1 large egg per 100g of flour (preferably Tipo 00 or a mix)

Create a well and crack the eggs into it (add tomato puree to the egg at this stage for tomato pasta)

Whisk the eggs together and begin to combine with the flour until you have a soft dough

Knead for 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic

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Wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes

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Steak + garlic for ravioli filling

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Fry steak for 4 minutes

Add whole garlic cloves and fry for another 2 minutes

Add beef stock S & P

Cover and simmer for 15 minutes

Remove meat and coarsely mince

Return to pan and stir into leafover stock

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Set over a medium heat until the minced beef has just absorbed the leftover stock

Allow to cool

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Mix with breadcrumbs + Parmesan + S & P

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Steak + chicken + pancetta for sauce

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Coarsely mince the meats

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Fry in butter or mild  olive oil until golden

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Add white wine and allow to evaporate slowly over a low heat

Add chicken stock + tomato puree + S & P

Cover & simmer for 30 minutes

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Remove pasta from fridge

Cut off a portion about as large as an orange

Flatten dough with the base of the palm of your hand

Pass through the widest setting on your pasta machine

Fold the two ends into the middle & pass through  a few more times until the pasta begins to fit the width of pasta machine

Dust with flour as required

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The pasta should be silky and have straight sides

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Start to change the dial settings on your pasta machine so you can roll the pasta thinner and thinner

Remember to roll the pasta through each setting 2-3 times

& don’t be tempted to skip any!

For ravioli go to the lowest/thinnest setting

For tagliatelle, linguine, lasagne etc roll out to between 1-2mm thick & then run the dough through your chosen attachment

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Cut the pasta sheet in 2

Make 2 rows of about 1 teaspoon of the ravioli filling on 1 of the sheets

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Lightly brush a little water around each filling

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Top with the second sheet of pasta

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Press down around the dots of the filling

Gently push down around each filling, tightly sealing in the filling and ensuring there is no air left

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Cut the pasta into ravioli with a cutter

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Cook in gently boiling water for 3-5 minutes (depending on size) until al dente and drain

Add mascarpone to the chicken & pancetta sauce

Add cooked ravioli and parsley to the sauce

Equally good with chicken or spinach, pine nut and ricotta filling

Croque Monsieur

Ham + Gruyere + Dijon mustard + quality sliced white bread

croque monsieur 21 2016

Spread mustard on bread

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Top with sliced ham & sliced or grated Gruyere

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Top with another slice of bread

Butter both sides of the bread & place the sandwich in a hot ‘dry’ frying pan

Cook over medium heat (about 3-4 minutes)  or until golden brown on both sides

 

croque monsieur

Make a thick Bechamel

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Allow to cool

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croque monsieur

Spread bechamel on the top slice & sprinkle over more grated Gruyere

Grill under a medium heat until cheese has melted and is golden

croque monsieur 2017

croque monsieur 11 2017

croque monsieur 6 2016

Great for weekend brunch

& if you’re extra hungry, top with a fried egg for a Croque Madame!

Greek, Mexican and Spanish inspired pizza

Pizza

Greek

courgettes

Slice courgettes thinly

Toast some pine nuts

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Spread tomato sauce on the pizza base

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Top with courgettes  + halloumi + pine nuts + oregano

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Drizzle with dill olive oil

Season and cook for 5 minutes at the highest temperature your oven can achieve

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Mexican

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Avocado + garlic + red onion + red pepper + green chilli + lime juice +  sea salt

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Soak chipotle chillies in warm water

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Marinate raw prawns in olive oil and chopped chipotle chillies

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Fry for a minute or two

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Put the prawns + the oil & chipotle from the frying pan in a bowl

Add cayenne + sweet or smoked paprika + finely chopped garlic

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Spread guacamole on to the pizza base

Top with the prawns & drizzle over the marinade

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Add some finely sliced red chillies & Monterey Jack or mature Cheddar +spring onions + sea salt

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Top with more guacamole + finely sliced spring onions + extra red chilli if you like it hot!

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Spanish

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Make Romesco with roasted red peppers + toasted almond & hazelnuts + fried bread + cayenne + paprika + garlic + sea salt+ olive oil

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Spread over the pizza base

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Finely grate Manchego & slice up some Iberico chorizo bellota

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Top the Romesco with sliced ramiro peppers + chorizo + shredded spinach

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Sprinkle over some grated Manchego + garlic oil

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Spoon over more garlic oil and chopped parsley

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Good with an extra dollop of Romesco – shame to waste it!

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Tomato tagliatelle with mozzarella, pine nuts, capers and olives

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Prepare fresh tomato tagliatelle as described in the previous post for ‘ravioli’

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Cook in gently boiling water until al dente  & drain

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Toss the cooked tagliatelle in garlic oil & season with S & P

Stir in diced mozzarella + toasted pine nuts + cherry tomatoes + olives + capers + rocket + torn basil

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Perfect as it is

 . . . also goes well with grilled lemon & rosemary chicken or fresh tuna steak (minus the mozzarella)