October 2, 2008

Slow-Cooked Duck with Braised Red Cabbage and Hazelnuts

Restaurant: Mub Bar and Restaurant (Tasmania)

Recipe from Chef Massimo Mele (appeared in Australian Gourmet traveller: August 2008)

2009 Rating: Did not make top 100

For my first attempt at a recipe from a restaurant, I’m trying Mud Bar and Restaurant’s Slow-Cooked Duck. This year Mud Bar did not make the top 100, and was not ranked in the top 10 of its State (TAS). However, last year it had a strong placing. I’ve chosen this recipe because a lot of restaurants have their own version of duck confit. I’ve never attempted to make confit before, so this will be an interesting learning curve for me.

Before I post about my failure or success, I thought I would make a posting about the recipe itself, so you will get an idea of what I’m facing in the kitchen. So here goes.

Begin this recipe a day ahead.

Prep time 25 mins, cook 4 hours 45 min (plus salting)

Serves 4


500 gm rock sea salt

Rind from 1 orange and 1 lemon, removed with a peeler

6 star anise

10 cm piece of ginger, thickly sliced

6 garlic cloves, bruised

4 duck Marylands (about 300 gm each)

1 tbsp Chinese five spice

850 gm (4 cups) duck fat

Baby rocket and coarsely chopped roast hazelnuts, to serve


25 mL olive oil

4 golden shallots, thinly sliced

2 tsp honey

½ tsp Chinese five spice

300 mL old tawny Port

25 mL red wine vinegar

500 mL (2 cups) each of duck or brown chicken stock and beef stock


50 mL olive oil

1 onion, thingly sliced

110 gm (1/2 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar

½ red cabbage (about 700 gm) thingly sliced

125 mL (1/2 cup) red wine vinegar


1. Combine salt, rind, star anise, ginger and garlic in a non-reactive dish. Place duck, skin side down on top of salt mix and rub flesh with five spice. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

2. Meanwhile, for duck jus, heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add shallot, honey and five spice and cook over medium heat until caramelised and sticky (7-10 minutes). Add Port and vinegar. Bring to the boil and cook until reduced by half (5-7 minutes). Add stocks, return to the boil and cook until reduced by half (30-45 minutes). Season to taste. Cool, strain through a muslin-lined sieve (discard solids) and refrigerate overnight. Remove fat from the top of jus and discard.

3. Preheat oven to 120C. Warm duck fat in a small roasting pan over medium heat. Remove duck from salt, brush off excess salt and place in warmed fat, ensuring duck is completely submerged. Cook in oven until meat is tender and almost falls off the bone (3-3 ½ hours). Remove duck and reserve 500 mL duck fat. Keep remaining fat for roasting vegetables.

4. Meanwhile, from braised red cabbage, heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and garlic and stir occasionally over medium heat until soft (7-10 minutes). Add cabbage and stir occasionally until soft (8-10 minutes). Add vinegar and salt, stir to combine and cook until liquid is almost evaporated (20-25 minutes). Season to taste and keep warm.

5. Increase oven to 200C. Place a piece of baking paper in a large frying pan, add reserved duck fat, add duck skin-side down (take care as duck will spit) and cook over medium-high heat until skin is crisp (3-5 minutes). Remove duck from fat, blot with absorbent kitchen paper and serve immediately with braised cabbage and rocket leaves, scattered with hazelnuts and drizzled with jus.

The recipe looks like its going to take a long time, considering the long cooking time. But hopefully it will be very tasty. Stay tuned for the victorious results (fingers crossed).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds absolutely delicious! Although I don't think it'll help with the waste line, but if that's the risk that needs to be taken I think I can manage.