Duck Ragu with Pappardelle
Pic. 1 with Pappardelle
Pic. 2 the sauce cooking
Pic. 3 with large tube shaped pasta
Today I made something I’ve never made before. I have my 15 year old grandson, Billy, staying with me while he is doing a work experience in our area. In our conversation he said that he had never had duck before so I decided to make him a duck dish. I made Venetian Duck Ragu with Pappardelle and even if I say so myself, it was delicious. Needless to say, Billy ate two helpings and had to retire to the lounge because he was too full. Lol. I love feeding teenage boys, glad I don’t have any living with me anymore but I love feeding them.
Here’s the recipe. I’ve made a few adjustments myself from the traditional which has flour added for thickener. I found that mine was thick enough using tinned tomatoes in sauce and I don’t like flour in sauces unless absolutely necessary. If you use the tinned whole tomatoes in juice you might need the flour. Pappardelle was my choice of pasta but it is also good with fat tube shapes as you can see in the 3rd picture.
DUCK BREASTS (or legs) x 4
ONIONS x 2 fine chopped
GARLIC CLOVES, fat x 2 sliced
GROUND CINNAMON x 2t
RED WINE x 250 ml.
TINNED TOMATOES chopped with sauce 400gm. x 2
CHICKEN STOCK x 250 ml.
ROSEMARY sprigs x 2 chopped (leaves only)
SUGAR x 1t (if tomatoes are not sweet)
HEAT a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan with lid. Meanwhile
PAT DRY the duck
SCORE the fat on the breasts 4 or 5 times to allow the fat to render out.
Salt and Pepper the breasts
PLACE SKIN-SIDE DOWN in a very hot frying pan and leave them for 5 or 6 minutes. Until the fat has rendered but watch they don’t burn, you might have to lower the heat just a little if your cooker is very hot.
TURN them to brown the other side for just about another 2 minutes.
TRANSFER the duck breasts to a plate leaving the fat in the pan.
ADD the chopped onions to the frying pan with the garlic, Rosemary, cinnamon and salt.
COOK on medium heat until the onions are translucent and soft possibly even golden but not brown. About 6 minutes. Stir occasionally.
ADD the wine now and boil for 3 minutes.
RETURN the duck to the pan, skin side up.(include all juices left on the plate)
ADD the stock and tinned tomatoes.
BRING TO THE BOIL, cover and gently simmer for one hour (if using duck legs simmer 2 hours)
TRANSFER the duck to a cutting board
SKIM off fat from the sauce if there is too much, by using a paper kitchen towel to soak it up or spoon it off.
PUREE sauce with a blender (this is the Venetian tradition but I did not puree my sauce)
RETURN sauce to the frying pan
BOIL TO REDUCE for about 8 minutes or until it looks like a sauce thick enough to cling to pasta.
CHOP the duck breasts finely (or shred if using legs)
RETURN chopped duck to the pan and taste and season with S & P.
COOK your pasta al dente, drain and toss with the ragu.
PARMESAN can be grated over if you like.
Do try it, if the bank account allows for duck. Duck legs are cheaper than the breasts and possibly tastier.
Note: this ragu can be made a day ahead when it tastes even better, in my opinion.