Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Simple Duck Sauce for Pasta

Duck can be expensive, but the legs seem to be the best value bit.  I’ve been told that duck sauces should be served with tagliatelle and, since I don’t want to argue with an Italian, I couldn’t agree more. (Although I’m sure that a different pasta of the same general type and shape might do instead).

2 duck legs (fairly meaty ones)
1 medium carrot, very finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ glass red wine
400 g tin of chopped tomatoes
Pinch of sugar
½ tsp dried oregano or about 1 tsp of chopped fresh leaves

Season the duck legs all over and roast at 180°C (in a fan oven, a little hotter otherwise) for 50 minutes. Set them aside until they are cool enough to handle, remove the skin and strip all the meat from the bones, getting rid of as much fat as reasonably possible as you go. Hopefully you should be left with small but irregular bits of meat.

In the meantime, heat a little olive oil and fry the shallots and carrots gently for 7 or 8 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to fry for another 2 minutes. Turn up the heat, add the red wine and reduce it until its almost gone.

Lower the heat, add the tomatoes, the sugar and oregano. Season with salt and pepper and simmer the mixture gently for 10 to 15 minutes until it has thickened a little. Add the duck meat and heat through before serving with your chosen pasta.