- 4 Gressingham Duck Legs
- 4 rashers smoked bacon
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 onion, peeled and diced
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- 500ml good red wine
- 300ml chicken stock
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 leek, washed and sliced
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 1 packed ready-rolled puff pastry (320g)
- 1 egg, beaten
1 Prepare the duck legs by removing any excess fat, piercing the skin all over with a skewer and seasoning well. Place a casserole dish on a medium heat and sear the duck legs gently skin-side down until the fat has rendered. Turn the legs over and sear the other side until golden brown, then remove the duck from the pan.
2 Carefully pour off the excess duck fat from the pan. Add the bacon, garlic and onion then fry gently for 5 minutes, or until the onion has softened. Add the tomato purée and thyme, cook for a further 2 minutes, then place the duck legs back in the pan. Cover them with the wine and stock, then leave to simmer for 1 hour with the lid on.
3 After the hour, add the carrot and leek to the pan. Cook for a further 30 minutes, then carefully lift the duck legs out of the pan, remove the meat from the bone and set aside in a warm place. Mix the cornflour with two tablespoons of cold water and add the paste to the pan, stirring until the mixture thickens and turns glossy. Fold the duck meat back into the sauce, taste to check the seasoning, then spoon your pie filling into six individual dishes and allow to cool.
4 Unroll and cut out pieces of pastry large enough to top each pie. Brush the edge of each dish with a little beaten egg. Place the pastry on top and press firmly on the edges. Trim off any excess pastry with a sharp knife, then brush the pie lids with beaten egg. You can store the pies in the fridge for up to three days at this point.
5 When you are ready to cook, place the pies in a preheated oven at 180°C/Gas Mark 4 for 35 minutes until the pastry is risen and golden.
Recipe by Gressingham Duck