Sautéed duck hearts and livers with vine leaves

"I live on a small vineyard and each autumn, when the wine is produced, my mind turns to the many uses for the by-product as foodstuffs," says Moyle. "The lees from pressing grapes dry out and make a great flavouring, which I'd whisk through the dressing for this dish. In its place, I'd recommend serving the dish with pickled grapes or a grape relish. Autumn is also when game-bird livers are at their best, after the animal has had a glut of fruit heading into winter." Start this recipe a day ahead if you're using fresh vine leaves.

You'll need

8 fresh or brined vine leaves 750 ml soft red wine, such as pinot noir 6 fresh bay leaves 2 William pears, peeled and cored Light olive oil spray 150 gm duck hearts 60 gm butter, coarsely chopped 50 ml almond oil 150 gm duck livers, cleaned, sinew and bitter green patches removed 80 ml (1/3 cup) red wine vinegar 2 spring onions, thinly sliced


  • 01
  • If using fresh vine leaves, stir 200ml water with 20gm salt in a saucepan over low heat to dissolve salt. Remove from heat, cool completely then pour over vine leaves in a non-reactive container, cover and refrigerate overnight to brine.
  • 02
  • Bring wine and bay leaves to the boil in a saucepan large enough to hold the pears. Add pears, weight with a plate to submerge completely, reduce heat to medium and simmer until pears are just tender when pierced with the tip of a small sharp knife (12-15 minutes). Set aside to cool in poaching liquid (2-3 hours), then drain, reserving poaching liquid, and halve.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C. Drain vine leaves, squeeze out excess brine, flatten and pat dry with paper towels. Place on a baking tray, spray with olive oil and bake until crisp (7-8 minutes).
  • 04
  • Clean duck hearts by removing the top of the heart where the fat and sinew are present, and refrigerate until required.
  • 05
  • Heat half the butter in a non-reactive frying pan over medium-high heat until foaming, add pears cut-side down and pan-roast until caramelised (8-10 minutes). Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp almond oil and remaining butter in a separate large pan until foaming, add duck hearts and sauté for 1 minute. Increase heat to high, add livers and cook, turning occasionally, until seared (30 seconds to 1 minute; if you don’t have a large pan, do this in batches or the livers will stew). Tip livers and hearts onto a tray to rest (2-3 minutes) and season with salt.
  • 06
  • Return pan to heat, deglaze with vinegar, then add 200ml poaching liquid, bring to the boil and reduce by half (2-3 minutes). Strain into a bowl, add remaining almond oil and spring onion, whisk together and adjust seasoning. Cut each pear half into 6 pieces, add to dressing with livers and hearts and toss to combine. Divide among serving plates, crush vine leaves over the top and serve.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Elegant red such as a 2011 d’Meure Pinot Noir or a gamay.

Featured in

May 2015

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