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Paul Carmichael's great cake

"Great cake, also known in Barbados as black cake or rum cake, is a variation of British Christmas cake that's smashed with rum and falernum syrup," says Momofuku Seiobo chef Paul Carmichael. "This festive cake varies from household to household but they all have two things in common: tons of dried fruit and rum. It's a cake that should be started at least a month out so the fruit can marinate in the booze. Start this recipe up to five weeks ahead to macerate the fruit and baste the cake."

Braised duck, bacon and beans


You'll need

2 tbsp duck fat (see note) 1 duck (about 2.3kg), cut into 8 pieces 2 onions, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 300 gm smoked bacon or speck, cut into 2cm pieces 400 gm canned tomatoes, chopped 400 gm (2 cups) dried white beans, such as cannellini or navy, soaked in cold water overnight, drained 6 sage leaves 3 fresh bay leaves 4 whole allspice 140 gm (2 cups) fresh coarse breadcrumbs 2 tbsp olive oil

Method

  • 01
  • Heat duck fat in a casserole over high heat, add duck pieces and turn occasionally until browned (10 minutes). Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 150C. Add onion, garlic and bacon to casserole, reduce heat to low-medium, stir until softened (5-7 minutes), return duck to casserole and add tomato, beans, sage, bay leaves, allspice and 3 litres water. Bring to the simmer, cover and cook in oven until beans are tender (3-3½hours). Increase oven to 200C, season duck and beans to taste and transfer to a shallow 3.2-litre baking dish. Scatter with breadcrumbs, drizzle with oil and bake until breadcrumbs are golden (20 minutes). Serve hot.
Note Duck fat is available in cans from select delicatessens and French food shops.

This recipe is from the July 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

While far less intricate than a cassoulet in its preparation, this recipe borrows all that's good from the French classic: duck, pork, beans and crust. You'll need to begin it a day ahead.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Gutsy, earthy red Minervois or a central Victorian shiraz.

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