“With its mix of bitter leaves and dandelion, this dish says ‘salad’, but then you add in the duck, pancetta and horseradish mascarpone and it tips it into delicious decadence,” says Paul Allam. You’ll need to begin this recipe a day ahead to cure the duck legs.
- 4 duck Marylands (about 250gm each)
- 60 gm sea salt
- 8 garlic cloves, unpeeled, bruised
- 8 thyme sprigs
- 10 black peppercorns
- 6 juniper berries
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 660 gm duck fat, or enough to cover, melted
- 80 gm mild flat pancetta, cut into lardons
- 4 radishes, quartered
- 3 golden shallots, peeled and quartered
- 3 cups (loosely packed) mixed bitter leaves, such as curly endive, red witlof, sorrel, watercress, dandelion and radicchio
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp Sherry vinegar
- 100 gm mascarpone, softened
- 40 gm horseradish, finely grated
- Juice of ¼ lemon
- 1Combine duck and salt in a non-reactive container, toss to combine then cover and refrigerate overnight to lightly cure.
- 2Preheat oven to 110C. Rinse duck under cold water, pat dry with absorbent paper and place in a deep roasting pan. Add 6 garlic cloves, 4 thyme sprigs, peppercorns, juniper and bay leaf and cover with duck fat. Cover closely with baking paper and foil and roast for 1½ hours. Uncover and roast until meat just comes away from bone (1-1½ hours). Remove legs from fat (discard fat or strain and reserve for another use) and refrigerate until required.
- 3Increase oven to 150C. Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add pancetta, radish, shallot and remaining garlic and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden (2-3 minutes), then transfer to oven and roast until lightly golden and soft (10 minutes). Set aside.
- 4For horseradish mascarpone, combine ingredients in a small bowl, season to taste and stir gently with a wooden spoon (do not overwork). Refrigerate until required.
- 5Meanwhile, cook duck legs skin-side down in a frying pan lined with baking paper over low heat until fat renders and skin is golden-brown and crisp (5-7 minutes), then transfer to oven to warm through (5 minutes). Shred duck meat from bones (discard bones) and set aside.
- 6Combine pancetta mixture with mixed leaves, olive oil and vinegar, season to taste and divide among plates. Scatter duck over, top with spoonfuls of horseradish mascarpone and serve warm.
This recipe is from the April 2013 issue of .
Drink Suggestion: 2008 Tertini Reserve Pinot Noir, Southern Highlands, NSW, or 2008 Freeman Secco Rondinella and Corvina, Hilltops, NSW. Drink suggestion by Willem Hock