We won't pretend that this is not extravagant, but it's impressive too, and better still, all the components can be prepared before your guests arrive. If you can't juice your own beetroot for the jelly, you could buy fresh beetroot juice from your local juice bar. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.
- 1 duck (about 2.3kg), deboned (see note)
- 125 gm foie gras (see note), cut lengthways into 1cm-thick strips
- 500 gm beetroot (about 3)
- 1½ titanium-strength gelatine leaves, softened in cold water for 5 minutes
- 7 gm dried yeast (about 1 sachet)
- 70 ml lukewarm milk
- 350 gm softened butter
- 30 gm caster sugar
- 500 gm plain flour (3⅓ cups)
- 6 eggs
- 1For beetroot jelly, coarsely chop beetroot and pass through an electric juicer into a saucepan to yield 300ml juice (discard froth from surface). Bring juice to the simmer over medium heat. Squeeze out excess water from gelatine, add to juice and stir to dissolve, season to taste, pour into an airtight container and refrigerate until set (6 hours-overnight).
- 2Place duck skin-side down on a work surface, season to taste, place pieces of foie gras along centre and roll lengthways to enclose. Tie duck at 7cm intervals with kitchen string and wrap in baking paper, then foil, twisting ends to seal. Bring a large saucepan of water to the simmer over low heat, add duck and cook until firm when pressed (2 hours). Drain and set aside to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled and firm (6 hours-overnight).
- 3For brioche, stir yeast and milk in a small jug to dissolve yeast and set aside until foaming (5-6 minutes). Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until creamy, then set aside. Mix flour, eggs, yeast mixture and 2 tsp salt in a clean bowl in the electric mixer fitted with a dough hook until smooth and elastic (10 minutes). With motor running on medium speed, gradually add butter mixture a little at a time, allowing each batch to be incorporated before adding the next, then beat until dough is smooth and glossy (3-4 minutes). Cover with a tea towel and set aside until doubled in size (2 hours). Knock back dough, shape into a cylinder, press into a 22cm x 11cm loaf tin, cover loosely with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size (1 hour). Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C. Brush top of brioche with eggwash and bake until golden and cooked through (40 minutes). To test doneness, tap the base of the loaf: it should sound hollow. Cool slightly in tin (5 minutes), then turn out and cool completely on a wire rack.
- 4Preheat grill to high heat. Slice brioche 1cm thick and grill, turning once, until golden (1-2 minutes). Thickly slice duck and serve on toasted brioche with a spoonful of beetroot jelly, scattered with chervil.
You can ask your butcher to bone the duck for you. Foie gras is available in cans from select French food shops.
This recipe is from the July 2012 issue of
Drink Suggestion: Perfumed red Côte Rôtie or Canberra District shiraz viognier. Drink suggestion by Max Allen