"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.
- 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
- 1If 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.
- 2Bring 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.
- 3Meanwhile, 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).
- 4Clean duck hearts by removing the top of the heart where the fat and sinew are present, and refrigerate until required.
- 5Heat 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.
- 6Return 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.
Drink Suggestion: Elegant red such as a 2011 d’Meure Pinot Noir or a gamay.