Chef's Recipes

Slow-cooked duck, braised red cabbage and hazelnuts

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for slow-cooked duck, braised red cabbage and hazelnuts by Launceston's Mud Bar and Restaurant.

  • 25 mins preparation
  • 4 hrs 45 mins cooking plus salting
  • Serves 4
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Slow-cooked duck, braised red cabbage and hazelnuts
“The slow-cooked duck with red cabbage from Launceston’s Mud Bar and Restaurant is the best duck I’ve ever eaten. I’d love the recipe.”
Dana Detraux, Melbourne, Vic
To request a recipe, write to Fare Exchange, , GPO Box 4088, Sydney, NSW 2001, or email us. All requests should include the restaurant’s name and address or business card, as well as your name and address.
This dish was created by Mud’s first head chef, Massimo Mele, and has remained a signature dish. You’ll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.


  • 500 gm rock sea salt
  • 1 orange and 1 lemon, rind removed with a peeler only
  • 6 star anise
  • 10 cm piece of ginger, thickly sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, bruised
  • 4 duck Marylands (about 300gm each)
  • 1 tbsp Chinese five spice
  • 850 gm (4 cups) duck fat
  • To serve: baby rocket and coarsely chopped roast hazelnuts
Duck jus
  • 25 ml olive oil
  • 4 golden shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp honey
  • ½ tsp Chinese five spice
  • 300 ml old tawny Port
  • 25 ml red wine vinegar
  • 500 ml (2 cups) each of duck or brown chicken stock and beef stock (see note)
Braised red cabbage
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ½ red cabbage (about 700gm), thinly sliced
  • 125 ml (½ cup) red wine vinegar
  • 110 gm (½ cup, firmly packed) brown sugar


  • 1
    Combine salt, rind, star anise, ginger and garlic in a non-reactive dish (see note). Place duck skin-side down on top of salt mixture and rub flesh with five spice. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, for duck jus, heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add shallot, honey and five spice and cook over medium heat until caramelised and sticky (7-10 minutes). Add Port and vinegar, bring to the boil and cook until reduced by half (5-7 minutes). Add stocks, return to the boil and cook until reduced by half (30-45 minutes). Season to taste. Cool, strain through a muslin-lined sieve (discard solids) and refrigerate overnight. Remove fat from top of jus and discard.
  • 3
    Preheat oven to 120C. Warm duck fat in a small roasting pan over medium heat. Remove duck from salt, brush off excess salt and place in warmed fat, ensuring duck is completely submerged. Cook in oven until meat is tender and almost falls from the bone (3-3½ hours). Remove duck and reserve 500ml duck fat. Keep remaining fat for roasting vegetables.
  • 4
    Meanwhile, for braised red cabbage, heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and garlic and stir occasionally over medium heat until soft (7-10 minutes). Add cabbage and stir occasionally until soft (8-10 minutes). Add vinegar and sugar, stir to combine and cook until liquid is almost evaporated (20-25 minutes). Season to taste and keep warm.
  • 5
    Increase oven to 200C. Place a piece of baking paper in a large frying pan, add reserved duck fat, add duck skin-side down (take care as duck will spit) and cook over medium-high heat until skin is crisp (3-5 minutes), then roast until warmed through (3-5 minutes). Meanwhile, reheat jus gently in a saucepan over medium heat (2-3 minutes). Remove duck from fat, blot with absorbent kitchen paper and serve immediately with braised cabbage and rocket leaves, scattered with hazelnuts and drizzled with jus.


Duck and brown chicken stock are available from select delicatessens. For non-reactive dishes, use glass, ceramic or plastic when marinating to prevent the acidic nature of marinades reacting with metal dishes and imparting a metallic taste.