Roast Duck, Pumpkin Gratin and Cranberry Mostada

, from Issue #18. September, 2015
Photography by Vanessa Wu.
Roast Duck, Pumpkin Gratin and Cranberry Mostada

Serves: 4


1 fresh duck
6 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
sprigs thyme or rosemary
1 lemon, halved
olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pumpkin and Potato Gratin
1 kilogram Agria or other floury potatoes, peeled
1 kilogram Crown pumpkin, peeled
1½-2 cups chicken stock
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cranberry and Red Wine Mostada
1 tablespoon duck fat* or olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1½ teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
⅓ cup sugar
1 cup red wine
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 bay leaf
375 gram bag frozen cranberries, thawed

To finish
1 cup good beef stock
hot wilted spinach


Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Rinse the duck and dry well. Put the garlic, rosemary and lemon in the cavity and season. Tie the legs with kitchen string. Rub the skin with a little olive oil and season generously. Place breast side down on a rack, set over a baking dish. Roast for 1 hour. Turn the duck, breast side up and scatter over a little more salt and pepper. Roast for another hour. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely and leave for 20 minutes.

Pour off the fat and place the baking dish back over the heat. Add the stock and boil until reduced and syrupy. Season and strain into a jug.

Gratin: Butter a six cup-capacity oven-proof baking dish. Cut the potatoes and pumpkin into ½ cm thick slices. Place alternate layers in the dish, sprinkling each layer with garlic, rosemary, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Pour over the stock, season, sprinkle with Parmesan and dot with butter. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook until the top is golden and the vegetables are tender. The gratin can be cooked at the same time as the duck.

Mostada: Heat the duck fat or olive oil in a saucepan and cook the shallot, garlic and rosemary until tender. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the red wine, balsamic vinegar, mustard and the bay leaf and cook at a fast simmer for 15 minutes or until well reduced and syrupy. Stir in the cranberries and simmer for a further 7-8 minutes. Some of the cranberries will burst but try to keep at least half of them whole. Cool if not using immediately but reheat gently before using.

To serve: Cut the duck into quarters and remove the rib cage and all the small bones. This will give semi-boned portions. Place a serving of gratin on individual plates and top with spinach. Arrange the duck on top with a spoonful of cranberry mostada and a drizzle of the pan juices.

*When the duck has been cooking for 30 minutes, drain off a little fat to use in the mostada.