Recipe by Tim Pile, head chef at the Rosevine near Portscatho. Taken from The Great Cornish Food Book, (Cornwall Food & Drink Ltd, £17.99)
Recipe (Serves 4)
• 4 Cornish duck breasts
• 6 duck legs
• Duck fat
• Cornish sea salt and spices and aromatics (eg cinnamon, thyme, garlic, orange zest)
• 6 carrots
• 4 cardamom pods
• 70g Cornish butter
• Panko breadcrumbs
• 1 cup plain flour
• 1 egg and a splash of milk (egg wash)
1 Rub the duck legs generously with the salt, spices and aromatics. Leave uncovered in the fridge for 24 hours.
2 Wash the duck legs under cold running water, put in a deep roasting tin and cover with duck fat. Place covered in the oven at 140°C for approximately 2½ hours. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Pull the meat from the bones and lay on a double sheet of cling film. Roll in the cling film to form a ballotine (thick sausage shape – approximately 5cm diameter). Twist or tie the ends up tightly and refrigerate to set.
3 Peel and dice the carrots. Melt the butter in a pan and lightly sweat the carrots, adding the whole cardamom pods. Add a splash of stock or water and cook until soft. Season with salt and blend to a smooth purée.
4 Score the skin on the duck breasts and season. Heat a splash of oil in a metal-handled frying pan. Place breasts skin side down for 5 minutes. Place the whole pan in the oven at 190°C for 5 minutes. Take pan from oven and turn the meat over, leaving off the heat in the pan to finish cooking through.
5 Remove the cling film from the leg ballotine and cut into equal sized portions (approximately 2cm wide). Coat each portion with flour, egg and breadcrumbs and lightly fry.
6 Slice the duck breasts and serve each portion with the purée and sliced confit leg.
A mixture of roasted root vegetables and a red wine sauce would suit this dish on a winter evening.
The Great Cornish Food Book is now available to order for just £17.99 from www.greatcornishfoodbook.co.uk
Christmas lunch at The Rosevine costs £65 per person and £35 for children under 12. Overnight accommodation and New Year’s Eve Party packages available. For more information, call 01872 580206 or visit www.rosevine.co.uk