Food Glorious Food; October 2014
By Robert Hanson
“i’m so glad i live in a world where there are Octobers.”
Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables, 1908
And I’m so glad that the delicious delights of duck and celeriac are both very much in season. So:
My family and I used to live in France where I was given this recipe some fifteen years or so ago by George, a good friend and near neighbour.
George modestly, but as it turned out, entirely accurately, described it as being “embarrassingly simple”. Since then I have never cooked a duck in any other way.
(remember that compared with a chicken, there isn’t as much meat on a duck as you might think. Will serve 2-4 adults.)
1. Boil the duck for 40 minutes. Remove it from the water, drain it and dry it well. While it’s still hot smother it in a mixture of honey and soy sauce.
2. Roast it in a hot oven for 40 minutes.
25g of butter
400g celeriac, peeled and diced
1 small banana shallot, peeled and chopped
1 medium to large garlic clove, peeled and crushed
2 bay leaves
Melt the butter in a saucepan then gently sweat the shallot, garlic and celeriac with a pinch of salt until the shallot is softened but not coloured. Add the milk and bay leaves and cook over a gentle heat until the celeriac is soft and the liquid almost evaporated, about 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and purée everything else. If you nd you have some left over at the end of your Octoberfest, it will mix very well with and certainly enhance some mashed potato. Other than mash, celeriac puree makes a perfect paring with:
Slow cooked pork belly
Blue cheeses – try mixing together for a hearty soup
Baked salmon or haddock
Pan fried scallops, to make a quick and easy starter