… it’s funny how we go through phases of the things we like. Up until a couple of years ago I was most definitely a red wine guy and then, for some unknown reason I simply couldn’t drink it any more and moved onto white… it may have been a change in season or a change in me but for a while I would much prefer a chilled glass of white. I think it may have a little to do with what I was eating with the wine. I found that my choice of drinking white wine was because I wasn’t necessarily eating with the wine and that red wine was too heavy to consume on its own at the bar or chatting with friends… and it’s true for me as i’ve now found that if i’m sitting down to a wonderful long evening meal I will much prefer a glass of red. It seems to set the mood as it has a mood of it’s own and can bring so many more layers to the meal. My palate has also matured, even in the past decade and I understand wine a little more now that i’m not just drinking to get tipsy, i’m actually looking for a wine that I enjoy and that compliments the situation… I sound proper grown up don’t I?
… this Friday 17th April is World Malbec Day and to celebrate i’ve been working with the good people at Kumala Wine to develop a recipe that compliments their delicious Reserve Malbec…
roast duck with plums, garlic and sweet potato
Sometimes people can be intimidated by duck but treated this way using the thighs and legs the meat is rich and tasty and can be roasted slowly without drying out. It’s such a simple dish to assemble with very little prep work but you end up with a beautiful and very mature dish. The plums are the perfect accompaniment to the fruity deep notes in the Malbec and also work well to cut through the richness of the honey-glazed duck.
4 duck legs and thigh portions – these can be purchased ready-portioned from the supermarket
4 plums – stoned removed and quartered
1 large sweet potato – peeled and roughly chopped
2 sticks of celery – roughly chopped
1 fennel bulb – roughly chopped
1 courgette – roughly chopped
1 large bulb of garlic – unpeeled and cut in half through the middle
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons honey
2 twigs of fresh rosemary
2 twigs of fresh thyme
pre-heat the oven to 140C
place all the chopped vegetables into an oven-proof dish or roasting pan, season well with salt and pepper and sprinkle over the fresh herbs. Place the duck portions on top (skin up,) sprinkle well with salt then cover the whole dish with foil and bake slowly in the oven for 1 hour
after an hour carefully remove the foil, turn the duck portions over, turn up the oven to 180C and roast for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully turn the duck portions back over. There should be plenty of duck and plum juices in the dish so take this opportunity to spoon the juices over the duck, then drizzle each one with a little honey and roast again for another 15 mins or until the skin is a glorious golden brown.
remove from the oven, spoon over the juices once more and then you’re ready to serve… this dish can be simply served as it is with all the roasting vegetables or alongside some creamy mash and fresh greens such kale or spinach
the good people at Kumala have also created a little gecko character who supplies us with his special #GeckoHacks through their Facebook page… they’re all food related but my favourite is the old herbs in ice cube trick -it’s pretty simple but as the gecko says…”Add a few weeks’ life span to leftover herbs by putting them in an ice tray, covering them in oil and freezing. When you’re ready to cook again, simply add the ice cubes to your frying pan and they’re good to go!”
eat and of course enjoy!