This weekend I got invited to duck off.
No, no, it wasn’t like that…
Very few of them as it happens, aside from:
– The dish must contain duck
– The recipe must use one store cupboard ingredient…
– …As well as a fresh ingredient
And we were off!
But first a bit about duck.
In 2012 I ate a ton of the stuff. Training to run three marathons in three months required a LOT of food. Especially protein. I was also pretty keen not to bankrupt myself in the process. Gressingham duck breasts were a weekly, nearly always on offer, saviour.
Often cooked to this Gordon Ramsay recipe, served with some starchy veggies roasted in the delicious fat of the bird, it became a supper of champions.
If you’ve not tried it before, I’d compare duck breast to a stronger red meat (almost steak like) but a duck leg is much more akin to its other feathered brethren. Not chicken, not turkey but definitely poultry-esque in flavour.
It was coincidental that duck off week was not only the week where I cooked duck at home for the first time in a long time but I also chose it when out for a birthday dinner. I’m certain the Potted Pig’s duck hash was more or less made to this recipe. It was divine. Full of such incredible flavour. Like nothing I’ve tasted in months.
So I vowed to recreate it.
But without a lot of the frills or birthday-justifiable indulgence. Ladies and gents, I herby present duck hash that doesn’t require several swift after dinner laps round the block on finishing the last mouthful. A meal that is so easily and cheaply thrown together; can be eaten morning noon or night and quite frankly would probably work with any ingredient combos providing they were duck, a starchy veggie, an onion, a ton of garlic and seasoning.
Paleo-friendly duck hash
Makes 4 starter-sized portions (serves one husband and wife team fresh from the gym!)
1 x bunch spring onions
3 x Gressingham duck legs
1 x large sweet potatoes
4 x duck eggs
All the crushed garlic you care to enjoy
Lashings of Worcestershire and Soy sauce
To prepare your duck
Duck leg is best cooked slooooooooooooooow. Real slow. It’s worth the wait, has so much more flavour and totally melts in your mouth.
Pre-heat oven to 150oC
Place duck legs on a non stick tray
Cook for 3.5 hours
Remove from oven, transfer duck legs onto a separate plate. Drain the excess duck fat into a mug to use later.
Allow the duck legs to cool before removing skin and meat from bone with a fork. It should form into super succulent shreds.
Set aside, discarding the skin / devouring it yourself / sharing with the cat if you’re feeling generous.
For the sweet potato
Peel and finely cube. Place into a roasting tin and add to the oven, 2.5 hours into the duck’s cooking time.
After 1 hour, remove from the oven and set aside.
Chop the spring onions. Heat a teaspoon of the saved duck fat in a large frying pan. Add the spring onions and garlic. Once browned, add the cooked sweet potato and duck, mix thoroughly. Add the desired lashings of soy and Worcestershire sauce. Leave to cook / warm through on a low heat for another 5-7 minutes.
In a separate pan, heat another teaspoon of duck fat. Fry your duck eggs.
Serve the hash spooned onto a plate topped with a runny yolk egg.