With the frightful weather, everything snug and cosy had been higher on my priority list than smart dresses and fancy dates, but this week, I felt I needed a pinch of bravado again – at least in my kitchen. So out we ventured, leaving behind the comfort zone of casseroles and soups, and right into this beautiful, colourful dish of glazed root vegetables and pan-seared duck breasts.
While definitely also comforting, this dish is certainly more sensational both in looks and taste than our usual fare. The rich colours of the root vegetables are up to par with many exotic fruits, and the scrumptious flavours of the duck and gravy are sublime. Even the preparation of the dish is somehow more exciting, with the sizzling duck and bubbling gravy, this dish draws you in from the first minute.
- approx. 500g of mixed root vegetables, e.g.
- 2 parsley roots
- 3-4 small potatoes
- 1 beetroot (fresh, not pre-cooked)
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp coarse sea salt
- 2 twigs of rosemary, chopped
- 1 duck breast (approx. 300g) with skin
- a pinch of coarse sea salt
- 150ml red wine, e.g. Bordeaux
- 1 twig of fresh rosemary
- salt & pepper
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tsp cranberry sauce
- Pre-heat your oven to 250°C and line a baking sheet.
- Peel and thinly slice all the root vegetables.
- In a bowl, mix the oil, vinegar and honey. Toss the vegetables in the glaze, then spread them onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle them with the coarse salt and rosemary, then put them into the oven for approx. 25min.
- In the meantime, heat a small, dry pan, preferable cast-iron. Since we’ll be searing the duck breast on the skin side, the duck fat just below the skin will act as grease. No need to add any oil.
- Carefully score the duck skin in a criss-cross pattern. Use a very sharp knife and take care not to cut into the meat, only the skin and fat. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt into the cuts and rub it in.
- Place the duck breast skin-side down into the hot pan for about 4min, then flip to the meat side and sear for another 4min.
- Add the red wine, rosemary, garlic to the duck and let everything simmer for 5min.
- Remove the duck breast from the pan to let it rest for 5min.
- Add the cranberries to the gravy to thicken and sweeten the sauce. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
- At this point, your vegetables should be done as well. Remove them from the oven and divide them onto two plates. Thinly slice the duck breast and arrange with the gravy on top of the glazed root vegetables.
With raw beetroot, you might want to wear disposable gloves to avoid the mess of cleaning up.