Duck Ragu

This makes an incredible sauce to be had with pasta, polenta, mashed potato or crusty bread.

1 free-range duck or 4 duck marylands
100g free-range speck , chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 dried bay leaves
250ml (1 cup) red wine
2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes
250ml (1 cup) Organic Food Society Chicken Broth
3 large fresh rosemary sprigs
1/4 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
110g (2/3 cup) pitted olives, coarsely chopped
Chopped fresh continental parsley, to serve

If using the whole duck, use kitchen scissors to cut along either side of the duck backbone. Discard backbone. Quarter the duck. Season with salt. Cook the duck, in 2 batches, skin-side down, in a flameproof casserole dish over high heat for 5 minutes or until golden. Turn and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Drain the fat from the dish, keep it all. You will need a little later but the rest can be used for roasting vegetables (potatoes yum!)

Preheat oven to 110°C. Heat 1tbl of the reserved fat over medium heat. Cook the speck, onion, celery, carrot, garlic and bay leaves, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Stir in the wine for 1 minute, scraping the pan with a flat-edged wooden spoon to dislodge any bits that have cooked onto the base. Add the duck and tomato. Top with the broth, rosemary and Chinese five spice. Cover and bake, carefully turning the duck once or twice, for 4 hours or until duck is tender.

Use tongs to transfer duck to a plate. Skim fat from surface of braising liquid. Simmer liquid over medium heat for 20 minutes or until reduced by one-third.

Carefully remove and discard duck bones. Shred the duck meat. Stir into the sauce. Stir in the olives until the ragu is heated through. Season and serve with your fave carb or vegies.



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