Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Duck Ragu

It takes no effort at all to come up with a good recipe if you have a great ingredient like fresh duck to work with. The owner of a local duck farm has graciously agreed to sell it to a group of us and I am very grateful to him for such an inspiring product.

1 5-6 lb duck
1 large onion
2 small carrots
3 center stalks celery with leaves
1T fresh thyme leaves
3T extra virgin olive oil
1T tomato paste
2C water
1 oz. dried porcini
1 28 oz. can of 6-1 tomato sauce
1 28 oz. can whole Roma tomatoes
1/4C chopped parsley
salt & pepper to taste


Start this recipe by cutting the duck into pieces of breast, legs, and wings. Reserve the carcass for roasting and making stock. Saute the meaty parts in 1T of the olive oil until they are browned, remove from the pan, and reserve. Drain the pot and reserve the duck fat for another use. Add the remaining olive oil and saute the carrots and celery which have been pulsed in a Cuisinart or minced, then add the finely diced onion and continue sauteing until the onion is transparent. Add the thyme leaves and tomato paste and saute them also. Add the duck parts back into the pot and crush the whole peeled tomatoes adding them to the pot along with the can of tomato sauce and 1 cup water.
Bring the pot to a boil, then lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer until the duck is fully cooked. Remove the duck again and as the meat cools down, remove the skin and shred the duck meat, then add the meat back into the pot while it is simmering. Crush the porcini into small pieces and place in a cup of hot water for 15 minutes. Drain through a cheesecloth or very fine sieve to remove the dirt particles.
Add both the porcini and their water along with the chopped parsley into the simmering pot, you may also salt and pepper to taste at this time. Uncover the pot until the sauce simmers to your preferred thickness. If the sauce seems too thick you can always add some of the pasta water to it after your pasta has cooked.

Serve over pappardelle or another flat wide pasta, adding freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Grana Padano to finish this dish. In the top photo I used Campanile pasta and that was a good choice too.

No comments: