On Saturday night, for the first time in 4 and a half years, Luke cooked for me! Well, when I say he cooked for me, what I mean is; I prepared EVERYTHING and he pan fried the duck and put it in the oven. Still, the thought was there and he did pay for all the ingredients in Waitrose so I can’t complain.
To accompany our meal, as I’m a little bit obsessed with Côtes du Rhône at the moment, we bought a bottle of the rich and intensely fruity Arc du Rhône Villages. In my opinion, Côtes du Rhône is grossly underrated and given that this particular bottle has ‘Villages’ status (it’s got one up on the average CDR in wine region status), for the reduced price of £5.99, you can’t really go wrong!
We both felt the wine went excellently with our starter of baked camembert followed by duck in redcurrant and red wine sauce. The sweet, sticky sauce accompanied the berry flavours of the wine beautifully.
If you fancy trying this combination for yourself, these recipes (courtesy of BBC Good Food) are tried and tested…
Ingredients – serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main meal
1 x Camembert in box
1tbsp vermouth (Martini) or dry white wine
1tsp chilli flakes
2 sprigs thyme
Crusty white bread
1. Remove the cheese from the box, unwrap and place back into the box
2. Slash a cross across the top of the cheese and tuck the thyme into the slits
3. Pour over the wine and sprinkle the chilli flakes on top
4. Bake at 180-200°c for 20 minutes until the cheese is nice and gooey
5. Serve with toasted bread and celery sticks for dipping
Duck breast in redcurrant and red wine sauce
Ingredients – serves 2
2 duck breasts
2 small shallots, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1tbsp redcurrant jelly (the original recipe states 3tbsp but it made the sauce a bit too sweet for our taste)
5 cherry tomatoes, halved
Pinch fresh thyme
1tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 glass red wine
Vegetables for roasting
1. Slash the skin of the duck and flash fry in a hot pan – don’t pour the fat away, tip it over your vegetables (parsnips go well with the sweet redcurrant sauce) before putting in the oven. They’ll be delicious and crispy!
2. Place the duck into the oven at 180-200°c for 15 minutes (10 if you like your duck very rare, 20 will destroy it). You may need to pour off the fat a couple of times as it cooks
3. Meanwhile fry the shallots, garlic, tomatoes and thyme
4. Add the balsamic vinegar, wine, butter and jelly
5. Simmer for a few minutes to reduce the mixture to a sticky sauce
6. Remove the duck from the oven, leave to rest for a few minutes, then slice diagonally
7. Pour the sauce over the duck and serve with roasted root vegetables and peas