My cupcakes bring all the ducks to the yard
The results are in and it’s a tie! Just as many of you wanted the hot cross cupcake recipe as wanted the duck ragu! There were some special requests for the duck though so I’m posting it first (unfortunately with the exact same photo as before as by the time I sat down to eat this I was hungry so prioritised my fork over my camera). I’ll be back with the cupcakes later in the week.
My sister introduced me to this recipe as something a bit special that requires little effort. A perfect prepare-ahead recipe, you have to simmer the duck legs for two hours so it’s handy to make it the night before you need it, and doesn’t take long to finish off on the day.
Duck ragu (serves 6)
1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan, then brown 4 duck legs on all sides for about 10 mins. Transfer the duck legs to a plate and set aside. Finely chop 2 onions and soften in the pan for 5 mins. Add 2 crushed garlic cloves and cook for another minute, then stir in 2 tsp ground cinnamon and 2 tsp plain flour for another minute.
2. Return the duck legs to the pan along with 250ml red wine, 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes, 250ml chicken stock, 3 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and chopped, 2 bay leaves and 1 tsp sugar. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Bring the pan to a simmer then lower the heat, cover and leave to cook for 2 hours. You’ll need to check on it every so often and move the duck legs around a bit so they don’t stick to the pan.
4. After 2 hours, take the pan off the heat and lift out the duck legs, which will be very tender. Pull off any skin and fat, then shred the meat with 2 forks. Add the shredded duck to the sauce. If you’re preparing ahead, this is where to stop, allow the ragu to cool, and pop it in the fridge until you need it.
5. 15 minutes before serving, add 2 tbsp milk to the ragu and simmer, uncovered, while you cook the pasta. It’s lovely with something big and ribbony, like tagliatelle, a little bit of parmesan and a green salad on the side, and feels special enough to serve to guests (as we did this weekend, with this to start and this for afters).