Reinventing shepherd's pie
Taking the philosophy of a shepherd’s pie (lamb mince ragout topped with mashed potato), I’d like to reinvent this with duck confit. It should work really well with a dark summer fruit like cherries, all topped off with creamy polenta and parmesan cheese.
2 confit duck legs
1 celery stick
300ml beef stock
100g black cherries (pitted and halved)
100ml Kirsch (or any cherry liquor)
100g polenta; plus milk to make up
100g parmesan cheese, finely grated
Take the duck legs and flake the meat into 1-2cm sized pieces, skin included too.
Finely chop the carrot, onion, leek and celery, and, in a medium pot, add a good drop of olive oil, and sweat on a medium heat together with the thyme and rosemary for approximately 10 minutes. Add a good pinch of salt.
Add the duck and give a good mix; allow to continue cooking together for a further five minutes.
Add the Kirsch and reduce until almost dry, this should take around five minutes.
Add the beef stock and cook for approximately 20 minutes until the stock has reduced and the ragout is nice and rich. Next, add the cherries, stir in, then pour into an oven proof dish that allows it to come half way up. Place in the fridge to cool; it will firm up too, which will make adding the polenta topping later much easier. This should take approximately an hour.
Cook the polenta, following the packet instructions, in milk. When ready, add half the cheese to the polenta and mix well, checking the seasoning too.
Take out the previously prepared dish with the duck from the fridge and spread the polenta over evenly. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan over everything and bake in a preheated oven at 170ºC/gas mark 3 for 30 minutes; you can also refrigerate it to cook later.
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