Duck with pancetta, beetroot puree, pickled pear and liquorice salt

Duck with pancetta, beetroot puree, pickled pear and liquorice salt

Food, Main Course, Recipes

Thanks to chef Sarah Knights for this recipe.


  • Skin of 4 duck legs
  • 2 duck necks (chopped)
  • 4 duck wings (chopped)
  • 60g celery (diced)
  • 60g carrot (diced)
  • 130g brown onion (diced)
  • 4g thyme sprigs
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 150ml cooking red wine
  • 600ml brown chicken stock
  • 4g salt
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 15 peppercorns
  • 1 star anise
  • 6 shallots (sliced)
  • 120ml Banyuls wine
  • 50ml cream
  • 20ml vegetable oil

crepinette ingredients

  • 4 duck livers (cleaned)
  • 4 duck legs, all sinew removed and diced
  • 80g pork back fat (diced)
  • 1 egg
  • 80g shallots (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 1g picked thyme leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 120g caul fat (well rinsed)
  • 4 parsley leaves
  • 500ml brown chicken stock
  • 1 carrot (sliced lengthwise down a mandolin)
duck breast ingredients
  • 4 duck breasts
  • 28 slices of pancetta (15 mm wide x 1mm thick)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 50ml vegetable oil

 beetroot puree ingredients

  • 500g beetroot (peeled and sliced)
  • 80g shallots (chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 40 ml olive oil
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 80ml cabernet vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 50g butter

  pickled pear ingredients

  • 100ml water
  • 100ml chardonnay vinegar
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 packham pears

 poached onion ingredients

  • 120g pickling onions, peeled
  • 400ml milk
  • 300ml chicken stock

 liquorice salt

  • 2g liquorice root
  • 2 star anise
  • 2g fennel seeds 10g salt

for serving

  • 150g cavalo nero, blanched and seasoned


In total, this recipe requires 2 x 1.8kg whole ducks with livers.

Remove the wings and necks and keep aside for the jus. Remove the duck legs from the bird and remove skin from legs, keep aside ready for the jus. Remove all skin from the breasts of the birds while still attached to the carcass.

Remove breasts and trim of all fat and sinew. Keep breasts in fridge until required

for the duck and banyuls jus

Chop down leg fat and render with a little water in a rondo pan.

When water evaporates fat will release then add in the chopped necks and wings. Brown in the fat until a good golden colour is achieved.

Add in the carrots, onion, celery and garlic and caramelise again, scrapping the bottom of the pan with a scraper. Deglaze pan with cooking wine and reduce by half.

Add in the salt, 2g of thyme bay leaves, peppercorns and star anise.

Add in brown chicken stock and bring to a boil, reduce to a rapid simmer and let simmer for 35 minutes, pass through a chinois.

In another fresh pan sweat off the sliced shallots in vegetable oil until golden brown, add in the banyuls and reduce down until all liquid has evaporated. Add in the duck sauce that has been simmered down, simmer for twenty minutes and then take pan off the heat, rub in the rest of the thyme sprigs, check seasoning.

Pass through a chinois then pass again through muslin cloth. Return to a small pot and monte in cream just before saucing the plate.

For the crepinette

Sweat off shallots, garlic and thyme in 80g of butter until soft, season well.

In a food processor place the duck meat, back fat, egg, livers and the shallot mixture. Pulse until a smooth mince is formed, divide mince into 4 and mould into rounds.

Lay out caul fat onto a bench and cut four pieces big enough to wrap the mince. Place a parsley leaf in the middle of each piece of caul, top with mince and then wrap.

Place carrot strips in the bottom of a shallow frying pan and then place the crepinettes onto the carrot.

Bring chicken stock to a boil and then pour into saucepan. Place into a hot oven for 8 minutes and then turn over and cook for a further 8 minutes. Remove crepinettes from the pan and place on a lined tray.

Remove the carrot strips from the cooking liquid and then reduce the cooking liquid to a thick glaze. Paint the crepinettes with the glaze. When ready to serve dish, reheat in the oven for 5 minutes and paint with glaze several times until crepinettes are nice and sticky and golden.

For the duck breasts

Lay out a double layer of cling film onto the bench and place 7 slices of pancetta onto cling film – slightly over lapping.

Place seasoned duck breast onto pancetta and roll up in the pancetta. Wrap tightly with cling film and then tie each end with butchers twine.

Repeat process with the 3 remaining breasts.  When ready to serve, blanch in simmering water for 5-6 minutes. Once done,  let sit for 5 minutes.

Unwrap each breast and colour in a pan with vegetable oil. Let rest for 5 minutes.

When ready to plate slice each breast in half.

for the beetroot puree

Place sliced beetroot in a foil pouch with salt, pepper and olive oil, cook in a hot oven until tender. In a saucepan sweat off shallots and garlic in butter until soft, add in tomato paste and cook out for a few minutes, add in cabernet vinegar and reduce by half, add in chicken stock. Add in beetroot and cook for another 10 minutes. Blend well, check seasoning and pass through fine chinois. Keep aside in a warm place ready for use.

for the pickled pears

Place water, sugar and vinegar in a saucepan and bring to a boil, peel and dice pear and place into pickling liquid, let steep until required.

For the poached onions

Cut pickling onions in half and place into a small saucepan with milk, cook over a low heat for 10  minutes, drain and rinse lightly, place into another pot with chicken stock and simmer for another 10 minutes.

for the liquorice salt

Place liquorice root into a spice grinder and grind to bread down fibres, add in fennel seeds and star anise and grind again to a fine powder, add in salt and grind quickly, pass mixture through a sieve.

To plate

Swipe beetroot puree onto each plate, slice duck breasts in half and arrange onto plates, place a small pile of cavalo nero onto each plate and position a crepinette on top. Arrange poached onions onto plates, followed by the pickled pear, make a few lines of the liquorice salt on each plate and just before serving sauce with the jus.

Acknowledgement & Disclaimer:

Thanks to the Author of this recipe Sarah Knights for sending it in and granting us permission to share it AND ANY IMAGES OR VIDEOS with our blog visitors.

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