Duck ragout with mustard croutes

Duck legs become succulent when slow–cooked with wine and vegetables, and are very lean without the skin. Boiling the cooking liquid to reduce it results in a sauce with a wonderful flavour, which is great soaked up by the crisp, piquant bread croutes that accompany the dish.

Duck ragout with mustard croutes


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 duck leg joints, about 800–900 g in total, skinned
  • 250 g button mushrooms
  • 250 g baby onions or French shallots
  • 2–4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 300 ml red wine
  • 3 cups (750 ml) chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 250 g baby carrots
  • 250 g baby turnips, halved if large
  • 250 g sugar snap peas
  • 2 teaspoons redcurrant jelly
  • salt
  • pepper
  • sprigs of fresh mint to garnish
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 12 thick slices of French bread


  1. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish over a moderate heat.
  2. Add the duck and cook for about 10 minutes, turning the pieces so that they brown lightly on both sides.
  3. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the duck to a plate.
  4. Add the mushrooms, onions, garlic, thyme and bay leaf to the casserole.
  5. Increase the heat slightly and fry for 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to colour.
  6. Pour in the wine and let it bubble briefly.
  7. Return the duck to the pan with any accumulated juices.
  8. Add the stock and bring to the boil.
  9. Reduce the heat to low, cover the casserole and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
  10. Add the carrots and turnips, pushing them into the liquid.
  11. Cover and continue simmering for 15 minutes.
  12. Add the sugar snap peas and cook for a further 5–10 minutes or until the duck and vegetables are tenderMeanwhile, make the croutes.
  13. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  14. Mix the oil with the mustard and spread thinly over the slices of bread.
  15. Place on a baking tray and bake for 10–12 minutes or until crisp and browned.
  16. If necessary, use a metal spoon to skim off any fat from the surface of the liquid in the casserole.
  17. Place a colander or strainer over a large saucepan.
  18. Drain the duck and vegetables, then return to the casserole, discarding the bay leaf.
  19. Cover the casserole and set aside.
  20. Boil the strained cooking liquid vigorously over a high heat for 10–12 minutes or until reduced by about half.
  21. Stir in the redcurrant jelly until it has melted; add seasoning to taste.
  22. Arrange the croutes on the duck and vegetables – any that do not fit can be served separately.
  23. Spoon the sauce over the top, allowing some to soak into the croutes.
  24. Garnish with mint sprigs and serve.

Serves 4
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: about 1½ hours


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