Honey works so well with savoury dishes because it brings out the natural flavours -  I can taste the duck beautifully in this. 






Skill level

Average: 3 (97 votes)


For the duck breasts

  • 4 x 275 gm (10 oz) duck breasts
  • 3 tsp cracked black pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp clear honey

For the honey and clove sauce

  • 3 tbsp clear honey
  • 1 ½ tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 ½ tbsp light muscovado sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 225 ml (8fl oz) beef stock

For the potato rosti

  • 2 large floury potatoes
  • 2 tbsp clarified butter or duck fat
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the cabbage and bacon

  • 1 small Savoy cabbage
  • 25 gm (1 oz) butter
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 4 slices of streaky bacon, cut into strips
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 4-5 tbsp thick (double) cream
  • salt and freshly ground white pepper

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Resting time: 5 minutes

For the sauce, place the honey in a small pan with the soy, vinegar, sugar, ketchup, cloves and stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and fast simmer for 5 minutes or until the mixture has thickened to a sauce consistency which coats the back of a spoon. Season to taste, pass through a sieve, discarding the cloves into a clean pan. Set aside until needed.

For the rosti, grate the potatoes coarsely into the centre of a clean tea towel. Fold the towel around the potato to form a ball and squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Open the cloth and season with black pepper then divide into four equal portions.

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat; add 2 tablespoons of butter/duck fat and sunflower oil. Place a metal ring inside the frying pan carefully add the grated potato and using the back of a spoon gently push down to make a compact cake. Lift up the ring and repeat until you have four rostis. Fry until golden brown making sure that the fat bubbles up through the centre to cook the inside. Do not use too high a heat or the outside will burn before the centre is cooked. Once golden turn over and add the remaining oil if required.

Cook until golden brown, season with salt, then lift out of the pan and drain on kitchen paper. Place on roasting tray (they will keep for 4-5 hours) and reheat in hot oven for 5 minutes when needed.

For the duck, preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas mark 6. Score the fat on the duck in a criss-cross pattern. Season the duck on both sides with cracked black pepper and salt. Place duck breasts in a dry large ovenproof frying pan, skin-side down, allow the pan to heat up for three minutes on the stovetop until the fat starts to sizzle

Turn the duck breasts over and cook for another minute, then transfer the frying pan to the oven and cook for another 6 minutes for a pink finish or 5 minutes if you prefer them a little more well done. For the last few minutes of the cooking time brush the skin of the duck breasts with the honey; this will give wonderful flavour and caramelise the skin. Leave to rest in a warm place for 5 minutes, without covering.

Meanwhile, for the cabbage, remove the outer leaves from the cabbage, cut into quarters, remove the stalk and finely slice and wash.

Melt the butter in the frying pan add the onions and cook on medium heat for 4-5 minutes until softened. Fry the bacon in a separate pan on a high heat until crisp and drain on kitchen paper

Add the cabbage and water to the onions and stir-fry over high heat for a few minutes until just tender. Add the crispy bacon and cream, stir to combine and simmer gently until the cream has slightly thickened. Season to taste

Reheat the rosti in the oven for 5 minutes and reheat the honey and clove sauce, stirring occasionally.

Carve the duck breasts into thin slices and arrange on warmed plates with the rosti and cabbage, then drizzle around the honey and clove sauce to serve.