Brigitte Hafner shares her recipe for roast duck with a classic German side dish of braised cabbage and divine crisp potatoes cooked in duck fat. It's enough to make you weak at the knees. For this dish Brigitte sources Bendele Farm organic duck from South East Queensland, which is a Pekin/Aylesbury breed. The meat has a beautifully sweet and earthy flavour, with a texture that is tender yet pleasantly resilient to the bite.
- 1 x 1.8 kg whole duck
- 1 sweet apple (Golden Delicious or Jonathan), quartered
- 1 bay leaf
- juniper berries
- flaked salt
- pepper, freshly ground
- olive oil
- 600 g kipfler potatoes, washed
For the cabbage
- ½ Savoy cabbage
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced
- 80 g speck or streaky bacon, cut in small cubes
- salt and pepper
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 15 minutes
Preheat oven to 210ºC.
Rinse the duck and pat dry with kitchen paper. Remove any loose fat from inside the bird. Sprinkle the inside with a little salt. Place quartered sections of apple, a fresh bay leaf, a few juniper berries and some peppercorns inside the cavity. Season the duck all over with flaked salt and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle with a little olive oil and place in a roasting pan.
Cook for 20 minutes then reduce the temperature to 190ºC and continue to cook for another 55 minutes. The duck should be golden brown with crispy skin, if not, cook for a further 10 minutes. Remove duck from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes in a warm place before serving.
Meanwhile, prepare the cabbage. Remove and discard the outside leaves from the cabbage and finely slice. Heat a heavy based pan, add the butter and when it starts to foam add onion and speck. Cook until the onions are soft and golden.
Add sliced cabbage but do not stir, turn the heat to medium and allow the cabbage to slowly cook for five minutes, then stir and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook for 5-10 minutes or until the cabbage has just softened. The key is to not overcook the cabbage and to keep the colour green.
To prepare the potatoes, boil in salted water until soft when pierced with a knife then drain. When cool enough to handle remove skin and thickly slice.
When the duck is removed from the oven you will have some delicious duck fat on the bottom, pour a few tablespoons of this into a frying pan. When hot, fry the potatoes until golden brown and season with a little salt and pepper.
To serve, carve the duck and serve with browned potatoes and braised cabbage.
• As a garnish, Brigitte adds some of Annie Smithers’s pickled Morello cherries, which are spicy and piquant and make a delicious accompaniment to the duck. An alternative would be fruit chutney or perhaps a pickled fruit such as quince or plum.