Duck Breast with Blackberry Sauce
Blackberries are the perfect accompaniment for duck as the fresh zingy taste of the berries cut through the fattiness of the duck. I serve this with celeriac mash which adds a lovely earthiness to the dish.
You can substitute the fresh blackberries for frozen if they are out of season, but if you can I would recommend fresh berries, freshly picked from the hedgerow.
2 Duck breasts
For the celeriac mash:
300g celeriac, peeled, chopped
200g potatoes, peeled and chopped
pinch sea salt
60g unsalted butter
squeeze fresh lemon juice
For the blackberry sauce:
pinch of ground cloves
2 juniper berries
knob of butter
1 shallot, sliced
50g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
50ml ruby port
50ml red wine
For the duck breasts:
Preheat the oven to 200 C fan.
Dry the duck fat slightly with kitchen paper, then score the fat with a sharp knife. Season with sea salt flakes and ground black pepper.
Add the breasts to a cold frying pan and turn the heat high, fry skin side down for approx 6 mins, spooning off the fat. Turn over and cook for a further 3 mins.
Place in the preheated oven for approx 4 mins, if using a meat thermometer it should read 54 C.
Remove the duck from the frying pan and leave to rest on a board for at least 10mins before carving
For the mash:
Bring the milk to the boil with a pinch of salt and add the celeriac, simmer for 15-20 mins until soft. Boil the water for the potatoes and simmer until soft, approx 15mins.
Drain the celeriac and potatoes, purée in a food processor or blender until smooth.
Heat a frying pan, add the butter and cook until it is a light nut-brown colour, stir into the celeriac purée with a squeeze of lemon juice, season to taste.
For the sauce:
Add the blackberries to a bowl and sprinkle over the ground cloves, thyme, a pinch of salt and the sugar, squeeze the juniper berries and add.
Melt the butter in a small frying pan, fry the shallot & mushrooms over a low heat until softened and light brown. Pour in the port and wine and carefully set alight. Add the blackberries.
Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes, then strain the sauce through a sieve.