Slow cooked duck legs with beetroot relish

Neil Perry
Winter roast: Slow-cooked duck with beetroot relish.
Winter roast: Slow-cooked duck with beetroot relish. Photo: William Meppem

Fortune favours those who plan ahead. This recipe takes about eight hours all up, but there's little toil in that time. I really like this beetroot relish, so use it with lots of barbecued or roasted meats it works a treat. Speaking of which, make sure you serve this duck with some sautéed spinach, silver beat or kale, which ever you like best.

Ingredients

4 large duck legs

1 tbsp rock salt

½ tsp peppercorns

3 bay leaves

3 sprigs thyme

2 cloves garlic, peeled

250g duck fat

silverbeet pan-fried with olive oil, garlic and salt, to serve

For the relish

½ large red onion, finely sliced

½ tsp sea salt

½ tsp peppercorns

½ tsp whole allspice

1 dried red chilli

½ stick cinnamon

1 clove

2/3 cup red wine vinegar

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 large beetroot, julienne

1 tbsp vino cotto

Method

1. For the duck, rub salt into the legs and place on a stainless steel rack with another tray underneath to catch drips. Refrigerate for 3 hours.

2. Preheat an oven to 120°C.

3. Wipe salt from duck legs with a cloth. Place legs and all remaining ingredients except the duck fat in a deep roasting tray.

4. Heat duck fat in a saucepan. When simmering, pour over legs. Cover with foil, place in oven and cook for 3-4 hours, until the duck meat is tender. Ensure the duck fat doesn't get too hot otherwise the legs will fry and become dry and stringy.

5. For the relish, mix sliced onion with salt; allow to soften then squeeze liquid off. Wrap pepper, allspice, chilli, cinnamon and clove into muslin cloth.

6. Combine vinegars, sugar, spice bag and onion in a small saucepan. Simmer until onion turns translucent. Add julienned beetroot and slowly cook until beetroot is very bright and starting to soften slightly, about 5-10 minutes. Remove spice bag. Finish with vino cotto.

Suggestion: Serve with Neil's warm pumpkin and lentil salad.

7. Remove duck legs from oven. Allow to cool in fat for at least half an hour.

8. Lift out legs with a slotted spoon and drain. Serve duck with relish, silverbeet and freshly ground pepper.