Recipe: Roast duck & pumpkin with green peppercorn harissa & yoghurt

Roast duck & pumpkin with green peppercorn harissa & yoghurt.
AARON MCLEAN

Roast duck & pumpkin with green peppercorn harissa & yoghurt.

Roast duck is often served with green peppercorn sauce, but here I've used those peppercorns in the traditional North African condiment harissa. It adds a real kick, so use the yoghurt as a foil.

Serves 6 / Cooking 1 hour 20 minutes / Preparation 30 minutes

½ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
½ teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, chopped
50g drained green peppercorns
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 duck legs
1 carrot
1 small onion
1 small leek
small bunch fresh thyme
1kg pumpkin
300g green beans, trimmed
plain yoghurt to serve

To make the green peppercorn harissa, toast the cumin and caraway in a dry frying pan for 30 seconds until fragrant. 

Put in a mortar with the salt and use the pestle to grind to a powder. Add the garlic and peppercorns and grind to a rough paste, adding the olive oil slowly as you do so. This can be made up to a week in advance and stored in a jar in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Dry the duck well with paper towels. Set a frying pan over medium heat. 

Season the skin of the duck well with salt then add to the pan, skin side down, and cook for about 5 minutes or until browned. This may spit so it's best done with a mesh splatter guard over the pan, and can be done in batches if easier. Remove the duck legs, reserving the rendered duck fat in the pan.

Roughly cut up the carrot, onion and leek and place in the bottom of a roasting dish, along with the thyme. Arrange the duck on top of the vegetables, skin side up, and season with freshly ground pepper. 

Pour 2 cups water around the vegetables. Put the roasting dish into the hot oven and cook for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 170˚C and cook for a further 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the pumpkin into 6 pieces, deseed and place on a roasting tray lined with baking paper. Heat the duck fat in the pan to hot and pour over the pumpkin. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and put in the oven, on the shelf below the duck, for the final 30 minutes of cooking.

When the duck is cooked, remove from the oven to rest for 10 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 200˚C. For the final 10 minutes of cooking, add the beans to the pumpkin and toss in the fat. 

Remove the duck from the roasting dish. Strain the liquid into a saucepan and boil rapidly to reduce by about a quarter. Arrange the pumpkin, beans and duck on a warm serving dish and pour over the stock. Serve with the harissa and yoghurt.

The March issue of Cuisine is on sale now.

The March issue of Cuisine is on sale now.

WINE MATCH A medium-style, concentrated gewurz. We recommend the Bladen Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2016.

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