Mark Greenaway recipe: Confit Duck Leg Ballotine, Poached Jerusalem Artichoke, Garlic Croutons

Confit Duck Leg Ballotine, Poached Jerusalem Artichoke, Garlic Croutons.'' Picture: Paul Johnston

Confit Duck Leg Ballotine, Poached Jerusalem Artichoke, Garlic Croutons.'' Picture: Paul Johnston

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Last week I spoke about how useful it is to choose recipes that can be prepared in advance when entertaining guests. It really reduces stress levels and allows you more time to enjoy your visitors’ company.

This week I am sharing another recipe that can be fully prepared ahead of time and which works as either a starter or a light lunch. As I mentioned before, duck is a meat that should be carefully chosen and I really do recommend going for the best quality that you can afford – the taste and succulence of the end product will be proof that it was money well spent. Picking and rolling the duck means that it will go further. The confit process guarantees soft, tender and moist meat. An addition of vinegar to the ballotine adds a sharpness which cuts through the rich fattiness of the duck. This balanced mix of textures and flavours is sure to impress!

Ingredients

Serves 4

For the duck ballotine:

3 duck legs, I use Gartmorn Farm free range duck

Half a bunch of thyme

Half a bulb of garlic, skin on

2 bay leaves

200ml rapeseed oil

100g walnuts, toasted in a hot oven

Generous pinch chopped tarragon

2 large banana shallots, finely diced

25ml sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

Salt

For the poached Jerusalem artichoke:

3 Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cut into 1cm dice

100ml chicken stock

50g butter

1 stalk of tarragon

For the garlic croutons:

100ml rapeseed oil

3 cloves garlic, crushed but with the skin on

2-3 slices of your favourite bread, cut into 0.5cm dice