French-style Stewed Duck Legs

Ingredients

6 duck legs
sea salt and black pepper
1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, trimmed and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 thyme sprig
1 rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
1-3/4 cups dry red wine
1-3/4 cups port
splash of Madeira
6 cups chicken stock
2 cups veal stock, or extra chicken stock

Method

  1. Trim the fat and skins from the sides of the duck legs, then season with salt and pepper. Heat a wide skillet until hot. In two batches, pan-fry the duck legs for 4 to 5 minutes, turning until golden brown all over. (You don’t need to add oil to the skillet.) Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate and set aside. Reserve the fat.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp of the rendered duck fat in a large heavy pan or a cast-iron casserole. Add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and pan-fry over high heat for 4 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Throw in the herbs and deglaze the pan with the wine, port, and Madeira. Bring to a boil and let bubble vigorously until the liquid has reduced and is thick and syrupy. Drain off any fat from the duck legs, then add them to the pan and pour in the stocks. If necessary, add a little boiling water to cover them. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for 2 hours until the duck meat is very tender. Let the duck legs cool in the braising stock.
  3. Once cooled, remove the duck legs from the pan and set aside. Strain the braising stock through a fine strainer into a clean pan and boil until reduced to a syrupy glaze. Skim off any fat or scum from the surface and check the seasoning.
  4. When ready to serve, gently reheat the duck legs in the reduced sauce, spooning the sauce over them to glaze, and finish the potatoes and carrots. Serve each duck leg with a portion of garlic potatoes and cilantro carrots.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Gordon Ramsay’s Maze

Roasted Sesame-crusted Salmon

Ingredients

Four skinless salmon fillets, about 6 oz each
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup white and/or black sesame seeds
2 large shallots, minced (about 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon peeled, grated ginger
1 teaspoon chili oil
1/4 cup dry sherry wine or Spanish sherry vinegar
1/2 cup bottled clam juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Brush the salmon steaks with some of the oil. Put the sesame seeds in flat dish or pan, dredge the flesh side (not the skin side) of the steaks in the sesame seeds, and set aside.
  3. Combine the shallots, ginger, chili oil, sherry, clam juice, and soy sauce in an ovenproof dish. Season the salmon steaks with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat the remaining canola oil in a heavy-bottomed saute pan over medium heat. Add the steaks to the pan and sear to a golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side, taking care not to burn the sesame seeds.
  5. Put the seared fish, sesame seeds up, on the seasoned shallots in the baking dish and put the salmon in the oven. Roast for 6 minutes for medium rare or until the fish is cooked to your preference. Serve the salmon immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Nightly Special

Risotto with Beet, Dried Cherry and Red Wine

Ingredients

5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
generous 1-3/8 cups dried sour cherries or dried cranberries
1 cup fruity red wine, such as Valpolicella
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
generous 1-5/8 cups risotto rice
4 cooked fresh beet, diced
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
2 tbsp snipped fresh chives
salt and pepper
generous 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve (optional)

Method

  1. Bring the stock to a boil in a pan, then reduce the heat and keep simmering gently over low heat while you are cooking the risotto.
  2. Place the sour cherries in a pan with the wine and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 2-3 minutes until slightly reduced. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottom pan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes, or until just starting to soften. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  4. Reduce the heat, add the rice, and mix to coat in oil, Cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes, or until the grains are translucent.
  5. Gradually add the hot stock, a ladleful at a time. Stir constantly and add more liquid as the rice absorbs each addition. Increase the heat to medium so that the liquid bubbles. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is creamy.
  6. Halfway through the risotto cooking time, remove the cherries from the wine with a slotted spoon and add to the risotto with the beet and half the wine. Continue adding the stock and the remaining wine.
  7. Stir in the dill and chives and season, if necessary. Serve with the Parmesan, if you like.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: Risotto

French-style Casserole with Duck Legs and Pork Belly

Ingredients

4 whole duck legs (about 3 lbs), preferably Moulard
Kosher salt
4 cups duck fat, melted
4 heads of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
2 tbsp whole black peppercorns
6 bay leaves
1 lb fresh garlic and pork sausages (about 4 links)
1 lb Morteau sausages (about 4 links)
1 (8-oz) piece pork belly, scored every 1/2-inch
2 medium yellow onions, cut into large dice
2 medium carrots, cut into large dice
4 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
2 (28-oz) cans whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 (750-ml) bottle dry Riesling
3 cups dried tarbais beans
baguette, for serving

Method

  1. On the first day: Heat the oven to 250°F. Rinse the duck legs and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange in a 4-qt Dutch oven and season generously with salt. Pour the duck fat over the legs along with 15 garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon peppercorns, and 3 bay leaves. Transfer the pot to the oven and bake until the duck is very tender, about 3 hours. Remove the pot from the oven and let the duck legs cool. Lift the legs from the fat and reserve 1/4 cup duck fat; save the rest of the fat for another use. Wrap the duck legs in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  2. On the second day: In an 8-qt Dutch oven, melt the 1/4 cup reserved duck fat over medium-high heat. Unwrap the duck legs and add to the pot, skin side down. Cook the legs until the skin is crisp and golden, about 7 minutes. Remove the duck legs from the pot and transfer to a bowl. Add the pork sausages to the pot, and cook, turning, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the sausages to the bowl and return the pot to the heat.
  3. Add the Morteau sausages to the pot and cook, turning, until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the sausages from the pot and transfer to the bowl with the duck legs. Add the pork belly to the pot and cook, turning once, until golden brown on the outside, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the belly to the bowl and return the pot to medium heat.
  4. Add the remaining garlic cloves and the onions to the pot and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the carrots and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more. Tie the remaining 3 bay leaves, the thyme, and rosemary with kitchen twine and add to the pot along with the tomatoes. Return all the meats to the pot and pour in the wine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pork belly is tender and the duck legs are falling off the bone, about 2 hours. Using tongs, transfer all of the meat to a bowl and discard the tied herbs. Using an immersion blender or working in batches with a stand blender, blend the vegetables and tomatoes to thicken the sauce and then return the meat to the pot.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the beans until just tender, about 40 minutes. Drain the beans and then stir into the pot and simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let the cassoulet cool. Cover the pot and refrigerate overnight.
  6. On the third day: Remove the cassoulet pot from the refrigerator and heat over low heat until the ingredients are warmed through. Remove the meats from the pot and cut the duck legs in half, the sausages into 1-inch pieces, and the pork belly into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Ladle the stew and beans into bowls, top with some of the meat, and serve with a baguette for soaking up the sauce.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Source: Dominique Ansel

Braised Lamb Shoulder Casserole

Ingredients

1 shoulder of lamb, about 4-1/2 1b, boned
2-3 tbsp olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
1 onion, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 celery stalks, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 leek, trimmed and chopped
1 garlic bulb, halved horizontally
pinch of rock salt
1 bay leaf
few thyme sprigs
few rosemary sprigs
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 bottle of white wine
1/4 tsp white peppercorns
2-1/2 cups chicken stock
2-1/2 cups veal stock

Topping

2-3 large waxy potatoes
2 tbsp clarified butter

Method

  1. Trim the lamb of excess fat, then cut into chunks.
  2. Heat the olive oil in large ovenproof casserole. Season the lamb with salt and pepper and pan-fry in several batches for about 2 minutes on each side until evenly browned. Remove to a plate with a slotted spoon.
  3. Add a little more oil to the casserole and saute the vegetables with the garlic, salt, and herbs over high heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Cook for 2 minutes until the vegetables are golden brown, then pour in the wine, stirring to deglaze. Bring to a boil and let bubble until reduced to a sticky glaze.
  4. Add the peppercorns and pour in the stocks. Return the lamb to the casserole and stir. Partially cover and simmer very gently for 2 to 2-1/2 hours until the lamb is very tender. Let cool in the braising liquor.
  5. Cook the potatoes in salted water for 15 to 20 minutes until just tender when pierced with a skewer. Drain and while still hot, peel off the skins. Cut the potatoes into thin slices and spread out on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to cool and dry out a little.
  6. Drain the lamb and vegetables in a colander set over a clean pan to save the liquor. If using the full quantity of liquor, then reduce by half. Season.
  7. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
  8. Put the lamb and vegetables into a casserole or divide among individual ovenproof dishes. Pour over enough reduced liquor to come just below the lamb and vegetables. Arrange the potato slices overlapping on top and brush generously with clarified butter. Sprinkle with salt and place the dishes on a large baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown around the edges.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Gordon Ramsay’s Maze