The other red meat: duck confit

Confit is incredibly versatile. It’s like a lux rotisserie chicken or barbecue duck, you can reheat it in whichever form you choose and serve. No hassle, no time spent, the cooking part has already been done. You just need to put the finishing touches on it to make it a deliciously decadent meal.

This recipe though, uses confit in it’s most simple form. Simply reheating the duck in a hot pan until the skin is crisp, and pairing it with wilted red cabbage and red wine jus. Make it even easier on yourself by finding a good quality ready made jus.

It looks fancy, but is just too easy.

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20g butter
1 tablespoon oil
4 rashers streaky bacon, chopped
1 onion, finely diced
1/2 red cabbage, finely sliced
1/4 cup brandy
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar

250ml good quality red wine jus

4 x L’Authentique Confit Duck Legs

  1. Heat the butter and oil in a large heavy based pan over a medium heat.
  2. Add the bacon and cook until crisp
  3. Reduce the heat and add the onion. Cook stirring until the onion has softened
  4. Add the brandy, increase the heat and allow to bubble up (you can flame it if you’re feeling brave!!)
  5. Tip in the cabbage and stir to combine. Pour over the water, reduce the heat to simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes
  6. Pour over the cider vinegar and stir through the brown sugar. Cook for another 15 minutes.
  7. While the cabbage is cooking, heat a frying pan over a high heat and cook the duck (having removed excess fat) until the skin is crisp and the duck heated through. Heat the jus to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  8. Serve the duck with the cabbage and jus, with crisp roast potatoes alongside.



L’Authentique Time: Toulouse Sausages with Red Wine and Cabbage Lentils

This is one of my favourite ways to cook sausages. Well technically, the sausages are cooked the same way they often are – fried in a pan until golden and juicy. And since I’m using L’Authentique sausages, the quality cuts of meat they use mean their sausages should never be overcooked! I’m on pain of death if I dare to leave them a minute longer than I should.

It’s the lentil braise that makes this dish. Lardons of bacon, red wine, garlic, herbs, all cooked to perfection. And the addition of half a head of cabbage means you don’t need to fuss with extra vegetables. It’s all there on the plate.

If you really felt that you need more carbs, you could make like the French and serve this with a crusty baguette to soak up the juices.

Serves: 4-6

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4 rashers streaky bacon, chopped into lardons
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely diced
2 sticks celery, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf, a sprig of thyme and parsley, tied together with string (bouquet garni)
1 1/2 cups puy lentils
2 cups red wine
1/2 green cabbage, finely sliced
2 Tablespoons sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
10g butter
Extra parsley to garnish
8 L’Authentique Toulouse Sausages

  1. In a heavy based casserole dish, heat the olive oil. Add bacon and fry until crisp
  2. Reduce heat, add onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook slowly, stirring, until vegetables are soft.
  3. Add puy lentils, bouquet garni and red wine. Bring to the boil so alcohol evaporates, then add cabbage and stir to combine.
  4. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 30 minutes adding extra water if the lentils start to dry out (there should be sauce).
  5. While lentils are cooking, cook the sausages as per the instructions on the pack. Remove from pan and keep warm.
  6. Check that the lentils are cooked (they should be al dente). Add vinegar and butter, stir to combine and cook for another 5 minutes.
  7. Season to taste, then serve lentils with sauce, sausages piled on top.

On the side: Coleslaw

I love coleslaw. I’ve loved it ever since we used to get it from KFC back in the day when their ads celebrated obesity and they were called Kentucky Fried Chicken.

It’s the combination of crunch and creaminess which gets me. It’s that I can make a large bowl, leave it undressed and it’ll last for days. It’s that it can either be a side show to the main meal, or integrated as a core feature, tucked into bread in burgers or rolls. It’s that it goes with every protein I can name. Except cheese. I can’t stand coleslaw with cheese.

For me, coleslaw has become a catch all name for any salad with shredded cabbage as a base. It can take hours to chop by hand, but I have a great food processor (Magimix – it’s awesome, you should get one) which has shredded the time as well as the vegetables. See what I did there?

The recipe I’ve given you below is the basic slaw, but you can mix it up by adding:

  • Toasted seeds – pumpkin or sunflower seeds are good
  • Herbs – parsley or coriander work well
  • Extra vegetables – finely chopped broccoli or cauliflower, or finely sliced fennel or brussel sprouts are tasty additions
  • Fruit – a handful of sultanas, dried cranberries, or fresh pomegranate seeds. Or just grate in a whole apple, skin and all.

If you want a less creamy dressing, you could also use a vinaigrette.

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1/2 savoy cabbage, shredded
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
2 sticks celery, trimmed, finely sliced
2 carrots, grated

1/4 cup mayonnaise (find my recipe here)
1/4 cup unsweetened natural yoghurt
Juice of half a lemon
1 tsp celery seeds

  1. Prepare all coleslaw ingredients and mix together in a large bowl
  2. Put all dressing ingredients into a jar and shake to combine. Thin with a little water until the consistency is the way you would like. Season to taste.
  3. Dress the coleslaw and serve.