Adam Gray's delectable duck with beer sauce recipe expertly balances the flavours of a bitter, slightly fruity pale ale with pea cream, perfectly roasted duck breast and white asparagus - topping off the dish with a perfect potato fondant.
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Begin by preparing the sauce. Place a thick-bottomed saucepan over a medium heat and add a splash of rapeseed oil. Once the oil is hot, fry the sliced onion, garlic, thyme and bay leaf until golden brown
1 onion, peeled and sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf
Continue to fry for a few minutes before adding the pale ale. Bring to the boil and reduce by three quarters
300ml of pale ale
Add the brown chicken stock, boil and reduce by half before straining. To finish the sauce, whisk in the butter, check the seasoning with salt and pepper and set aside until ready to serve
500ml of brown chicken stock
50g of butter
To prepare the potatoes, peel each potato and use a 6cm pastry cutter to cut a large cylinder out of each. Cut the top and bottom to flatten, then trim into 3cm puck-shaped discs. Add to a pan with enough rapeseed oil to submerge, place on the hob and, using a sugar thermometer, bring to 110°C. Cook for 40-45 minutes until tender
4 large potatoes
For the pea cream, sweat the finely chopped shallots in the butter and add the frozen peas. Sweat for 5 minutes, then transfer the ingredients to a blender and blitz for 2–3 minutes
500g of frozen peas
100g of shallots, finely chopped
50g of butter
Add the washed spinach leaves to the blender and continue to blitz for another minute
50g of spinach leaves, washed with stalks removed
Pass the purée through a fine chinois and season to taste with salt and white pepper. Chill until needed
ground white pepper
Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7
To cook the duck, season the breasts with salt and pepper and heat the rapeseed oil in an ovenproof pan on top of the stove
4 duck breasts, free-range, skin-side scored with a sharp knife
1 tbsp of rapeseed oil
Place the breasts skin-side down into the pan and fry over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes, allowing the skin to release the fat and turn a deep golden brown colour. Turn and place in the oven for 7-8 minutes to finish cooking
Meanwhile, blanch the asparagus in boiling water for a few minutes until tender, then remove and plunge into iced water to refresh
12 white asparagus spears
Remove the duck from the oven and set aside to rest for 4-5 minutes. Turn the oven down to 200°C/gas mark 6
Remove the potatoes from the oil and place in a roasting tray in the oven for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven, season and keep warm. Meanwhile, gently reheat the beer sauce
Pan-fry the asparagus in a knob of butter until light golden brown
1 knob of butter
Slice the duck lengthways and serve onto plates with the pea cream, potato fondant, asparagus spears and a drizzle of the warmed beer sauce. Serve immediately
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