Honey-glazed duck with roast beetroots, hazelnuts and mint jus

GBC • Carnivor Michael Bremner • V3
  • medium
  • 2
  • 60 minutes plus 3 hours simmering time for the sauce and setting time for the jelly
Not yet rated

This indulgent autumnal recipe of duck with beetroot really is one to impress – by making the sauce and gel the day before, it's surprisingly easy to pull off too. The duck breasts are cooked on the crown which adds more flavour and helps keep the duck from drying out. Beetroot is served two ways; roasted and glazed in duck fat and also finely sliced in a crisp salad with apple and hazelnuts. Adding mint leaves to the sauce at the end adds a real freshness to the dish. 

The rich duck and roast beetroots mixed with the acidity of the gel and fresh apple are perfectly matched to the flavours of Carnivor's Zinfandel, which is packed with jammy, dark cherry and blackcurrant flavour.

First published in 2021





Duck and mint jus

Vinegar gel

Roasted beetroot

Beetroot and apple salad

To drink

  • 1 bottle of Carnivor Zinfandel


  • Mandoline
  • Blender



Begin by making the sauce, as this can be done up to 2 days in advance. Preheat an oven to 190ºC/gas mark 5


Prepare the duck by removing the legs, which can be saved for another dish. Remove the wings and any bits of fat and trim, placing them in a roasting tray, so you are left with just the breasts on the crown. Place the crown in the fridge for later


Place the tray of wings and trimmings in the oven for around 30-40 minutes, or until the bones are dark golden and the fat has rendered out


While the trim roasts, place a large stockpot over a medium heat with a splash of vegetable oil. Add the carrots, onions and leek with the cumin seeds and cook until soft and caramelised (around 10 minutes)


Add the sherry vinegar and leave to simmer and reduce for around 5 minutes, then add the red wine and bring back to a simmer. Continue simmering and reducing until the bones are ready


Once the trimmings are dark golden, strain them through a sieve set over a bowl to collect the rendered fat (which you will need for roasting the beetroot). Place the remaining solids into the stockpot and top up with the chicken stock and the bay leaves. Bring to the boil then turn down to a low simmer and cook uncovered for 2 hours. It doesn’t need to reduce much at this stage, but you want to get as much flavour out of the duck wings and trim as possible


While the sauce simmers away, you can make the vinegar gel. Place the apple juice, vinegar and agar agar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil for 1 minute, whisking or stirring to ensure everything is well combined, then pour the liquid into a shallow tray. You want a very thin layer of liquid in the tray, so you may need to pour away some excess. Carefully place the tray in the fridge for at least 2 hours to allow the gel to set.


After the sauce has been simmering for 2 hours, pass the liquid through a fine sieve into a smaller pan. Reduce down to a sauce consistency at a strong simmer (around 1 hour), then set aside to reheat before serving (in the fridge if preparing a day or 2 in advance)


For the roast beetroot, preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4 and cut off any leaves from the beetroot. Give them a good wash and dry, then place them in a roasting tin


Toss the beetroot in a few large spoonfuls of the rendered duck fat, then season with salt and a good splash of apple cider vinegar. Cover the tray with tin foil then roast in the oven for 25 minutes (depending on size) or until tender

  • 1 dash of apple cider vinegar
  • salt

Keeping the oven on, leave the beetroot to cool slightly (although not completely), then peel and cut into bite-size pieces. Place in a saucepan ready to reheat before serving


To cook the duck, place an ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat and season the crown with salt. Sear the duck in the pan until the fat from the skin has rendered out and the bird is nicely golden. Take your time as you want the fat to be completely rendered out for a nice crispy skin


Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 8-12 minutes (depending on how pink you like your duck), then leave to rest in a warm place for at least 5 minutes. Pour any fat and juices from the pan over the roasted beetroots


While the duck is cooking and resting, prepare the salad. Peel and finely slice the beetroot, using a mandoline if you have one, then dress it with a splash of olive oil, vinegar and season with salt. Mix in the mint leaves and toasted hazelnuts


Cut the apple into slices about the thickness of a pound coin, then stamp out little discs with a small pastry cutter (you could also use a knife, but they won’t be as perfectly round). Don't do this too far in advance otherwise the apple with oxidise and turn brown


To serve, gently reheat the roasted beetroots and duck sauce, adding in the sprigs of mint as you do so. Carve the duck breasts from the crown, brush the skin with some honey and sprinkle over the cumin seeds. Slice each breast into slices. Divide the duck between serving plates, then add a pile of the roast beetroots alongside. Cut squares of the set vinegar jelly and drape these over the beetroots, then top the pile with the raw salad. Finally, pour over the duck sauce

Few chefs cooking today are as exciting as Michael Bremner, who takes flavours from all over the world and distills them into beautiful small plates of deliciousness at his acclaimed restaurant in Brighton.

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