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Venetian duck ragu



This gorgeous recipe takes quite a long time to cook, but it is honestly worth every minute! It comes from the March 2014 issue of BBC Good Food magazine, and the quantities here will serve 6 people (you could always freeze the rest for another day). Why not make it this weekend?




1 tbsp olive oil
4 duck legs
2 onions, finely chopped
2 fat garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp plain flour
250ml/9fl oz red wine
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
1 chicken stock cube, made up to 250ml/9fl oz stock
3 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp milk
600g/1lb 5oz paccheri or pappardelle
Parmesan, grated to serve




1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the duck legs and brown on all sides for about 10 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside, before adding the onions to the pan and cooking for 5 mins until softened.


2. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, then stir in the cinnamon and flour and cook for a further minute. Return the duck to the pan, and add the wine, tomatoes, stock, herbs, sugar and seasoning.


3. Bring to a simmer and then lower the heat, cover with a lid and cook for 2 hours. Stir every now and again.


4. Carefully lift the duck legs out of the sauce and place on a plate (trying not to lose any meat as they are very tender). Pull off and discard the fat, then shred the meat with two forks and discard the bones. Add the meat back to the pan, along with the milk, and simmer (uncovered) for 10-15 minutes while you cook the pasta.


5. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, adding a little oil to the water so it doesn’t stick. Drain when cooked, reserving a little of the water, and add the pasta to the ragu. Stir to coat all of the pasta and cook for another minute, adding a splash of the water if it looks a little dry.


6. Enjoy with a dash of grated parmesan and the left over red wine 🙂

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  1. ThriftTales on February 14, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Sounds delicious – I’m drooling over here. I can’t w-a-i-t to make this! What type of red wine should I use?

    • Clare on February 14, 2014 at 10:07 am

      It is an awesomely delicious recipe – well worth the time it takes to make it! I’m actually not a wine-drinker, so when I went to my local supermarket I just picked something that said it goes well with game (and one that had a nice-looking label – that’s as far as my wine knowledge goes!). I ended up choosing a French red called Languedoc 2012 Reserve (they have a website that has the 2008 reserve on it: It also says that it goes well with a casserole, so anything along those lines will work. I hope this helps! Let me know what you think!xx

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