Mallard with candy beets

Tomorrow my wisdom teeth come out. After a day high on morphine, I will be spending the next two weeks eating food that does not require much chewing. Pretty much my idea of hell. I intend to make up for that in advance, so meat it is.

Yesterday, I went to the market in search of a glorious t-bone steak. Or alternatively duck breasts. I came back with a whole mallard instead, and some beautiful candy beets.

A mallard is a rather skinny bird, and also not very big. It serves two, but only just.

1 mallard
1 onion
1 cooking apple (such as bramley)
2 medium candy beets
salt, pepper, olive oil
100 ml (or so) of stock
a handfull of asparagus (green)

Turn on the oven to 160C (fan). Peel and slice the beets into coins, season, and put in a roasting tin. Peel and quarter the apple and onion. Clean the mallard, stuff with the apple and onion, rub with a little olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place on top of the beets. Put in the oven, middle shelf, and roast for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, the juices should still be bloody – otherwise your oven is set too high. Add the stock, and return the duck to the oven for a further 30 minutes. Check that the juices run absolutely clear. If they do not, roast some more. If done, leave the duck to rest in the warm oven for 10-15 minutes.

While the bird is resting, heat a griddle pan until very hot and sear the asparagus. I like crunch, alas I cook them for only about 5 minutes.

Plate up and enjoy with a nice glass of wine. We had a great French: Château Plaisance Fronton (2011) from Corks of Cotham (which is a gem!). Bio and unfiltered. A light wine with some minerality.

Corks of Cotham:

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