The produce from Game Farm is something I’m all too familiar with as I occasionally use their birds at home in some kind of dish such as the stuffed quail I did recently. The party pack I received from Game Farm ( I call it a party pack because the variety of birds it contained was worthy of a party!) had a bunch of lovely birds in it that I was eager to start prepping into delicious edibles.
A large duck is what I’ve started off with and rather than just cook it up in any conventional method – not that there’s anything wrong with that – I thought I’d give this Ancient Roman recipe a burl.
Gruem vel anatem – or duck (or crane) in spiced gravy. The flavours here are truly delicious and what makes it is the collection of spices in the sauce.
serves 4 modern humans – or 2 ancient Roman gluttons
Place the whole duck in a large stock pot and cover with water. Add the rock salt and dill and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190°C.
Remove the duck from the pot, drain well and place onto a baking tray. Take 150 ml of the stock from the pot and pour over the duck. Keep the remaining stock for another recipe. Drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil, a little sea salt and ground black pepper. Arrange the sprigs of oregano and coriander around the duck. Roast the duck for 1½ hours, basting several times during cooking.
For the sauce, grind the peppercorns, celery, cumin, coriander and fennel seeds with the rosemary in a mortar. Put the ground spices in a small saucepan, add the red wine, honey, dessert wine and vinegar. Set aside.
When the duck has been roasting for 1½ hours remove it from the oven and drain the cooking juices into the saucepan containing the sauce ingredients. Increase oven temperature to 340°C and cook the duck for a further 20 minutes to brown the skin.
Meanwhile bring the sauce to a boil and simmer for about a minute. Make a roux with a little flour and water and add just enough to the sauce to thicken it slightly. Don’t over-thicken.
To serve, cut the duck into portions and plate up with the sauce.