My friend Florian gave me this recipe for duck pie, or parmentier de confit de canard in French. It’s a very simple casserole with layers of creamy mashed potato and salty, shredded duck. Unfortunately, outside of France, the two tricky ingredients to find are the confit de canard and the pain d’epices. Luckily, it is getting easier to find canard in the London supermarket, usually in a tin. Also, the pain d’epices is optional, as normal breadcrumbs will also work well. In Paris, my favourite place to buy confit de canard is Le Comptoir de la Gastronomie, which is also a restaurant.
This recipe for duck pie is hearty and heavy, perfect for the colder months. Therefore, you will probably want to serve it with a side of vegetables such as green beans or peas.
4 duck confit legs
2 Tbsp duck fat
8 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and boiled
150 ml milk
50 ml olive oil
1 tsp Piment d’Espelette or paprika
3 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 slice of toast
1 slice of pain d’épices (gingerbread)
3 Tbsp chives, minced
2 Tbsp red port
Salt and pepper to taste
First, heat the duck legs in a baking dish in the oven at 180C for 10 minutes. Remove the duck from the oven.
Next, transfer one Tablespoon of the duck grease to a frying pan. Then saute the shallots and garlic for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Set aside.
Remove the skin and bones from the duck legs. Then shred the duck meat into a large bowl. Add the shallots, garlic, and chives. Next, add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
Add one Tablespoon of the duck grease to the frying pan. Add all of the duck mixture. Then add the port. Cook until the duck is lightly caramelised. Then set aside.
Mash the potatoes with the olive oil and the milk. Mix in the Piment d’Espelette or paprika.
In a food processor, make breadcrumbs out of the toast and pain d’épices. Alternatively, use prepared breadcrumbs.
Finally, in a baking dish, layer half of the potato mixture, then the duck and then top with the rest of the potato mixture.
Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and bake at 180C for 15 minutes until the crumbs are golden and crispy.
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