Taste the French Périgord
Each season has its own particular ingredients that go hand in hand with that time of the year; just like almost every country and region is known for its specialities. Ralph de Kok went off in search of the origins of the best the French Périgord has to offer and prepared a delicious three-course dinner, with duck playing the lead role.
Autumn salad with smoked duck breast
Wine tip: Dry white Pacherenc-du-Vic-Bilh from Southwest France (Madiran)
Glazed duck legs with celeriac puree and roast beets
Wine tip: Red Saint-Mont from Southwest France (Madiran)
Tarte tatin with pear, walnuts and Roquefort cheese
Wine tip: Haut-Montravel from Southwest France (Bergerac)
For the autumn salad
- 8 tangerines
- 1 tbsp cane sugar
- ½ tbsp soya sauce (Kikoman)
- 200 g mixed lettuce
- 100 g blackberries
- 30 g pine nuts
- 2 duck breast fillets
- olive oil
- sherry or raspberry vinegar
- freshly ground black pepper
- coarsely ground sea salt (fleur de sel
For the glazed duck legs
- 500 g coarse sea salt
- 200 g sugar
- 4 duck legs
- 3 l duck or goose fat
- 1 bunch of garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 turnip cabbage
- 1 red beet
- 1 yellow beet
- ½ celery root
- 3 dl milk
- 20 g butter
- 30 g hazel nuts
- soya oil
For the tarte tatin
- 100 g cold butter, with extra for greasing
- 200 g flour, with extra for sprinkling
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 egg
- 2 dl red port
- 200 g sugar
- 1 clove
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 4 pears
- juice of ½ a lemon
- 30 g walnuts
- 1 egg yolk
- 50 g Roquefort cheese
PREPARATION IN ADVANCE
Cut the skin off four tangerines, cut them into sections between the membranes and set aside until serving. Cut one tangerine into thin slices for the marinade. Squeeze the juice from the remaining three tangerines into a saucepan and add the cane sugar. Bring to the boil at a medium temperature and then simmer until it turns into syrup.
Take the saucepan off the stove, allow the syrup to cool and then stir in the soya sauce. Wash the lettuce and blackberries and roast the pine seeds in a dry saucepan.
Make crosswise incisions in the fatty side of the duck breast fillets, sprinkle with salt & pepper and lay the pieces fatty side down in a dish. Spread the slices of tangerine out over the fillets and allow to marinate for at least an hour. In the meantime, soak two big handfuls of Cherry Wood Chips in a tub of water.
Mix the coarse sea salt and sugar together and spread half of it evenly across the bottom of the Rectangular Drip Pan. Lay the duck legs on top with the fatty sides facing down and toss the remaining salt mixture over them. Cover with a large piece of butcher’s foil (or several layers of plastic wrap), lay a suitably sized cutting board in the Drip Pan and place a filled tin can on top. Set aside in the fridge to marinate for 24 hours.
Fire up the EGG® well in advance because, depending on their size, the duck legs will need to crystallise for around two hours. Heat the Big Green Egg® with the convEGGtor with its legs facing upwards and the Stainless Steel Grid to a temperature of 85°C.
Place the Cast Iron Dutch Oven on top of the grid, fill it with the duck or goose fat and wait until it melts. Wipe the salt mixture off the duck legs and carefully lay them in the fat. Halve the unpeeled garlic crosswise and add along with the bay leaves. Put the lid on the Cast Iron Dutch Oven and close the EGG. Ensure that the temperature of the fat doesn’t rise above 85°C and allow to crystallise for around two hours.
In the meantime, peel the turnip cabbage, beets and celery root and cut them into slices of around 1 cm thick. Boil the turnip cabbage and beets in lightly salted water in separate pots until cooked and drain. Boil the celery root in the milk until cooked, then drain the milk into a container for later use. Turn the roasted celery root into puree using a hand blender. Add splashes of the milk in which it was cooked until the puree reaches a nice creamy consistency. Season with salt & pepper and stir in the butter. Grind through a sieve, allow to cool and warm up shortly before serving.
Once they are done, take the duck legs out of the fat and allow to drain. Roast the hazelnuts in a dry saucepan and chop them into biggish pieces.
Cut the butter into blocks and mix them with the flour in a food processor until a crumbly pastry forms. Add the water, egg and a pinch of salt and knead into a firm dough. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and set aside in the fridge for an hour.
In the meantime, grease four small cake moulds with butter. Heat the port with 50 grams of sugar, the clove and the sprig of thyme in a saucepan and simmer until it turns into syrup. Peel the pears and remove the cores. Cut the fruit into sections of around 1 cm thick and sprinkle with lemon juice. Roast the walnuts in a dry saucepan.
Heat the remaining sugar in a pot and allow it to caramelise at a medium temperature. Once it turns light brown, divide it among the moulds using a tablespoon and make a round fan in each mould with the pieces of pear. Take the dough out the fridge and split it into four equally sized balls. On a surface sprinkled with flour, roll each piece out until they are around 3 mm thick. Drape the dough slices over the moulds and press them firmly into the forms so that any excess dough breaks off automatically. Beat the egg yolk and smear it over the dough.
Remove the Stainless Steel Grid and Plate Setter and light the charcoal in the Big Green Egg. Leave the lid open for 10 minutes and then position the Cast Iron Grid in the EGG. Allow the grid to warm up for around five minutes with the lid open.
Place the duck breast fillets on the grid fatty side down (don’t shut the lid yet!) and wait for the flames to flare up. Grill until golden brown in around a minute and carefully take them off the grid (be careful with the flames) using the Grill Tong and lay them on a plate.
Wait until the flames die down and then take the grid out the EGG using the Cast Iron Grid Lifter. Toss the soaked Cherry Wood Chips over the glowing coals. Position the Plate Setter – with its legs facing upwards – in the EGG and put the grid back. Bring the temperature up to 180°C.
Lay the duck breast fillets meat side down on the grid, close the lid and smoke the fillets for around eight minutes. Then take them off the grid and baste them completely with the reduced nectarine syrup.
Cut the fillets into thin slices and again smear syrup into one side. Prepare the lettuce with the olive oil and sherry or raspberry vinegar. Dish up the duck breast fillets, sections of tangerine and blackberries onto the serving plates, sprinkle with roasted pine nuts and season with freshly ground sea salt (fleur de sel) & black pepper.
Lift the grid out of the EGG using the Cast Iron Grid Lifter and remove the Plate Setter. Put the grid back, place the Half Moon Cast Iron Plancha Griddle on it and heat the EGG to a temperature of 250°C. Pour a splash of soya oil onto the grill and fry the glazed duck legs on the skin side for around five minutes until golden brown and crispy. Flip the duck legs and fry for around five minutes on the meat side too.
In the meantime, on the available side of the grid, grill the slices of al dente turnip cabbage and beet for a few minutes on both sides. Take the veggies out the EGG and make nice round shapes from the turnip cabbage and red beets using a cutter with a diameter of around 5 cm. Cut the yellow beets into small cubes. Warm up the celeriac puree in a saucepan.
Take the legs out of the EGG, cut through the knee joint and strip the meat on the thigh from the bone. On each plate, dish up a helping of celeriac puree and make a tower from the vegetable roundlets. Dish up some of the thigh meat onto each vegetable roundlet. Dish up the rest of the meat next to this and position a drumstick on the top. Garnish with the cubes of yellow beet and roasted hazelnuts.
Before preparing the dessert, take the Cast Iron Grid out of the EGG using the Cast Iron Grid Lifter, insert thePlate Setter with its legs facing upwards and position theStainless Steel Grid on top of it. Raise the temperature to 200°C again and enjoy the main course while it heats up.
Position the moulds on the grid and cook the tatins for around 25 minutes until golden brown. Using a brush, paint a strip of port syrup across each plate. Take the moulds out of the Big Green Egg and place them on the plates. Crumble the Roquefort cheese on top and sprinkle with walnuts. Serve hot.led corn on the cob.
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