Most people love duck, but it can be very time consuming to make and very expensive. Now we have duck in the supermakets that are reasonably priced, widely available and sold in all kinds of cut. A couple of duck breast and you make make a quick dinner under 30-40 minutes. Making mashed parsnips is also a nice change from potatoes. They are not expensive and can be kept for months in a cool place in the house.
Duck Breast with Pears in Red Wine Sauce
1½ lb (600-700 g) duck breasts without skin or bone, cut into ½ x ½ inch strips
2 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. salt
fresh ground black pepper
1 finely chopped onion
3 ripe pears, cut into thin wedges
2 tbsp. oil
1 cup red wine
½ cup chicken stock
1 tsp. brown sugar
½ tsp. ground ginger
1-2 tsp. cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp. water
2 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
To make duck, dredge duck strips in flour combined with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook duck until browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate. Add more oil and add the rest of the duck, browning on all sides. Transfer to a plate. Add more oil and fry the onions 2 mintues. Add pear wedges, red wine, chicken stock, brown sugar, ginger to the pot. Bring the duck back to the pot, reduce heat , cover and cook 5 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook 1 minute or indtil the sauce is a little bit thicker.
2 lb. (910 g) Parsnips, peeled and cut into small pieces
½ lb.(225 g) potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces
Approx. 1½ qts. (1½ liter) water
½ cup (4 fl. oz.) heavy cream
salt and freshly ground pepper
fresh thyme leaves
To make parsnips, place parsnips and potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, 15-20 minutes. Drain liquid and save it.
With a mixer at low speed, beat parsnips and potatoes, adding the water and cream a little at a time. Beating at medium speed, continue 2-4 minutes until mixture is smooth. Season with salt, pepper and thyme leaves.
To serve, serve the duck in the pot and sprinkle with parsley. Set a bowl of mashed potatoes on the table and let the guests take what they want. .
Suggested accompaniment: mashed parsnips, mashed potatoes or boiled potatoes would also be nice.