Autumn 2013


As the temperatures drop, it feels time to ring the changes and move from summery salads to slightly heartier dishes. This duck recipe is always popular - especially when served with crispy sautéed potatoes! It has been a fantastic summer for soft fruit so here are a couple of gorgeous preserves - a conserve to make with either frozen or freshly picked fruit and a versatile jelly that makes use of windfall apples and hedgerow blackberries. E.L.

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Brian's Duck with Sanguinello & Red Wine Sauce (Serves 4)

30ml olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp. dried sage or 1 tblsp chopped fresh sage
2 tblsps redcurrant or blackberry and apple jelly
1 tblsp soy sauce
125ml sanguinello or orange juice
125 ml red wine
black pepper, to taste
4 duck breasts
course sea salt
To serve: 1kg floury potatoes, such as King Edward, peeled and steamed

For the sauce: In a small pan heat the oil and sauté the onion and the garlic for 3 minutes or until soft but not brown. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and stir well. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until slightly reduced. You can prepare the sauce whenever you like - just warm up when needed, strained or not, as you wish.

When ready to cook the duck, use a very sharp knife to lightly score the duck fat in two directions, making cuts about 0.5cm apart so that you have a diamond pattern on the skin. Rub sea salt well into the skin.

Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a medium high heat. Place the duck breast fat side down in the pan and immediately reduce the heat to cook the duck slowly. Grind black pepper over the flesh side and cook for 5-6 minutes depending on the size of the duck breasts. Turn and cook for a further 5-6 minutes.

Transfer the duck to a carving board and cover with foil. Leave to rest for 5-10 minutes (this is important!) Add the prepared potatoes to the duck fat and fry until hot and crispy. To serve the duck, slice each duck breast diagonally and fan out onto warmed serving plates. Spoon over the sauce and serve with the sautéed potatoes.

Recipe: Brian Bush



Raspberry and Redcurrant Conserve - makes 4 x 250ml jars

The flavour of raspberries and redcurrants combine very well. This is a fresh-flavoured jam with a soft, slightly runny consistency. Perfect on a warm baguette, hot scones or even spooned onto rice pudding or the morning porridge.

500g granulated sugar
750g raspberries
300g redcurrants, stalks removed

Measure the sugar into a heat-proof bowl and warm, together with some clean jam jars, in a very low oven for 30-40 minutes. Place the fruit in a wide, deep pan and slowly cook until the juices are released. Reduce the heat and add the warmed sugar, stirring gently until the sugar has completely dissolved. Increase the heat and bring to a rapid boil for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and skim off any foam. Leave to sit for 2-3 minutes before pouring into the prepared jars. Cover with waxed discs and seal.

Note: Store in the fridge after opening.

Blackberry and Apple Jelly - makes approximately 6 x 250g jars

A versatile jelly which is equally good served with roast meats or on hot buttered toast.

1.8 kg blackberries, rinsed
900g cooking apples, washed and roughly chopped (no need to core or peel)
1.2 litres cold water
granulated sugar


Place the fruits in a large preserving pan with the water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cook gently for one hour. Mash well with a potato masher and allow to cool. Pour into a jelly bag (or large sieve lined with muslin) placed over a large bowl or jug. Leave to drip for several hours or overnight, if possible. Do not squeeze the bag or compress the pulp as this will make the jelly cloudy.

Place some saucers in the freezer to chill them. Measure the strained juice into the cleaned preserving pan and for every 600ml juice add 450g granulated sugar. Place over a gentle heat and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Increase the heat and boil rapidly for 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and spoon a little of the jelly onto a chilled saucer. After a minute test for setting point: a wrinkled skin will begin to form on the surface. If setting point has not been reached return to heat and boil briskly for a further 5 minutes then test again. Remove from the heat and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes. Remove any foam from the surface, then ladle into clean, warm jars. Cover with waxed discs and seal.