Duck cottage pie (Parmentier de confit de canard)
Tom Kevill-Davis wrote a book called The Hungry Cyclist and he’s married to Aude Bonnetain, whose family makes excellent Burgundy in Auxey-Duresses. Her food is exceptional and a standout dish among the loyal grape pickers, who return year after year, is parmentier de confit de canard or duck cottage pie. Unctuous, filling and restorative, it has legendary status among the team.
For the pepper spice mix (optional)
For the cottage pie
- 4 confit duck legs, from a tin
- 4 shallots, finely chopped
- few fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked and chopped
- 175ml/6fl oz red wine
- 200ml/7fl oz chicken stock
- handful fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped
- 800g/1lb 12oz potatoes, peeled and cut into 5cm/2in chunks
- 100–125ml/3½–4fl oz warm milk
- 150–200g/5½–7oz Comté cheese, grated
- salt and pepper spice mix (see above) or freshly ground black pepper
- green salad or freshly cooked green beans or carrots, to serve
For the pepper spice mix, if using, place all of the ingredients in a spice grinder and blitz.
For the cottage pie, warm the confit duck legs in a saucepan over a gentle heat to release the fat. Pour the fat into clean jam jars. You will need some for this dish, but save the rest for roasting potatoes on another day.
Remove the skin from the duck legs and discard (or slice and roast for a snack). Pull away the duck meat with a couple of forks and shred it, removing and discarding any bones and gristle.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the duck fat in a saucepan. Add the shallots, thyme and ½ tsp pepper spice mix or plenty of black pepper. Allow the shallots to cook gently and once they are golden, add the wine and stock. Bring to the boil, cook for a few minutes and then add the duck meat and parsley. Stir and set aside.
Boil the potatoes in salted water for 20–25 minutes until tender. Drain well, add the warm milk and mash until smooth. Season with salt and a large pinch of pepper spice mix or some black pepper. Preheat the oven to 210C/190C Fan/Gas 6–7.
Grease an 18x28cm/7x11in baking dish with duck fat. Pile in the meat mixture and cover with mashed potatoes. Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake for about 25 minutes, or until heated through and browned on top.
Serve with a green salad, green beans or carrots.