Roast Duck Shepherd’s Pie

It’s not so far fetched that a shepherd might have leftover roast duck. I always assume that a ‘real’ shepherd’s pie is made with leftover roast lamb, so why not duck. I found myself facing leftover roast Aylesbury duck recently and tinkered my lamb shepherd’s pie recipe by adding a finely grated orange (always good with duck), a splash of syrupy balsamic vinegar and lemon juice, with more lemon juice in the stiff, buttery mash I piled over the top. I’d already made stock with the bones and used some of it for the pie liquid but chicken stock (made with a cube if needs be) or the carrot water would be very acceptable. It emerged from the oven crusty and enticing, delicious with buttered boiled hispi (sweetheart/pointy) cabbage.

Serves 2, generously

Prep: 30 min

Cook: 35 min

600g potatoes

100ml milk

40g butter

1 lemon

200g carrot

1 large onion

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, ¼ tsp dried

300g, approx, roast duck

1 juicing orange

1 tbsp flour

splash syrupy balsamic vinegar (I use Belazu)

250ml duck or chicken stock

     Peel, chunk rinse and boil the potatoes in salted water until just tender. Drain. Add 100ml milk and 40g butter to the pan, return to the heat and when the butter is melted, return the potatoes (I use a mouli-legumes) and mash smooth. Beat in juice from half the lemon, beating until the mash is light and fluffy. Meanwhile, scrape and slice the carrots in thin pennies. Boil in salted water for about 5 minutes until just tender. Turn off the heat and leave in the pan in the water. Halve, peel and finely chop the onion, soften in 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a spacious, lidded sauté/frying pan, adding a pinch of salt, covering the pan and stirring occasionally. You want it lightly coloured and slippery soft, so adjust the heat accordingly. Add the thyme, then fold in the duck which you’ve picked over, removing fat and chopping into bite-size chunks. Microplane zest the orange over the top and add the juice, catching pips in a sieve. Sift flour over the top, stirring until disappeared. Add the balsamic vinegar, any leftover meat juices or gravy and stock (or carrot water). Simmer, stirring for a few minutes until thick. Stir in the remaining lemon juice and carrot pennies scooped out of the water. Pile into a 2 litre capacity, 4cm deep earthenware, ceramic or glass dish. Leave to cool, then pile the mash over the top, making swirls with a fork. Bake, on a baking sheet in case of spillage, for 30 minutes or until the top is crusty and golden.