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Joint the bird into thighs, drums and breasts and keep the wings, neck and cage aside for making stock some other time. Remove and discard the skin from the duck pieces but keep one of the fatty breast skin pieces. Prep all of your vegetables, open a beer and you’re ready to go.
In a non-stick pan, render the breast skin down and then fry the bacon in the duck fat. Put the bacon into a large casserole pot, discard the skin and then brown the duck pieces in the duck/bacon fat. Add the duck to the casserole when golden. Saute the garlic and vegetables in the fat on a medium heat until soft. Add some thyme, some black pepper and a good slug of Slipstream. When the beer has reduced down, add the vegetables to the casserole and drink the remaining beer.
Add the tomatoes to the casserole and add enough stock to just cover the duck. Bring to a low simmer, cover and allow to simmer for two hours. Remove the duck pieces and set aside to cool a little. Crank up the heat under the casserole and reduce it down by about two thirds (may take a while). Remove the duck from the bones and shed into small pieces. When the ragout has reduced down enough, stir the shredded duck back in, add more thyme and adjust the seasoning. Keep the ragout warm and throw enough tagliatelle or fettucine pasta into a pot of boiling salted water for four people. Plate up the pasta, spoon over a good heap of ragout and dress with shaved parmesan cheese. Enjoy with what remains of the Slipstream six pack.
Recipe by: Dean McLeod