A delightful dish from the head chef at Belfast's acclaimed Shu restaurant.


  • 4 fresh male duck legs
  • 1 l duck fat
  • for salt mix:
  • 100 g rock salt
  • 4 cloves of garlic (chopped)
  • 100 g fresh thyme (chopped)
  • 25 g white peppercorns
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 cloves
  • for the mash:
  • 1 kg peeled maris piper potatoes
  • 100 g butter
  • 100 ml milk
  • salt and pepper
  • for the red wine sauce:
  • 250 ml red wine
  • 100 ml beef stock
  • 1 shallot
  • 4 mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic
  • sprig of thyme
  • knob of butter
  • for the garnish:
  • 200 g savoy cabbage (blanched)
  • 400 g mixed mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 25 g butter
  • 1 sprig of thyme


  • For the Duck:
  • Preheat oven to 130°C
  • Remove the thigh bones. Mix all the salt ingredients together and rub well into the duck legs and marinate for 24 hours.
  • Bring duck fat to the boil and remove from heat.
  • Wipe the salt mix from duck legs and place in an oven-proof pan or casserole dish. Pour the duck fat over the duck legs, ensuring the duck legs are completely covered with the fat.
  • Place into the oven for 5 hours until the meat is falling off the bone.
  • Leave the meat to cool for an hour before serving. (At this stage the French would be happy to keep the confit for months before eating!)
  • For the Mash:
  • Chop potatoes evenly (about 2.5cm thick)
  • Place in a pan, rinse then cover with salted water.
  • Bring to the boil then simmer- cook until soft, strain the potatoes and leave for a few minutes.
  • Mash the potatoes. Add the butter and milk.
  • Add a spoon of Pommery (coarse-grain) mustard
  • Season to taste.
  • For the Red Wine Sauce:
  • Slice the shallot, garlic and mushrooms.
  • Heat the pan. Add butter and vegetables – season to taste and sweat until vegetables are soft.
  • Add the red wine - reduce by 2/3.
  • Add the beef stock, boil and reduce until correct consistency (it should coat the back of a spoon).
  • Pass through a sieve and add a knob of butter taste.
  • For the Mushrooms: Cook the mushrooms in a hot pan with butter, garlic and thyme - season and taste
  • To Serve: Warm the duck if necessary, to melt the fat.
  • Remove and place the duck legs in a frying pan of hot oil (about 1 cm deep) skin side down until crisp.
  • Place the mash at the top of the plate, the mushrooms and cabbage at the bottom of the plate – place the duck on top of the cabbage and mushrooms. Pour the sauce around the duck.

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