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duck ragu

Duck Ragu

duck raguThe origin of ragù sauce can be traced back to Bologna, Italy.  Duck ragu is a Venetian dish where the focus is more on the meat and herbs rather than the tomatoes.

  This slow-cooked sauce can also be made with beef, pork, veal, lamb or boar.  I enjoy this sort of dish as it’s perfect for entertaining; the meat sauce can be made ahead of time and gently reheated while the pasta is cooking thus leaving more time with my friends and family.

Serves 4 to 6
adapted from BBC Good Food

splash of olive oil
4 duck legs (alternatively use duck breast, skin removed)
1 onion, chopped
1 to 2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup red wine
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes (I used cherry tomatoes)
1 cup chicken stock
3 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and chopped
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons milk
500g tagliatelle (you can also use large rigatoni, penne or gnocchi)
handful of parsley, chopped

Heat oil in a large pan. Season duck legs with salt and pepper and brown on all sides for about 10 minutes.  Remove to a plate and set aside. Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of the rendered fat and discard or save for another use. Add the onions to the pan and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add garlic and cook until fragrant then stir in cinnamon. Return the duck to the pan, add wine, tomatoes, stock, herbs, and sugar. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 2 hours, stirring once in a while.

duck ragu sauceRemove duck legs from the sauce and place on a plate. Shred meat and discard the bones and fat.  Add meat back to the sauce with the milk and simmer, uncovered, for a further 10-15 minutes.

Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain, and reserve a cup of the pasta water. Add pasta to the ragù. Stir to coat the pasta in the sauce, adding a splash of pasta water if it looks dry. Serve with parsley and grated Parmesan.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  If you can’t find fresh duck legs or breast, look in the frozen meat section of your grocery store.  I found mine, frozen, at Chater Meat Market.  Enjoy!

The post Duck Ragu appeared first on The Culinary Chase.

About Heather Chase

The Culinary Chase was coined by my husband whilst in a coffee shop in Hong Kong back in 2006. We wanted something that would be a play on my last name and by the time we finished our coffee, the name was born. As long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed cooking. It wasn’t until we moved to Asia that I began to experiment using herbs and spices in my everyday cooking. Not only do they enhance the flavor of food but also heighten it nutritionally. Over the years, I began to change our diet to include more vegetables, pulses, whole grains and less red meat. Don’t get me wrong, we love our meat, just not in super-size portions (too hard for the body to digest). I always use the palm of my hand as a guide to portion control when eating red meat. If the meat is larger than my hand, I save that portion for another day. Also, if the veggies on your plate look colorful (think the colors of the rainbow) – red, green, yellow, orange etc. then you’re most likely getting the right amount of nutrients per meal. I post recipes that I think help maintain a healthy body. I use the 80/20 rule – 80% of the time I make a conscious effort to eat healthy and 20% for when I want french fries with gravy (poutine). Balance is the key and to enjoy life with whatever comes my way. Thanks for visiting!


The views and opinions expressed in this content are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of haligonia.ca.


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