Peppered duck with vanilla mash, pea & wild mushroom ragout

Contains pork – recipe is for non-Muslims only
A bistro-style dish of rare duck with Marsala jus, creamy mashed potatoes and sweet peas
PREP 15 mins
COOK 35 mins
DIFFICULTY More effort


  • calories 844
  • carbs 47
  • saturated fat 19
  • sugar 5
  • protein 65
  • fat 42
  • fibre 8
  • salt 1.7


2 duck breasts
1 tbsp cracked black pepper
85g smoked bacon lardons
50g wild mushrooms, such as chanterelle or oyster, sliced or torn
2 tbsp Port or marsala
100g fresh peas, cooked for 2 mins in boiling water, or frozen peas, defrosted
100ml chicken stock
500g potatoes
2 tbsp double cream or crème fraîche
¼ vanilla pod, split open
small knob of butter


  1. Peel the potatoes and cut into chunks. Place them in a pan of cold, salted water and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 10 mins until tender, then drain in a colander. While they are draining, place the pan back on a low heat with the cream and vanilla pod and heat to infuse. Remove vanilla pod and take pan off the heat. Push the potatoes through a ricer back into the pan. Add the butter and seasoning, then beat to form a smooth mash. Set aside.
  2. Season the duck all over with salt and press the pepper into the skin side. Put the duck, skin-side down, in a cold frying pan and place over a low-medium heat. As the pan heats up, the duck will start to cook – you only want a gentle sizzle coming from the pan. If it is cooking too quickly, turn the heat down slightly. Cook for 10 mins, shaking the pan occasionally. When the skin is mahogany and crisp, flip the breasts over and cook on the flesh side for 5 mins more. This will give you duck that is slightly pink in the middle. Transfer the duck to a tray or plate and leave it to rest.
  3. Pour off all but 1 tsp fat from the duck pan, place pan back on the heat and cook the bacon for 3 mins until crisp. Turn up the heat, add the mushrooms and cook for 2 mins more. Splash in the Port, add the peas and stock, then simmer for 2 mins more. Pour any juices from the rested duck into the pan and season to taste.