Partnering Malbec With A Delicious Duck Recipe

Virgin Wines
Author – Luke Leeder

Duck with red cabbage puree and chestnut mash

As the nights have very much drawn in now and there’s a nip in the air I wanted to put something together that would be winter on a plate. The mash bringing me back to when I used to go chestnut picking with my grandfather and the red cabbage puree reminding me of my mums roast dinners. This was a great crowd pleaser and worked perfectly with the smoky, vanilla laced flavours of the wonderful Dada No.1 Malbec. I hope you enjoy cooking (and eating this) as much as I did.


2 Gressingham duck breasts

Red Cabbage Puree

½ red cabbage roughly chopped

75g of butter

4 tbsp. of black current conserve

50g brown sugar

280ml red wine (cheap cooking wine of course)

2 tbsp. red wine vinegar


Roast chestnut mash

4 Maris Piper potatoes (peeled and roughly cubed)

Two handfuls of chestnuts

2 tbsp. wholegrain mustard

50g butter


Red Wine Jus

50g butter

2 shallots diced

2 sprigs of rosemary

3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

400ml red wine




First things first, get your oven at 180 degrees. spread the chestnuts across a baking tray and place in the centre of the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Whilst they’re roasting away nicely, get yourself a large, heavy based saucepan over a medium heat. Add the butter and red cabbage and fry for 2 – 3 minutes until softened, then add your red wine and bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer until the volume has reduced by half. Add the rest of the ingredients, cover with a lid and let it bubble away for 35-40 minutes.

Now for the red wine jus. Place a medium sized pan onto a medium/low heat and add the butter, once this has melted add the shallots and cook until softened. Turn up the heat and add in the rosemary, balsamic vinegar and red wine and bring to the boil then drop down to a simmer and allow to reduce down, once it is at a consistency that suits you, take off the heat and set aside to be reheated just before serving

By this point the chestnuts should be ready to get out of the oven, pop them on the side to cool for a few minutes before peeling and finely chopping (save a couple from the chop for presentation)

By this point the red cabbage should be cooked down into a wonderfully dark red, almost sticky looking reduction in the pan, which means its time to blend. Add the contents of the pan into a blender, drop in a few tablespoons of water and blitz until the cabbage is pureed. This can now be put into a small clean pan ready to be reheated just before serving.

Get the potatoes on the boil and now its time for the duck. Place the breasts on a chopping board and with a sharp knife score along the skin followed by dabbing with some kitchen roll to remove all excess moisture. Add the duck breasts skin side down to a cold non stick frying pan and turn the heat to high. The duck will start to crackle away and the fat from the skin will start to come out into the pan, to ensure you get crispy skin, pour out the fat into the sink and repeat for around 6-7 minutes or until the skin is a golden brown. Now seal the rest of the duck breast for about 30 seconds and place onto a baking tray and straight into the oven for 8-9 minutes.

Whilst the duck is cooking, check on the potatoes, if they’re breaking apart easily when you push with a knife then they’re ready. Drain them over the sink and add them back to the pan with the butter, mustard and chopped chestnuts and mash away until soft then pop a lid or plate over the pan to keep warm.

Now take the duck out of the oven, cover and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes which will give you time to add the puree and jus back on a low heat to warm back up.

To serve place the red cabbage puree across the plate using the back of a  tablespoon, slice the duck and layer on top. Add the mash with the spare whole chestnuts on top for decoration and finally pour over the red wine just around the plate and serve with your favourite green veg and there you have it. looks fancy but to be honest the hardest part was pealing the chestnuts. Now all you need is an open fire and Nat king Cole singing the Christmas hits. Enjoy!


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