Man Food by Mark Hix

Wild Duck, Elderberry and Cep Salad

Duck, especially wild duck or mallard, can hold its own against both savoury and sweet flavours, especially that of the wild elderberry. I can’t resist picking elderberries, and always keep some frozen. Ceps should start appearing at any moment now — they’re a great meaty mushroom that you can simply sauté and toss into a salad.

Wild Duck, Elderberry and Cep Salad (serves 4)


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(The Salad)
2 oven-ready wild ducks
A couple of good knobs of butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
120–150g ceps, or other wild mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
100–150g small salad leaves and herbs, washed and dried

(The Dressing)
1 tbsp good-quality red wine vinegar, such as cabernet sauvignon
4 tbsps extra-virgin olive or rapeseed oil
40–60g elderberries picked off the branch

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1 | Preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas mark 6. Rub the ducks with a little of the butter and season. Roast for 30 minutes, keeping them pink. Leave to  rest. Melt remaining butter in a frying pan and fry the ceps for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally. Season, cook for another minute, then transfer to a plate.

2 | Remove the breasts and the legs from the ducks. Cut away the meat from the legs and shred into pieces. Mix together the vinegar, oil and elderberries. Season.

3 | To serve, toss the leaves with the dressing, ceps and shredded leg meat. Season. Thinly slice the duck breasts and arrange over the top.

What do you think?

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