Duck Ragu with Pinot Noir

Duck Ragu with Pinot Noir

Who loves pasta? We sure do!

There’s something deliciously rustic about twirling ribbons of pappardelle with a rich ragu. This version begins with a whole frozen duck, so pop it in the fridge to thaw at least 24 hours ahead.


1.8kg frozen duck, thawed
100g sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
1 small celery stick, finely chopped
1 small carrot, peeled, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 dried bay leaves
250ml (1 cup) 2021 Mike Press Pinot Noir
2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes
250ml (1 cup) Massel chicken style liquid stock
3 large fresh rosemary sprigs
1/4 tsp Chinese Five Spice
110g (2/3 cup) pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
Cooked pappardelle pasta, to serve
Finely grated parmesan, to serve
Chopped fresh continental parsley, to serve

  1. Use kitchen scissors to cut along either side of the duck backbone to halve it. Discard backbone. Remove excess fat. Quarter the duck. Season with salt. Cook the duck, in 2 batches, skin-side down, in a flameproof casserole dish over high heat for 5 minutes or until golden. Turn and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Drain the fat from the dish, reserving 1 tablespoon.
  2. Preheat oven to 110°C. Heat the reserved fat over medium heat. Cook the pancetta, onion, celery, carrot, garlic and bay leaves, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Stir in the 2021 Mike Press Pinot Noir for 1 minute, scraping the pan with a flat-edged wooden spoon to dislodge any bits that have cooked onto the base. Add the duck and tomato. Top with the stock, rosemary and Chinese five spice. Cover and bake, carefully turning the duck once or twice, for 4 hours or until duck is tender.
  3. Use tongs to transfer duck to a plate. Skim fat from surface of braising liquid. Simmer liquid over medium heat for 20 minutes or until reduced by one-third.
  4. Carefully remove and discard duck bones. Shred the duck meat. Stir into the sauce. Stir in the olives until the ragu is heated through. Season. Toss with pasta. Divide among serving bowls and top with parmesan and parsley.
Thanks to Alison Adams and for this one!
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