Thursday, 17 February 2011

Far Eastern Odyssey - Rick Stein

Rick Stein. The only "celebrity" chef I will go out of my way to watch. Not only do I have all his books, I've cooked from them all too, and even bother to get the DVDs. He just ticks all the boxes for me - I don't mind the Clarkson-esque jeans & Ralph Lauren shirt combo, or Floydian exuberance of his red faced, drink fueled cri de coeurs to camera. It's endearing. He has boundless enthusiasm, a sense of humour and a strong ethical bent, hence his campaigning for Food Heroes.

More importantly, he writes as he speaks - extremely well, and his recipes are interesting and always (for me at least) work.

So last night I had a crack at a recipe from Far Eastern Odyssey. I may have remembered this wrong, but when he cooked this recipe on the television show, he did say something along the lines of, "If you only cook one recipe from this series, make it this one." I will check in due course, as I have the DVD coming. Anyway, it's Vit Nau Cam - Duck braised in a spiced orange juice.

I'm not a fan of duck a l'orange, but slightly tart orange works so well with rich duck and some heat, I hoped it might work. And it did - even S, who doesn't like anything very sweet, loved it. Strangely, it tasted more like a Thai curry than a Vietnamese dish. It's definitely something I'll cook again.

Here's my abbreviated version of the recipe - I followed it almost to the letter, just used the breasts and legs of duck (so I could make stock with the rest), used half the amount of orange juice, because I was cooking it in the pressure cooker (for 20 mins instead of 1/1/2 hours simmering) because there isn't any evaporation, and then, as it reduced well when I added the spring onions, I didn't bother with the cornflour. 

Take a 2.5kg duck and joint it into 6 pieces. Put them in a heavy based casserole (I used the pressure cooker) and fry, skin side down, until crisp and golden, then turn over. Remove the duck pieces, then drain off most of the rendered fat. Reduce the heat, then add 50g crushed garlic and 50g thinly sliced ginger. Fry gently for a couple of minutes, then add 1 litre orange juice, 4tbsp fish sauce, 5 star anise, 2 finely chopped lemon grass stalks, 4 red bird's eye chillies and seasonings. Return the duck pieces to the pan, part-cover and leave to simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Take a the white parts of a bunch of spring onions (reserving one), halve lengthwise and add to the duck, and simmer for another half an hour. Shred the remaining spring onion, lengthways, for a garnish. Lift the duck pieces into a warmed serving dish, skim the remaining sauce of fat (if you like), then simmer vigorously until reduced and concentrated. Mix 1/2 tsp cornflour with 1 tsp water, stir into the sauce and simmer for 1 minute more, stirring all the while. Pour over the duck and garnish with the shredded spring onion.

1 comment:

  1. Gosh, wouldn't that be lovely with some green beans and tiny aubergines!

    Thanks for this, always looking for new ways to cook duck, esp. spicy ones.