Rick Stein’s duck cottage pie

As served to the vineyard workers during the grape harvest by Aude Bonnetain and her family who make excellent Burgundy in Auxey-Duresses. The feasts – prepared by Aude’s mother – are exceptional and this dish in particular is a standout.

duck cottage pie
James Murphy


4 confit duck legs (bought or see the book for homemade)
4 shallots, chopped
a few fresh thyme sprigs, leaves stripped and chopped
175ml red wine
200ml chicken stock (see the book for homemade)
handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
800g potatoes, cut into 5cm chunks
100ml-125ml warm milk
150g-200g Comté cheese, grated
salt and Rick’s peppermix (see note) or black pepper

1. Warm the confit duck legs over a gentle heat to release the fat, then pour the fat into clean jars. You need some for this dish but save the rest for another day.

2. Remove the skin from the duck legs and discard it or slice and roast as a nibble. Pull away and shred the duck meat with a couple of forks, discarding any bones and gristle.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the duck fat in a pan, add the shallots, thyme and half a teaspoon of peppermix (or plenty of black pepper). Allow the shallots to brown gently and once they are golden, add the wine and stock, then bring to the boil.

4. Cook for a few minutes, then add the duck meat and the chopped parsley. Stir and set aside.

5. Preheat the oven to 210C/190C fan. Boil the potatoes in salted water for 20-25 minutes until tender. Drain them well then add the warm milk and mash until smooth. Season with salt and a big pinch of peppermix or some black pepper.

6. Grease a baking dish measuring about 18cm x 28cm with duck fat. Pile in the meat mixture, then cover with mashed potatoes. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top and bake for about 25 minutes until heated through and browned on top.

7. Serve with a green salad, green beans with garlic and fried breadcrumbs or carrots à la fermière (recipes for both in the book).

MY SECRET PEPPERMIX In a spice grinder place 1 chipotle chilli (seeds removed), 1 pasilla chilli (seeds removed), 2 tbsp white peppercorns, 2 tsp Szechuan peppercorns and 1 tbsp salt. Blitz everything together until combined. 

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rick stein secret france recipeRick Stein’s Secret France by Rick Stein will be published on Thursday 31 October by BBC Books, price £26. To pre-order a copy with free p&p for £20.80 until 10 November, visit mailshop.co.uk or call 01603 648155.