INGREDIENTS (per person)

  • 1 young duck – about 4-5 lbs in weight
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 5 ozs of finely chopped carrots
  • 5 ozs of finely chopped onion
  • 6 unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 2 ozs of peeled and chopped tomatoes
  • Eighth teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of allspice
  • Eighth of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • A few grinds of black pepper
  • Bouquet garni – consisting of 1 sprig each of parsley and thyme, 1 bayleaf and 3 whole cloves tied together in a square of cheesecloth
  • Small glass of brandy (size of a sherry schooner or small coffee cup
  • 10 fluid ounces of port
  • 10 fluid ounces of white wine
  • 2ozs of drained and pitted green olives

HOW TO DO IT

Make the sauce. Put the olive oil in a casserole over medium heat and add the carrots, onion and garlic cloves. Cover and cook until vegetables are wilted and glossy but NOT browned – about ten minutes.

Stir in the chopped tomato, cinammon, allspice, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. Add the bouquet garni.

Add the brandy, set it aflame and swirl the casserole until the alcohol has burned off. Then add the port and white wine.

Bring to a boil, lower heat and let the sauce reduce for 30 minutes. Add 5 fluid ozs of water and let sauce cook for another 30 minutes.

Strain sauce into a clean pan and add the olives. Bring back to a boil and reduce until slightly thickened. It is now ready to serve.

Meanwhile you will have put the duck on to cook. Sprinkle the inside with salt and pepper, turn up your oven to 220C and roast for a little under an hour, turning once or twice. Remove, let sit for 10 minutes and cut up into serving pieces. Put them briefly into the hot sauce – or a little longer if you think the meat too underdone – and serve with a sprinkling of finely chopped parsley and waxy boiled potatoes or creamy mash.

Add small amounts of water from time to time if it appears to be getting a little dry – or better still, a light stock made from the giblets of the bird. If you want the sauce a little thicker make a beurre manie – an ounce of butter mixed with a tablespoon of flour. Roll this into little hazelnut sized pellets and drop them into the simmer sauce, swirling around, until it has thickened and has a nice glossy sheen, but do not let the sauce boil again.