Food Friday: Duck Ragu (and Lasagna)
I'm going to be blunt. Duck fucks. I love eating it. If it's on the menu, I'm usually ordering it. We aren't cooking it enough at home. I sure as hell don't.
I love cooking duck breast, and Peking Duck, but lately I've been making Duck Ragu. It's fantastic. It's 10x easier than any bolognese and 10x more unique than any other Ragu. If you've never cooked it and looking for a casual duck, make this.
There's a few recipes out there that I've tried and mixed and matched, but I generally go with this one. It's in metric system so you have to do some maths, but honestly every good ragu recipe I've ever had has been in the metric system.
I wouldn't make any real changes to this. I do like to cook down a bit more (2 hours with lid on, 1 hour with lid halfway off) and I throw in a cinnamon stick in it and remove it at the end because cinnamon is the star of this dish. If you can't find duck legs, I have made it with breasts but you want to make sure you trim all the fat when you shred it. But instead why not get 2 whole ducks, use the legs and save the breasts for a few awesome, easy weeknight meals.
You can serve it with pappardelle, rigatoni, gnocchi or whatever ragu-friendly pasta you like.
Bonus: Duck Lasagna
One of my favorite steakhouses in NY is Bowery Meat Company. It's a bit more modern than some of the old school joints and has some unique non-steak items on the menu. One of those is Duck Lasagna.
The bonus of making Duck Ragu is you can then stretch it out and make an awesome duck lasagna on day 2. Make a little extra early on in case you are worried about having enough.
Once again it's really simple to make. I'd follow any respectable lasagna recipe and swap out the traditional bolognese/ragu and add the duck ragu. This recipe is a fine starting place and basically all you have to do is whip up a quick Bechamel and layer it all on. I like to add some shredded mozzarella cheese in there as well on top of the Bechamel when I'm layering it, but you do you.
Both of these recipes are great for guests and the ultimate gateway duck. If you're someone who never cooks it, or someone who never eats it, it moves you a bit closer to being someone who is DTD, Down to Duck.