Nativo Red 2009 & a dish of Sarah Graham’s Duck – 08.08.2015

Billy Hughes of Kasteelberg, Monarch of all he surveys

Billy Hughes of Kasteelberg, Monarch of all he surveys

Billy Hughes owns Kasteelsig, a vineyard he has farmed organically for a number of years. His 2013 Nativo White Blend was the first white to be certified as organic, and his red of that vintage, when he gets to selling it will be his first certified organic red.

Meantime, we have the excellent Nativo Red Blend 2009 with its pretty origami-like label – and this wine just begs to go with this dish.

Nativo Red Blend 2009

Nativo Red Blend 2009

I have written about it before and said

It looks like
Elegant bottle with a white label which looks like a piece of origami. In the glass it is deeply coloured ruby at the core that pales to garnet at the edges.

It smells like
A generosity of berries and plums. Undertow of oak.

It tastes like
Full flavours of dark berries and bloodplums and spicy well-applied oak. Well-balanced, good breadth of palate and a lingering aftertaste.

Sarah Graham's Quick Honey Citrus Duck Photograph © Penguin Random House/Warren Heath

Sarah Graham’s Quick Honey Citrus Duck
Photograph : © Penguin Random House/Warren Heath

It’s good with
Sarah Graham’s Quick Honey Citrus Duck with French Beans and Toasted Almonds. I must declare an interest here, I just love Sarah Graham. I love her work, her books and her TV series. And we have had a lot of fun cooking together. She is starting to shoot a new TV series this week.

The third of her books has just been released, Home, Food from my Kitchen. Like her first two, Bitten and Smitten the books are published by Struik Lifestyle, with really wonderful photography by Warren Heath. That’s three books in three years.

Sarah Graham' home. Food from my Kitchen

Sarah Graham’s
home. Food from my Kitchen

Sarah Graham’s Quick Honey Citrus Duck

Extracted from Home. Food from my Kitchen by Sarah Graham (Struik Lifestyle)

Rob and I were lucky enough to eat duck in Paris when we were there on honeymoon. In fact, there was a particular restaurant with a particularly delicious citrusy duck dish that we went back to three times in two days. This is a little nod to that, and I hope you like it.

Serves 4 | Preparation time 5–10 minutes | Cooking time 25 minutes

What you’ll need
2 duck breasts
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Citrus syrup
zest and juice of 1 orange or clementine
zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp honey
1–2 tsp grated fresh ginger
½ tsp each of ground cinnamon and nutmeg

Green Beans and Almonds
250 g green beans, topped and tailed
2 tsp olive oil
squeeze of lemon juice
small handful roasted almonds, roughly chopped

What to do
Preheat the oven to 200 °C.
Season the duck breasts with salt and pepper. Add the duck breasts to a heavy-based pan (preferably ovenproof) over medium-high heat and brown skin-side down for 5–6 minutes, or until golden. Cook on the other side for about 2 minutes.
Stir all the syrup ingredients together in a bowl. Leave the duck breasts in the pan or transfer to an ovenproof baking dish, add the citrus syrup and roast for a further 5–8 minutes in the oven, or until the juices run clear. Remove and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
While the duck rests, simmer the sauce over a medium-low heat to reduce and thicken a little more so that it’s nice and sticky.
Cook the beans in salted boiling water for 1–2 minutes, drain, drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice and scatter over the chopped almonds.
Slice the duck thinly and serve with the green beans and a drizzle of the citrus syrup.

Notes
Also works with duck legs, though the roasting time may vary by 5–10 minutes.
You could also serve this with crispy roast potatoes or cauliflower mash (see page 101 in Home).

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