ICC Belfast hospitality partners on the perfect Valentines Dish.
Working with Northern Ireland local supplier John Sloan (owner of Eglantine Farm) Executive Chef, Roland Tokaji, shares his recipe for Skeaghanore lavender duck breast, salt baked celeriac, sweet pickled fennel, duck jus with sharing duck fat roast potatoes and root vegetables.
Skeaghanore Lavender Duck Breast
2 Duck Breasts
1 tbsp Szechuan peppercorns
1 tbsp dried coriander seeds
0.5 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp dried lavender buds
In a spice grinder, grind the Szechuan peppercorns, dried coriander seeds, and cumin seeds until roughly ground. Transfer to a bowl and stir in lavender buds.
For the duck, place a large pan on a medium to high heat and season the breasts evenly with salt. Place each breast skin side down into the dry pan and slowly render down the fat.
Cook for 6 minutes and then turn and continue to cook for a further 4 minutes. Finish in the oven for 2 minutes at 220°C/gas mark 6. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5-7 minutes.
When the duck has finished resting, place the breasts flesh side down into the spice mix.
Salt Baked Celeriac
2 celeriac, each weighing 400g
550g of plain flour
600g of salt
9 free-range egg whites
300ml of water
Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3.
To make the crust, combine the flour, salt, egg whites and water and mix thoroughly to form a paste. Wash the celeriac thoroughly, trim off any roots and cut off a small amount of the base of each so they can sit flat on the baking tray.
Add two mounds of the salt crust to a sturdy baking tray and spread out slightly to make bases for the celeriac, ensuring the bases are slightly wider than the bottom of each celeriac. Place the celeriac on top and use the remaining salt crust to completely cover each celeriac. Make sure there aren't any gaps or holes in the crust.
After 3 hours, or once the pastry forms a hard, golden crust around the celeriac, remove from the oven. Use a strong metal spatula to loosen the base of each of the celeriac before lifting it from the baking tray.
Use the heel of a knife to make small cracks around the top of the crust, until you can gently lift off the newly formed lid. Serve whole at the table with a spoon to scoop out the celeriac.
Sweet Pickled Fennel
2 medium-sized fennel bulbs
60ml of olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp caster sugar
2 tbsp of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Cut the fennel bulbs lengthways into quarters, discarding any ugly outer leaves and cutting away the core
Use a large chefs knife to cut the fennel into very thin slices
Pour the olive oil into a large bowl, add the lemon juice, then crush the salt between your fingers and add it to the bowl along with the sugar
Whisk everything together, then add the sliced fennel. Coat it well with the vinaigrette and place it in a serving dish
finish with the parsley
750g (tell the butcher you want to make stock) beef bones
750g chicken wings
2, chopped onions
2, roughly chopped carrots
3 sticks, roughly chopped celery
8 black peppercorns
a few sprigs thyme
175ml red wine
2 tbsp, softened unsalted butter
2 tbsp plain flour
Heat the oven to 220C/ 200C. Tip the beef bones, chicken wings and all the vegetables onto a large roasting tray and roast for 1 hour until really crisp and browned.
Carefully pour off some of the fat from the tray into a ramekin, then tip all of the vegetables and bones into a large pan with the black peppercorns, thyme, and 1.5 litres of cold water, making sure to really scrape the roasting tray to include any crusty bits off the bottom.
Bring to a gentle boil and leave to simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes, using a wooden spoon to break up the wings during cooking to release more gelatin. Skim any fat or impurities from the top every now and again. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl or container, using a ladle to squeeze all of the liquid out of the meat and bones. At this stage, you can cover, chill or freeze the stock for future use, or use straightaway.
Heat a large, deep frying pan over a medium heat and add the red wine and bubble until reduced by a third. Pour in the strained stock and simmer gently for 45 minutes, skimming regularly, or until the sauce has thickened and is looking glossy.
Mash together the softened butter and plain flour until smooth, then whisk into the gravy, then simmer for 15-20 minutes or until thickened. Season and serve.
Duck Fat Roast Potatoes
6 large potatoes, a floury variety such as Maris Piper
3 tbsp of Duck fat, heaped
3 sprigs of rosemary
2 garlic cloves, peeled and grated
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas mark
Peel and quarter the potatoes. Place them in a pot and cover with cold water, seasoned generously with salt. Bring them to the boil and allow to cook until they are just beginning to fall apart.
Once cooked, drain the potatoes in a colander and allow them to steam themselves dry for 5 to 10 minutes
In a roasting dish large enough to accommodate all the potatoes without cramming, place a few generous spoonfuls of goose fat – make sure the tray has sides so that you don’t spill any. Pop the tray into the oven for 10 minutes until the fat is hot
Once hot, gently transfer the potatoes into the fat and stir to coat them thoroughly. Put them back into the oven and cook for 20 to 25 minutes. Give them another good stir before returning them to the oven for a further 10 to 15 minutes or until they are crisp and a deep golden colour
Toss the garlic and rosemary through the potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil. Keep in a warm place until you’re ready to serve
3 large cloves garlic
5 springs fresh rosemary
5 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 180°C/ 200°C.
Prepare a large roasting pan
Prep the vegetables. Cut the carrots and parsnips into roughly equal sizes.
Add the prepared vegetables to a large roasting pan. Add 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme to the pan along with the garlic.
Drizzle oil over the top along with the salt. Use a spoon or your hands to toss everything together until well coated in oil. Spread the vegetables out in an even layer.
Place in the oven and roast for about 35 minutes.
Chop up the remaining rosemary and thyme. Sprinkle the fresh herbs over the vegetables and stir. Place the vegetables back in the oven and roast another 15-20 minutes until golden and fork tender.
Taste and season with salt and pepper and fresh chopped chives.