Braised duck marylands with beans & pancetta

Serve the duck with a simple green salad dressed with extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar. This dish is so rich, anything else would be overkill.


  • 6 large duck marylands
  • 350g white beans, soaked overnight, then drained
  • 400g rindless pancetta, cut into 6 thick slices
  • 600g tinned tomatoes, puréed
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup dark molasses
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Sea salt


Preheat the oven to 140°C.

Cut the duck legs in half to separate the thigh and drumstick.

Put beans into a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook for five minutes, skimming any scum that rises to the top. Drain the beans and rinse.

Place beans in a large cast-iron casserole dish with a tight-fitting lid. Add duck legs and the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Add enough water to just cover the meat, about three cups. Cover pot with lid and put in the oven for two hours.

Remove the lid and bake for three more hours. A nice crust should appear and the beans should be tender and the meat soft.

Place a duck thigh and drumstick and pancetta piece on each plate and top with beans.

NOTES: Want something to drink?
Try the Giesen Pinot Noir 2013, Marlborough, New Zealand.

Let's get classic and match the richness of the duck legs and pancetta with the vibrant, fruit-driven flavours of pinot noir – it's a mouth-watering combination. Like most New Zealand pinots, the 2013 Giesen offers complexity, ripe fruit in abundance, powdery tannins, a touch of spice and a long, lingering finish.

First published in the Good Weekend.

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