Slow cooked duck legs with beetroot relish

I really like this beetroot relish, so use it with lots of barbecued or roasted meats it works a treat. Speaking of which, make sure you serve this duck with some sautéed spinach, silver beat or kale, which ever you like best.


  • 4 large duck legs
  • 1 tbsp rock salt
  • ½ tsp peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 250g duck fat
  • Silverbeet pan-fried with olive oil, garlic and salt, to serve

  • For the relish
  • ½ large red onion, finely sliced
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp peppercorns
  • ½ tsp whole allspice
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • ½ stick cinnamon
  • 1 clove
  • 2/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large beetroot, julienne
  • 1 tbsp vino cotto


For the duck, rub salt into the legs and place on a stainless steel rack with another tray underneath to catch drips. Refrigerate for 3 hours.

Preheat an oven to 120°C.

Wipe salt from duck legs with a cloth. Place legs and all remaining ingredients except the duck fat in a deep roasting tray.

Heat duck fat in a saucepan. When simmering, pour over legs. Cover with foil, place in oven and cook for 3-4 hours, until the duck meat is tender. Ensure the duck fat doesn’t get too hot otherwise the legs will fry and become dry and stringy.

For the relish, mix sliced onion with salt; allow to soften then squeeze liquid off. Wrap pepper, allspice, chilli, cinnamon and clove into muslin cloth.

Combine vinegars, sugar, spice bag and onion in a small saucepan. Simmer until onion turns translucent. Add julienned beetroot and slowly cook until beetroot is very bright and starting to soften slightly, about 5-10 minutes. Remove spice bag. Finish with vino cotto.

Remove duck legs from oven. Allow to cool in fat for at least half an hour.

Lift out legs with a slotted spoon and drain. Serve duck with relish, silverbeet and freshly ground pepper.

NOTES: Want something to drink?
Try the Cirillo 'Vincent' Grenache, 2015, Barossa Valley, South Australia.

Duck and pinot is always a classic match, but don't be afraid to try something else. Coming from fantastic old vineyards this grenache has wonderful aromatics. Think cherries, cranberries and lashings of spicy red fruits. The palate is medium bodied in style, vibrant and finishing with fine grained tannins. A fantastic match with the flavourful roasted duck legs, and the earthy spiced beetroot relish. Grenache is definitely the Barossa's answer to pinot noir!

First published in the Good Weekend.

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