Friday, 20 July 2012

Gwyneth Paltrow's Duck Ragu... well, sort of...

I have been wanting to try this recipe for a while and I am so glad to have finally done it this weekend. With a total of five hours preparation and cooking time, yes, this recipe is time consuming. But, there's hardly anything to do while the duck is roasting in the oven or when the ragu is simmering gently. And it's perfect for me at the moment, since I am in the middle of moving, cleaning and packing. I can do all the housework and every now and then, I just need to stop by the stove to stir the ragu.

When testing a recipe for the very first time, I normally stick to the ingredients and instructions. And from there, if anything needs changing, I'll then adjust it to my liking. However, Gwyneth's recipe for this duck ragu calls for duck bacon which I could not find here in Sunderland. I could perhaps order it online, but they do not come cheap. So, instead, I used pancetta which is more accessible and affordable.

The recipe also calls of Italian red wine, perhaps something like Chianti which I often use when cooking beef ragu. But what I had was Cotes du Rhone which I like to drink; or use when cooking boeuf bourguignon and then drink with the stew later. 

The process of making the ragu is pretty simple. You begin by roasting the duck in the oven for a couple of hours. The cooked and cooled duck is then shredded and added to a slowly cooked tomato sauce which includes the pancetta (or duck bacon, if you're fortunate enough), finely chopped onions, celery, carrot, garlic, rosemary and the red wine. Tomato paste is also added at the last stage of the cooking.  

You can find the amount of ingredients by clicking the link below. This makes quite a lot of ragu and if you have some leftovers, it gets better the next day. Serve the duck ragu with tagliatelle pasta.

Have a great weekend!

Gwyneth Paltrow's Duck Ragu
Serves 4 - 6
For list of ingredients and instructions, click here.


  1. This is a celebration dish. Beautiful. No doubt the gentle simmering really made this dish rock.


  2. One of the markets I frequent has duck breasts and leg/thighs. I'll bet I could make a ragu in less time than with a whole duck. Sounds like a good idea to me.

  3. This does sound really good. I love duck sauces with pasta - actually, come to think of it, I just really love duck.

  4. This looks so beautiful and tempting!

  5. I've never seen duck bacon either - although I guess I've never really looked. This recipe looks and sounds fantastic.. can't wait to try it!

  6. I love duck, any way you make it, and your duck ragu looks and sounds totally delicious!
    Will check for the recipe to bookmark:D