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  • sjfbilton

Hodge Podge of Duck

It’s a little unfair to label this most ancient of stews as ‘confused’. When you read the recipe from the fourteenth century Form of Cury it’s a straightforward combination of ingredients that would hardly seem amiss in today’s kitchen:

Gees in Hoggepot

Take Gees and smyte hem on pecys. Cast hem in a Pot do perto half wyne and half water and do perto a gode quantite of Oynouns and erbest. Set it ouere the fire and couere it fast. Make a layer of breed and blood and lay it perwith. Do perto powdour fort and serue it fort.

I’ve stuck to the original combo of fowl (duck in this case), wine, water, onions and herbs with the addition of some root vegetables and a little barley to make this a truly one pot dish. Just the ticket as we wait for Spring to hatch proper.


1 tbsp vegetable oil

4 duck legs

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and squashed

2 turnips, quartered

2 carrots, quartered

¼ swede, cut into 2.5cm chunks

2 rashers streaky bacon, chopped

1 heaped tbsp plain flour

½ tsp each ground pepper and ground ginger

500ml red wine mixed with 250ml water

2 tbsp pearl barley

1 bay leaf

1 star anise

1 5cm piece cinnamon stick

Salt to season

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 140℃.

  2. Heat the oil in a large flame proof casserole over a medium to high heat. Fry the duck legs on both sides until golden brown. Set aside and drain off the excess fat, leaving around 1 tbsp in the casserole.

  3. Reduce the heat to medium then fry the vegetables and bacon until they take on a little colour. Add the flour and ground spices and cook for a minute before pouring in the wine and water, followed by the barley.

  4. Finally, throw in the bay leaf, star anise and cinnamon stick. Season with salt then bring to the boil. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake for 1½ hours, turning the legs over halfway through. Serve sprinkled with the chopped parsley.

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