Monday, August 30, 2010

Duck Pot Pie

Smell sooooo gooood...... (but looks terrible)

This is my August entry for Royal Food Joust by the Leftover Queen: Duck Pot Pie.  This is rather complex and labour intensive recipe. Duck breasts and thighs were braised slowly for 3 hours in calvados, a brandy made with distilled, fermented apple and pears, before being incorporated with balsamic vinegar, dried apricots, home-made plum preserve, and blueberries (that I hand picked the day before).  Egg-free, dairy-free whole wheat pie crust was made from scratch.  It took all night, but it was well worth it!

I have never made a pot pie before. I experimented with different vegan pie crust recipes, and I found Earth Balance's Vegetable Shortening produced a regular pie crust made with butter and lard. Christina suggested that if I want to watch my calories and eat my pie too, I can skip the bottom crust and just add a layer of crust to the top.

Duck is naturally greasy and has gamey flavours.  The acidity from balsamic vinegar help cut the fat while the plum, apricots, and blueberries add fruitiness to an otherwise overly musty, gamey dish.

Ingredient: (Makes 1 pie)

2.5 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup cold water
1 cup solid vegetable shortening (not margarine!)

Duck Rub:
1 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of cumin
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of cayenne
1 tablespoon of oregano

Pie Filing:
1 duck breast (cubed)
2 duck thighs (deboned and cubed)
1 onion
½ cup calvado
3 cups duck or beef broth
2 cups potatoes (cubed)
1 cup carrots (cubed)
1 cup celery (cubed)
1 cup blueberries
½ cup of dried apricot (cubed)
1 tablespoon thyme (minced or dry)
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon plum preserve
1 tablespoon of olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Liberally season the duck chunks with the rub. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
2. Pre-heat oven to 275F.
3. In a cast-iron Dutch oven (or a deep pan/pot with lid) over high heat, sear the meat in one tablespoon of olive oil.
4. When the meat is browned, increase heat to high and add half a cup of brandy, stirring up the caramelized bits with a wooden spoon. Reduce the brandy to a quarter of the original volume.
5. Add enough duck or beef stock (about 1 cup) to cover half an inch in the bottom, cover, and bake at 275 degrees, or about three hours or until tender.
6. Meanwhile, make your pie crust.  Mix flours and salt together.
7. Take about 1/3 cup of the flour and mix it together with the cold water.
8. Cut the vegetable shortening into the remaining flour until crumbly. Add the flour and water and mix just until a dough is formed.
9. Wrap it with plastic and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
10. Divide the dough in roughly into two pieces.  One of the pieces should be bigger than the other by ⅓.
11. Roll the bigger dough onto a lightly floured surface to the desired thickness about 1/8-inch thickness. Gently press it into the pie pan.  If the crust tears, just mend it together with your hand and use additional dough to mend holes.
12. Leave the smaller dough for now.  Wrapped everything up with plastic wrap and put it back into the fridge.
13. When the duck is tender, take it out of the oven.  Separate the meat from the braising liquid, and set both aside. In the same dutch oven or pan, saute onion over low heat until the onion is transparent but not burnt.
14. Add the rest of the stock and all the braising liquid. Bring to boil.
15. Add in potato, carrots, and celery and bring to boil again.
16. Reduce heat to simmer.  Add apricot, plum preserve, thyme, salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar. Stir until the sauce has thicken.
17. Gently stir in blueberries without breaking or squishing them.
18. Pour and evenly distribute the content in to the pie crust almost to the top.
19. Roll out the other piece of pie crust and cover the pie.  Cut several slits in the top of the crust and place in a 425-degree oven for about 40 minutes. After the first 20 minutes, wrap aluminum foil around the edge of the crust to keep it from burning.
20. When the crust is nicely browned, remove the pie and let sit 15 minutes before serving.

I haven't cut it yet.  Pie is the arch-enemy of weight loss.  If you want the pie (George, I am looking at you). let me know!

1 comment:

  1. This is SOME dish! WOW! I bet it was delicious! Thanks so much for the entry!