Parmentier de Confit de Canard

For all its 'bucolic romance' picking grapes in Burgundy is back-breaking work. Seemingly endless days are spent bent-double, snipping at grapes while you steadily hike uphill. The work is relentless and monotonous and the high point of each day is lunch.

Served at a communal table back at the domain, this is a moment to drink, recharge and refill. Four course are served generously and washed down with unprofessional amounts of wine, before everyone staggers back into the vineyards for the arduous afternoon shift.

As well as working in the vines herself, day after day, Aude's mother miraculously rolls out faultless four-course feasts for the 20 strong team of dog-tired workers slumped around her table.

Her food is exceptional and a standout dish amongst the loyal workers, who return year after year, is Parmentier de Confit de Canard. Unctuous, filling and restorative, it has legendary status amongst the team.

Serves 6

  • 800g potatoes
  • 4 legs of duck confit (1 large tin)
  • 4 shallots
  • Fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch of flat parsley
  • 50 cl milk
  • 2 tbsp tablespoon of duck fat
  • 200g Comte 
  • salt & pepper

1. Preheat your oven to 220 °C. 

2. Peel and wash the potatoes, cut them into large pieces. Cook them for 25 minutes in boiling water with a good pinch of salt. Drain them and crush them while gradually adding the milk to obtain a lumpy mash.

3. Empty the tin of duck confit into a heavy pan. Warm over a gentle heat and the fat will run away from the duck legs. Pour away the duck fat into some jam jars and save for roasting potatoes. 

4. Remove the skin from the duck thighs. Pull away the duck flesh in your fingers making sure there are no more bones.

5. Peel and chop the shallots and brown them gently in a little duck fat with plenty of cracked black pepper. Once the shallots are golden add a glass of pinot noir and the chopped parsley.

6. Add the duck meat to the mix and stir until all the ingredients are well combined. 

7. Grease a baking dish or circular cookie cutters, arrange the meat mixture at the bottom, then cover with mashed potatoes. Sprinkle some grated comte on the top and bake for 25 minutes.

Serve with plenty of well-dressed green salad.