Pappardelle with Braised Duck Ragu
I love ragù! I can literally just scream it out but then I think I would get reported for public nuisance. Why pappardelle you may ask? Because, I love the texture that the wide ribbons gives, for me personally, it provides a nicer bite when compared to the likes of fettuccine or the more common spaghetti!
Okay to the main topic at hand – Duck Ragu. Duck tends to be a little heavier in flavour, so it’s considered game meat. I used red wine for duck ragu which has a heavier body compared to white wine which I used in my chicken ragu recipe!
Ragout vs Ragu
While on the topic of ragù, let’s discuss the difference between Ragù and Ragout. These two left me confused for a while because of the pronunciation which is the same but difference in meaning.
Somehow, ragù is sometimes mistranslated as ragout in English as I have seen in some places which is incorrect. Ragù is a meat-based sauce served with pasta while ragout is a french-styled stew often served as the main dish.
While the pronunciation for both terms are the same, the meaning is completely different. Ragù must contain meat and is a sauce which means it must be cooked with pasta, while ragout is a stew which can be cooked with no meat! Ragout can be eaten on its own or served like Ragu Napoletano as seen in Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservation, first to be eaten with the pasta and then to be served as a main course!
I saved time by roasting the duck carcass and vegetables together! As you can see, the carcass still has a bit of meat on it because it’s quite difficult to separate from the bones especially the neck area. When the bones are roasted, the meat can be easily removed and added into the duck ragu later. While the roasted carcass is used to make a duck stock.
Tossing the meat with flour helps the meat to brown and also thickens the sauce while it cooks.I blended the vegetable together because the flavours are evenly spread out, the texture of the sauce would also be smoother and clings on to the pasta much better!
Add in red wine, reduce before adding in the duck stock and reduce.Voila! Cook a pot of water and throw in your choice of pasta! Once done, mix the pasta and sauce well and finish with a liberal amount of cheese! Long ribbon pastas or hollow pastas such as rigatoni and calamarata are preferred as they hold on to the sauce better and for the latter, the meat gets trapped in the hollow pasta which gives a sort of filled pasta texture!
- 150g Onion, Chopped
- 150g Celery, Chopped
- 150g Carrot, Chopped
- 1 clove Garlic, Chopped
- 600g Duck Meat
- 2 tbs Plain Flour
- 600ml Duck Stock
- 375ml Red Wine
- 1tps Rosemary Leaves
- 1tps Thyme Leaves
- 2 pcs Bay Leaves
- Salt & Pepper, to Taste
- 4 tbs Oil
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius.
- Chop the vegetables roughly and place them on the baking tray.
- Debone the duck and put the duck carcass on baking tray with the vegetables.
- Roast the bones and vegetables in the oven for 40 minutes or until browned.
- While that is in the oven, cut the duck meat into cubes and toss them with flour.
- In a hot pan, brown the meat and set aside.
- Once the vegetables and bones are browned, use the bones to make a stock.
- Remove the vegetables and blend them until it is fine.
- Add the blended vegetables and browned meat together before adding red wine.
- Reduce the wine then add in the stock and reduce on low.
- It's ready once the meat is tender and the sauce is thick.