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Salted Duck, Red Cabbage And Mash

This delicious Hugo Arnold dish is a clever take on classic French duck confit.

Time: 3 hours +
Difficulty: Medium


  • 4 duck legs
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
  • Olive oil
  • 1 small red cabbage, cored and finely shredded
  • 1 teaspoon coriander,
  • 1 teaspoon fennel
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 x 5cm stick cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 rooster potatoes or similar
  • 150g butter
  • Full-fat milk


  1. Rub the salt into the flesh of the duck legs, wrap in cling film and leave in the
    fridge overnight. A couple of days is even better.
  2. Place the red cabbage in a saucepan, adding the spices, cloves and cinnamon as
    you go. Season well with salt and pepper, pour over the balsamic vinegar along
    with four tablespoons of olive oil and four tablespoons of water. Place over a low
    heat, cover and cook for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally while you do the duck.
  3. Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3. Soak the legs in cold water for ten
    minutes, brushing off all the excess salt. Pat dry. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in
    a frying pan over a moderate heat and add the duck legs, skin side down. Sauté
    gently for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Turn over and repeat on the
    other side.
  4. Transfer to a roasting tin and place, skin side up, in the oven for 40 minutes
    along with the cabbage.
  5. Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks and cook in salted water until tender,
    then mash. Whisk in the butter and enough milk to give a smooth finish. Serve
    the mash with the duck and cabbage.


The potatoes can be cooked and mashed, then placed in a saucepan with clingfilm over the surface of the potatoes and kept in the fridge. Then finish off with the butter and milk just before serving.