Ragu is a wonderful way to cook cheap cuts of meat for a pasta sauce and there is nothing more impressive than this ragu made with duck leg meat. Ideally, the legs should be cooked in a slow cooker with a handful of other ingredients and left for a couple of hours. But if you don’t have a slow cooker, simply use a heavy casserole dish with a lid and put in a low oven for around 2 hours. The resulting meat will melt in the mouth and fall off the bone as its so tender, with a silky texture and tastes subtly fruity.
Read our tried and tested reviews of the best slow cookers.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 75g streaky bacon, chopped
- 2 duck legs
- 1 ripe peach, skinned, stoned removed
- Half stick cinnamon
- 125ml white wine
- 1tbsp double cream
- 250g pappardelle
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Handful freshly grated parmesan, to serve
Heat the oil in an ovenproof frying pan and fry the red onion and bacon for 2-3 mins or until softened.
Add the duck legs, peach, cinnamon and white wine and bring to a simmer. Transfer to a slow cooker and cook on low for 2-3 hrs until the meat is very tender.
Remove the duck legs then take off the duck meat, discarding any fat, and set aside. Skim and discard any fat from the vegetables, pancetta, peach and cinnamon and return the duck meat to the pan.
Put the pan over a mediu heat on the stove top and cook until the volume of the liquid has reduced by half, then add the double cream.
Meanwhile cook the pappadelle according to packet instructions in a large pan of boiling salt water until al dente.
Drain the pasta, add it to the duck and mix until well combined.
To serve, spoon some pasta into each bowl and season with freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle with Parmesan.
Top tip for making Duck and peach ragu with pappardelle
If you can’t find pappardelle, you can easily make your own by slicing fresh lasagne sheets into 2.5cm-wide strips.