In a glaze of glory: Marcus Wareing dishes up his favourite winter ingredients

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For his final column as our guest food writer, Marcus Wareing bows out with recipes starring two of his favourite winter ingredients: duck and sprouts

The Gressingham duck was created by crossing the wild mallard with the Pekin. The result is a flavoursome, meaty duck far superior to the other varieties on the market (Gressinghams have approximately 20 per cent more breast meat than other ducks of the same weight).

Because it is winter, the ducks do have a thick layer of fat, so when cooking ensure you allow enough time and a moderate amount of heat to render the fat down so you are left with the crispy skin only. The braised whole duck here is my take on Chinese crispy duck, but a slightly healthier and more aromatic version. It takes around two hours to cook, but is well worth it.

Brussels sprouts are something you either love or you loathe. I definitely fit into the former category, but I go it alone in my house, as my wife and children unfortunately do not share my opinion.

To me, the sprout is a small ball of creamy nuttiness which lends itself so well to many accompaniments, such as rich red meat, succulent poultry and the classic pairing of chestnuts and bacon.

Here I have created crumbles: small pots of creamy sprouts with a crunchy, herb and cheese topping, as well as a rich hotpot with chorizo, barley and sprouts: perfect with hot, crusty bread for a winter lunch.

Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley, The Berkeley Hotel, Wilton Place, London SW1 (020 7235 1200, www.the-berkeley.co.uk). Skye Gyngell returns next week

Honey-glazed duck breasts with Jerusalem artichokes and walnuts

The combination of the caramelised duck breast with the distinct, nutty, flavour of Jerusalem artichokes gives these amazing ingredients what they deserve; the walnuts complement perfectly, with an oily crunch.

Serves 2

For the artichokes

4 medium-sized Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed and cut into quarters
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp table salt

For the duck

2 Gressingham duck breasts, skin scored in a criss-cross pattern

1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 tbsp honey

To serve

25g/1oz walnuts, toasted
1/4 bunch parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas6. Place the artichokes in foil with the garlic, olive oil and salt; gather up and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Place a frying pan on a low heat. Season the duck breasts with the salt then place skin-side down in the dry pan. Allow the fat to slowly render off, tipping off the excess a couple of times. Cook until the skin has browned and the majority of the fat has rendered off (this should take around 15 minutes). Pour off the fat, then add the honey to the pan with the duck and allow to brown. Turn the breasts on to the flesh side for around four minutes then remove and set aside to rest for five minutes. Mix the roasted artichokes with the walnuts and parsley and serve with the duck breasts.

Braised and roasted whole duck

This is great accompanied by spring onions, cucumber and Chinese pancakes. You could also try it in a warm salad with cashew nuts, spinach and noodles.

Serves 4-6

1 small to medium duck (preferably Gressingham), giblets removed

For the mirepoix

1 onion, peeled and quartered
2 stalks celery, halved
1 leek, white only, halved
2 carrots, peeled and quartered
1 bulb garlic, halved lengthways
2 cinnamon sticks
3 star anise
1 orange, halved
2 red chillies, halved
1/4 bunch coriander stalks
80g/3oz fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

For the glaze

250ml/8fl oz Madeira wine
2 litres/31/2 pints chicken or vegetable stock
2 tbsp soya sauce
4 tbsp Hoisin sauce
2 tbsp honey

Heat a large saucepan over a moderate heat. When hot, add the duck and brown all over, allowing a lot of the fat to render off (straining some off). When golden all over, remove from the pan. Add the mirepoix ingredients and brown well. Add the Madeira and simmer until it reaches a syrup consistency. Add the remaining ingredients, creating a braising stock, then place the duck in the pan with it and cover with a lid. Keep on a very gentle simmer for one-and-a-half hours then carefully remove the duck using two slotted spoons, and place on to a roasting tray lined with foil. Cover the entire tray with clingfilm. Preheat the oven to 200C/ 400F/Gas6, ready for the duck, strain the cooking liquor into a clean saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce by two-thirds to form a gravy-like sauce. Brush the duck all over with a little of the sauce, setting aside the rest for serving, then place in the oven for 10 minutes, until slightly crisp on the outside. Serve with the sauce, Chinese pancakes, cucumber and spring onion.

Hotpot of Brussels sprouts, chorizo and barley

The unique flavour of chorizo lends itself well to the nuttiness of the sprouts and the earthiness of the barley.

Serves 4

200g/7oz pearl barley
75g/3oz chorizo, cubed
1 onion, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 bunch thyme
1/2 tsp table salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp soya sauce
200ml/7fl oz vegetable stock
2 tbsp unsalted butter
200g/7oz Brussels sprouts, halved
1/2 tsp table salt

Place the pearl barley into a saucepan and cover with cold water. Simmer gently for around 20 -25 minutes until al dente. Meanwhile, heat a deep frying pan and add the chorizo. Cook until the oil begins to seep out (roughly five minutes), then add the onion, garlic, thyme and salt. Cook until the onions have lightly caramelised. Add the paprika, tomato purée, vinegar, soya sauce and stock and mix well. Add the drained pearl barley and allow to simmer very gently for about 10 minutes. Heat a large frying pan with the butter; when hot, add the sprouts and seasoning and cook until lightly golden. Add to the pan of barley and cook until soft. Serve with crusty bread by the fireplace.

Brussels sprout crumbles

Try these in small ramekins or in a large earthenware dish to spoon out. A tasty alternative to cauliflower cheese that makes the most of the sprout season.

Makes 6

For the mustard sauce
3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp plain flour
400ml/14fl oz semi-skimmed milk
1 tbsp Pommery (or grain) mustard
1/2 tsp table salt
25g/1oz grated cheddar cheese

For the sprouts

2 tbsp unsalted butter
400g/13oz Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1/4 tsp table salt

For the crumble

100g/31/2oz brown breadcrumbs
25g/1oz Parmesan cheese, grated
25g/1oz cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 bunch thyme, leaves picked

Preheat oven to 190C/375F/Gas5. Begin by making the mustard sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and mix well. Slowly whisk in the milk and keep over a low heat. Whisk in the mustard, salt and cheese and cook gently until thick. Set aside.

For the sprouts, heat the butter in a frying pan and add the sprouts and seasoning. Cook over a moderate heat until lightly browned and cooked through. This will take about eight to 10 minutes. Add to the mustard sauce and mix gently. Divide into six small ramekins.

For the crumble, combine all the ingredients together and sprinkle evenly over the sprouts in the ramekins.

Now bake the crumbles for around 10 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and the crumble is golden. Serve.

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