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Creamed polenta with duck livers and vincotto

Serves 4 as a starter

Soft polenta is perfect with meaty dishes with a sauce. Vincotto is a condiment you can find in good Italian delis and is produced in the Apulia region in southern Italy, made by simmering local wine until it's thick and syrupy. You could use wine or port instead.

250-300g duck livers, cleaned
A tablespoon of olive oil for frying
A good knob of butter
1tsp flour
2 large shallots, peeled, finely chopped
120ml chicken stock
60ml vincotto

For the polenta

750ml milk
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 small bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
A pinch of nutmeg
75g quick-cooking polenta
100ml double cream
75g freshly grated Parmesan

Make the polenta. Bring the milk to the boil in a pan, then add the garlic, bay leaf, salt and pepper and nutmeg. Simmer for 5 minutes; whisk in the polenta. Cook on a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring every so often so that it doesn't stick to the pan. Add the cream and Parmesan; cook for a further 5 minutes; cover and keep warm.

While the polenta is cooking, season the livers, heat a frying pan with the olive oil and fry them for a couple of minutes on each side, keeping them pink. Put to one side. Melt a third of the butter in the pan, add the shallots and cook for a minute on a low heat.

Add the flour, gradually stir in the chicken stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a clean saucepan, add the vincotto and simmer for a couple more minutes; stir in the livers and any juices. To serve, spoon the polenta on to serving plates and place the livers and sauce on top.