Getting fruity: Mark's duck with blueberries / Jason Lowe
Serves 4

Duck always partners well with fruits. Duck and orange is an old classic, of course, but fruits such as blueberries, small cherries and even rhubarb work a treat, too.

4 duck breasts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce

2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
A good knob of butter
2tsp flour
½tsp tomato purée
50ml red wine
50ml port
250ml chicken or beef stock
125g blueberries

First make the sauce: melt the butter in a thick-bottomed pan and gently cook the shallots for 2-3 minutes until lightly coloured.

Add the flour and tomato purée and stir well over a low heat for a minute. Gradually add the red wine and port, stirring to avoid lumps forming, and then gradually add the beef stock.

Bring to the boil and simmer very gently for about 20-25 minutes, giving the occasional whisk, until the sauce has reduced by about two-thirds and thickened. Then add the blueberries, cover and remove from the heat.

Season the duck breasts, heat a heavy frying pan and cook them with the skin down first for about 5 minutes on a medium heat, pouring off any fat as it's cooking (which you can save for roast potatoes).

Turn the breasts over and cook for another 4-5 minutes, keeping them nice and pink.

To serve, cut the breasts into 6-7 slices, spoon the sauce on to warmed serving plates and arrange the duck on top with the skin side up.

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