Slow-roast duck leg with bashed neeps and haggis

Serves 4

I know Burns Night has passed but there is still plenty of haggis in the shops so there is no harm in a little late nod to Robbie Burns. We use haggis from Weatherall Foods (blackface.co.uk) which is as good as you can get; otherwise, McSweens is a commonly sold one that works equally as well.

4 duck legs
1 small peeled swede, cut into 3cm chunks
A couple of good knobs of butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
150g haggis, cut into rough 1-2cm chunks

For the whisky sauce

2-3 large shallots, peeled, finely chopped
A good knob of butter
1tsp flour
100ml whisky
500ml beef stock
1tsp cornflour mixed with water if needed

Preheat the oven to 175C/gas mark 4. With the point of a sharp knife, remove the thigh bone from the duck, keeping the flesh intact, and chop the bone just below the drumstick joint. Chop off the knuckle then pack the legs into a fairly tight-fitting ovenproof pan, tucking the thigh meat neatly underneath. Season the legs and cook for one and a half hours in the oven then drain off any fat and save it for roast potatoes. Turn the oven up to 220C/gas mark 7 and crisp the legs up for about 15 minutes.

While the duck is cooking make the sauce and neeps. Cook the shallots in the butter on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until lightly coloured. Add the flour then gradually stir or whisk in the whisky and the beef stock and simmer until the sauce has reduced by about half and thickened. Continue simmering until the sauce has a good flavour; stir in enough of the cornflour mix if required.

Meanwhile, cook the swede in lightly salted water until tender; drain. Mash coarsely, mix in the butter and haggis; season and keep warm. Spoon the neeps and haggis into the centre of warmed serving plates, drain the duck on kitchen paper, place on top; spoon the sauce around.

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