A quick sauce for duck with hand-picked blackberries

This fruity, aromatic sauce pairs deliciously with duck and mashed potato

Duck with blackberry sauce and spring onion champ

Duck with blackberry sauce and spring onion champ

 

It’s blackberry season once more and we’ve been waiting for the berries to ripen as the summer has come to an end. My children are always looking for ways to showcase what they’ve picked so I made this quick sauce a few years ago and it’s now a seasonal favourite.

I love aromatic spices with duck so I’ve added a little Chinese five spice to this fruity sauce. The anise, fennel, cinnamon, pepper and clove bring warmth and layers of flavour. It’s like a plum sauce but uses blackberries instead for the dark, jammy, fruit flavour.

As the sauce is gently spiced it is nice to go with the theme and add a little golden sesame oil to the spring onions before they’re rippled through the mashed potato. It’s a delicious combination that works so well with pink duck. You could also serve this with rice and steamed greens such as bok choy or spinach.

You can keep the duck fat that renders off in the fridge for roasting potatoes or vegetables; it can handle high temperatures and brings so much flavour.

There are so many fantastic duck producers in Ireland ranging from Skeaghanore in west Cork to Silver Hill in Monaghan. I love it as an alternative to chicken or pork. It’s fantastic for Thai red curries and massaman curries, and can stand up well to spices and heat.

Mashed potato always heralds the cooler weather. As I made this dish, I realised I hadn’t mashed a potato for months. We had been too busy enjoying the new potatoes, light skins brushing off them as the butter melted into the centre. It’s a real comfort food and I’m glad to welcome it back.

Recipe: Duck with blackberry sauce and spring onion champ

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