Monday, 6 August 2012

duck and porcini pierogi in porcini and red wine broth

duck and porcini pierogi in a porcini and red wine broth
this was inspired by a recent meal i enjoyed thoroughly and felt would work perfectly as pierogi. the original dish featured tortellini, which are essentially just italian pasta dumplings, so it wasn't too much of a stretch to translate from italian into polish. allow yourself plenty of time with this dish, pierogi are notoriously labour-intensive, plus you'll need to give yourself a good 2 hours to get the duck cooked nicely.

things you will need:


4 duck maryland pieces
1 medium brown onion, peeled and very finely chopped
3 sticks of celery, very finely chopped
3 small carrots, peeled and very finely chopped
1 (if large) or 2 (if medium) garlic cloves, peeled and very finely chopped
1 cup of chicken stock (i used store-bought this time. if you're feeling especially dedicated then go ahead and make your own, but it'll add about 2 or 3 hours of extra cooking time on)
1 cup of dry white wine
3/4 of a cup of porcini mushrooms
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
a little butter for frying


leftover confit duck pan juices and vegetables
1 cup of red wine (i used a shiraz voignier)
about 2 cups of porcini water (the flavoured water leftover after reconstituting the dried porcini mushrooms)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup of chicken stock
a couple of bay leaves
duck maryland bones


2 cups of plain flour plus additional flour to dust your work bench
pinch of salt
1 egg
1/3 of a cup of lukewarm water
a little butter for frying

what you will need to do:


preheat oven to 180C. season the skin of the duck marylands with sea salt and pan fry in a heavy based pot or large pan skin side down until some of the duck fat starts to appear in the pan (do not use any additional oil for this step, just dry fry and the duck fat will start to melt and coat the pan). this will take about 5 or 6 minutes on a medium heat. remove the duck from the pan, and throw in the finely chopped garlic, onion, carrot and celery. fry in the duck fat until the onion starts to glisten. add white wine and stock and bring to the boil. place the duck pieces back in the pan, skin side up, cover with a lid and place in the oven for 2 hours.

about 1 hour into the duck cooking, place the porcini mushrooms into a large bowl or pot and pour over 2 to 2 2/12 cups of boiling water. leave to stand until duck is cooked.

once cooked (the duck should be falling off the bone), remove from the oven and pull all the meat from the bones and place into a large bowl. shred the meat with a knife and fork so you are left with no chunks, just shredded duck meat. finely chop the porcini mushrooms and fry in a little melted butter. stir through the shredded duck meat, season with salt and pepper to taste, cover and set aside.


using the same pot the duck was cooked in, along with all the pan juices and leftover vegetables, pour over the rest of the chicken stock, the porcini water and the red wine. add the duck bones, a couple of bay leaves and sea salt and pepper to taste. simmer, covered, for an hour on a very low heat. stir occasionally to ensure nothing is sticking to the pot and burning. drain all the solids and set aside.


in a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and egg. add the lukewarm water in increments and start working the mixture with your hands until you have a nice flexible dough. it should be pliant and moist, but not sticky. if the dough is sticking to your hands, add a little more flour. place half of the dough onto the flour-dusted work bench and start rolling it out with a rolling pin. roll the dough until it's a couple of millimetres thick and using a 10cm diameter cookie cutter, cut out rounds of dough. place these on a wooden board covered with a damp tea towel (this will stop the dough from drying out).
to make the pierogi, place a small amount of the duck filling into the centre of each piece of dough, then fold over and pinch to seal. if the dough is a little dry, use a couple of drops of water on your fingertip to moisten the dough and ensure the pierogi are properly sealed. do not be tempted to overstuff the pierogi, as the dough can break or the piergoi can fall apart during boiling. continue this process until all the duck mixture is gone. you should get about 25 to 30 pierogi from these quantities.

to cook, boil a large pot of water with a pinch of salt and place about 8 to 10 pierogi into the boiling water. boil each batch for 9 minutes, and remove with a slotted spoon. finally, melt a little butter in a pan and fry the pierogi on a medium heat until they are golden brown. this step is optional, the pierogi may be eaten after they're boiled, but i love the texture and appearance of the golden brown pierogi. when ready to serve, reheat the broth.

to serve, place 5 pierogi into a large serving bowl and ladle over 3 spoonfuls of the broth. can be enjoyed with a dollop of sour cream if preferred.


  1. the day i learn to make duck pierogi like this is the day i cease to be gastronomically challenged.
    still a long way off i think!

  2. it's actually not that hard! there's a few steps to it, but it's pretty technically easy! you should give it a go!