Hearty duck and port ragu is a comforting one pot wonder. Flavour packed and perfect for those cold winter weekends. It also freezes well for an easy mid-week meal.
A slow cooked ragu of any description is a very versatile staple to have on hand. I’m into big batch ragu cooking, which allows me to freeze some for later. There is enough for dinner on the day of cooking, and then a serve or two frozen for later use.
My hearty duck and pork ragu recipe will stretch to feed a family of four for two meals. Or perfect for that winter dinner party.
What I find so versatile with having a stash of ragu in my freezer, it makes for an easy meal base. I use ragu to fill omelettes, crepes, make lasagne or cannelloni, and it is the perfect pasta sauce. It can also be used to fill jaffles, place some in an ovenproof dish and crack a few eggs in and bake, or use to top baked potatoes or a spoonful or two on some buttered toast (easy Sunday night in).
Now I have given you some alternative ragu ideas, let’s talk about this hearty duck and pork ragu.
Port may seem an unusual ingredient, but it adds a lovely depth of flavour and hint of sweetness. It’s an intriguing alternative to using a red wine and a conversation starter.
Duck is the main ingredient. Do yourself a favour and buy a whole duck. My step by step guide will walk you through how to break one down. You then could make your own duck stock for the ragu as well.
This is a rich and hearty duck and port ragu, slow cooked and packed with flavour. Rich due to the duck being cooked skin on, but removed when the duck is shredded. Then there is the added flavour side punch of the pancetta. Add to this the richness of port for a hearty ragu.
I served this ragu simply with some pappardelle and a generous handful of grated parmesan.
Special equipment for this recipe
A shallow heavy based casserole dish with a lid is a must for this recipe.
Special Ingredients for this Recipe
Port: I used a tawny port, which has a sweet note when cooking. Make sure to taste and season. If you find the port is really on the sweet side (they vary), then add a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste to the hearty duck and port ragu during cooking.
Pancetta: Pancetta is a rolled Italian style bacon, which is salt cured with pepper. Can’t find pancetta? Next suggestion is to use prosciutto, and if you can’t get your hands on that, normal run of the mill bacon.
What to do with any leftovers
If you haven’t already invested in some good quality freezer to oven glass lidded storage containers, then do. Freeze any leftover hearty duck and port ragu for later use. Use some of my suggestions above, it really is versatile to have on hand.
Other Delicious Duck Recipes
How to break down a whole duck to cook - it's not so hard
Duck larb recipe + why can we eat pink duck meat?
Pork, duck and fig terrine recipe - easy entertaining at your fingertips
Mandarin pancakes for Peking duck - or Chinese bbq pork
Hearty Duck and Port Ragu
- 2 kg duck cut into breast and maryland pieces and skin scored
- salt and pepper
- 100 grams (½ cup) roughly chopped pancetta
- 1 leek, white part only, sliced
- 1 small carrot, finely chopped
- 1 small celery stick, finely choppped
- 400 grams tinned diced tomatoes
- 80 ml (? cup) apple cider vinegar
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 10 thyme sprigs
- 250 ml (1 cup) port
- 250 ml (1 cups) duck or chicken stock
- Heat large heavy based casserole pan (that has a lid) over a medium heat.
- Season duck pieces with salt and pepper. Place them in the saucepan skin side down.
- Cook duck until well browned on either side.
- Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Remove all but 1 tablespoon of duck fat from the saucepan.
- Place saucepan back on the heat and add pancetta, leek, carrot and celery. Cook for 5 minutes or until the mixture starts to caramelise (go brown).
- Add tomatoes, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves and thyme. Mix well.
- Add port and stock, mix well.
- Return duck pieces and any released juices to the saucepan.
- Bring mixture to a hard simmer and cover with the lid. Leave to simmer on the stove top for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until the duck is tender. Stir the mixture occasionally while it is cooking.
- Once the duck is tender remove saucepan from the heat. Remove duck from the casserole pan and leave to cool. Once it is cool enough to handle remove the skin and discard. Then using a fork shred the meat from the bones, discard the bones.
- Return pan to medium heat and return the duck meat to the pan. Simmer for a few minutes, stirring while it does, until the sauce has reduced slightly and thickened.
- Serve duck and port ragu with creamy polenta or pasta.
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Hi there! Am I missing something here? I see your pic with the ingredients, but I can't seem to find a list with amounts. My husband and I are super interested in making this recipe from our leftover duck with Thanksgiving!
The recipe is there. You scrolled past it to leave your message. It is just before the comments and the subscribe box. Scroll up a little from your message and you should see it.
Hope you enjoy the ragu and had a lovely Thanksgiving.
Restaurant quality dinner it was. Thanks for the recipe!
Thank you for that lovely compliment and so glad to hear that you enjoyed it. It is a nice hearty one for winter.
True. I'll do two ducks next time they are half price on sale so we have some more leftovers to stash away frozen (the only time I usually buy them and tend to buy as many as will fit in the freezer 😉 )
Looking so good and delicious. Thumbs up for this duck and Port Ragu recipe.
I am not a big fan of ducks but this looks something worthy to try. Thank you for sharing this recipe. Will have this on Saturday.
This is new to me. I have duck in my refrigerator... and I'm gonna try this! Thanks for the recipe
This ragu looks amazing and I love how you laid out all of the ingredients needed.
I love dinners like this - one pot but one pot full of SO much flavor! I need to cook with duck more, thank you for the inspiration!
That is one gorgeous looking ragu! I have never worked with duck before but I've been wanting to try it! This recipe is a great excuse to give it a shot! It's such a flavorful, wonderful meat, and then making it into a sauce and serving over pasta is a fantastic idea!
So much flavour in this dish!
This looks amazing! Great photos too!