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Venetian Duck Ragu with Orange

Delicious duck ragu in a rich red wine, orange, & juniper sauce is an outstanding way to show that bolognese ain’t the only pasta meat sauce.

Portrait image of a shredded Venetian duck ragu served with rigatoni pasta in a mottled dark blue pasta bowl

Venetian Duck Pasta!

Anyone would think that I have a thing for ragout recipes or pasta meat sauces.

This Italian Duck ragu joins a rabbit ragu, wild boar ragu and of course a classic ragu alla bolognese to name a few.

I adore cooking with duck! Whether it is my Thai Duck Curry or my Duck burger I love creating new and unique recipes with this delicious meat.

Duck pasta is not really all that unusual though, it is based on classic Venetian ideas.

Despite the relative lack of ingredients here we still get an unbelievable punch of flavour.

Orange and juniper provide the main supporting flavours to the glorious meaty duck leg.

Duck with orange is such a glorious combination, I have a fennel and orange salad that is pure perfection with a rosy pink duck breast.

Portrait overhead image of a shredded duck ragu served with rigatoni pasta in a mottled dark blue pasta bowl

What Cooking Method to Choose.

I have given cooking instructions for slow cooker, Instant Pot and stovetop for this recipe.

Yes, I cook it that often I have plenty of time to test!

I very strongly favour the slow cooker method personally speaking.

Timing-wise it works best for me, but there is little difference in the overall flavour.

I find the Instant Pot version a bit of a faff but it does reduce the cooking time greatly. And of course, it tastes delicious!

Portrait close up image of a shredded Italian duck ragu served with rigatoni pasta

What Pasta to Choose.

I almost always rigatoni pasta although it is glorious with both paccheri pasta or some nice thick pappardelle.

Pappardelle is a tough pasta to find in these parts, as a result, I usually have to use homemade pasta.

But it is a wonderful pasta to use for this recipe if you can get your hands on it.

Something like the orecchiette that I use in my Instant Pot pork ragu would also be great.

You could even serve it over a good cheesy polenta as I do with my vegan mushroom ragu.

Square image of a shredded Venetian duck ragu served with rigatoni pasta in a mottled dark blue pasta bowl
Yield: 2 Servings

Venetian Duck Ragu Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes

It is difficult to believe the depth of flavour in this simple Italian duck ragu, you will be amazed at just how much punch this simple recipe packs with so few ingredients. You even get instructions for slow cooker, stove top and Instant Pot.

Ingredients

  • 2 Duck Legs
  • 100 g (2/3 Cup) Onion
  • 1 Tsp Dried Rosemary
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 6 Juniper Berries
  • 12 Black Peppercorns
  • 250 ml (1 Cup) Chicken Stock
  • 1 Orange
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Puree (20-25% Concentrate)
  • 250 ml (1 Cup) Red Wine
  • Salt To Taste
  • Pepper To Taste
  • 1 Tbsp Oil
  • 175 g (~2 Cups) Dried Pasta
  • 30 g (1/3 Cup) Grated Parmesan

Instructions

Stove Top Instructions

  1. Heat a pan over a medium heat and when hot add the oil.
  2. Season the duck legs with salt and then place in the pan and colour on both sides. This should take around 10 minutes.
  3. Cut the onion into a 3-4 mm dice
  4. Remove the duck legs and set aside.
  5. Drain off most of the fat and then return the pan to a medium heat.
  6. Bash the garlic with the side of a knife and peel off the paper and add to the pan.
  7. Add the diced onion and cook for 5-6 minutes.
  8. Turn the heat up to high and add the red wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to release and crispy bits.
  9. Reduce the wine by a third and then reduce the heat to medium low.
  10. Pour in the chicken stock and add the tomato puree.
  11. Add the peppercorns, juniper berries, orange zest, and rosemary.
  12. Return the duck to the pan along with any resting juices.
  13. Add a lid and cook slowly for 90 minutes.
  14. Remove the duck and shred the flesh discarding the skin.
  15. Strain the cooking liquid and skim off the fat.
  16. Add the cooking liquid to a hot pan and reduce by half.
  17. Add the duck meat and stir.
  18. Cook the pasta as per the instructions.
  19. Mix together the pasta with the ragu and Parmesan cheese
  20. Add in 1-2 tablespoons of the cooking liquid to help form a coating for the pasta.

Slow Cooker Instructions

  1. Heat a pan over a medium heat and when hot add the oil.
  2. Season the duck legs with salt and then place in the pan and colour on both sides. This should take around 10 minutes.
  3. Cut the onion into a 3-4 mm dice
  4. Transfer the duck legs to a slow cooker.
  5. Drain almost all of the fat from the pan you seared the duck in.
  6. Return the pan to a medium heat
  7. Bash the garlic with the side of a knife and peel off the skin and add to the pan with the diced onions and cook for 5-6 minutes.
  8. Add the rosemary, orange zest, juniper berries and black peppercorns to the slow cooker.
  9. After 5-6 minutes turn the heat up under the onions and pour in the red wine.
  10. Reduce by a third and then stir in the chicken stock and tomato puree.
  11. Pour this over the duck in the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours or high for 2 1/2 - 3 hours on high.
  12. Remove the duck and shred the flesh discarding the skin.
  13. Strain the cooking liquid and skim off the fat.
  14. Add the cooking liquid to a hot pan and reduce by half.
  15. Add the duck meat and stir.
  16. Cook the pasta as per the instructions.
  17. Mix together the pasta with the ragu and Parmesan cheese
  18. Add in 1-2 tablespoons of the cooking liquid to help form a coating for the pasta.

Instant Pot Instructions

  1. Put the IP in saute mode and when hot add the oil.
  2. Season the duck legs with salt and then place in the IP and colour on both sides. This should take around 10 minutes.
  3. Cut the onion into a 3-4 mm dice
  4. Remove the duck and drain off all but a scant coating off oil from the IP.
  5. Bash the garlic with the side of a knife and peel off the skin and add to the pit with the diced onions and cook for 5-6 minutes.
  6. Pour in the red wine and reduce by a third.
  7. Add the rosemary, orange zest, juniper berries and black peppercorns..
  8. Stir in the chicken stock and tomato puree and add the duck legs.
  9. Seal the lid and cook under high pressure for 30 minutes and allow to sit for 10 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure.
  10. Remove the duck and shred the flesh and discard the skin.
  11. Strain the cooking liquid and skim off the fat.
  12. Place the IP in saute mode again and when hot return the strained cooking liquid.
  13. Reduce by half.
  14. Add the duck meat and stir.
  15. Cook the pasta as per the instructions.
  16. Mix together the pasta with the ragu and Parmesan cheese
  17. Add in 1-2 tablespoons of the cooking liquid to help form a coating for the pasta.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 676Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 861mgCarbohydrates: 67gFiber: 10gSugar: 13gProtein: 41g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

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Danielle

Friday 20th of April 2018

I am in love with duck. And bucatini is one of my favorite pastas. I have a place down the street that sells fresh and I love to go there. I totally need ot make this.

Brian Jones

Saturday 21st of April 2018

I love duck too, it is really affordable here so I cook with it all of the time, having a place selling fresh Buccatini sounds like my idea of heaven!

Claudia Lamascolo

Friday 20th of April 2018

wow Brian this is a new one for me I have never had duck can you believe it! You have given me a great reason to try it!

Brian Jones

Saturday 21st of April 2018

Really???? :o You must change that, I happen to know a good recipe :D