Out for a Duck

9:20 pm on 8 May 2007

Duck, succulent and tasty, is offset by these späetzle – traditional German dumplings – that are really very simple to make, and delicious to eat!

Serves 4



  • half bottle Monteith’s Original Ale
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 6 juniper berries, crushed
  • 8 whole black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 stalks parsley
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 duck breasts, skin left on if farmed duck or skin off if wild duck, trimmed of any fat

Späetzle (dumplings)

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • half teaspoon ground white pepper
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 bottle Monteith’s Original Ale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • oil or fat for frying
  • 1 punnet oyster mushrooms
  • half bottle Monteith’s Original Ale
  • 400ml gravy or rich meat glaze (jus)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 150g Kapiti Whisky Cheddar, grated


To prepare the marinade, combine all the ingredients in a shallow dish. Add the duck breasts, cover and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

To prepare the späetzle, place the flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a mixing bowl.

Make a well in the centre and add the eggs and beer. Beat for about 10 minutes to create a smooth batter, then set aside to rest for 20 minutes.

To cook the späetzle, prepare a large saucepan of boiling salted water and have ready a bowl of iced water. Keeping the water in the saucepan simmering, pass the späetzle batter through a coarse mouli into the boiling water. The dumplings will immediately sink to the bottom, but will rise to the surface once they are cooked. As they cook, remove with a fine sieve and place in the iced water. Drain off the water, then toss each späetzle through the olive oil to prevent them sticking together.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. 

Remove the duck from the marinade, then season well.

Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan and sear the duck, skin-side down, until golden, then turn over and briefly brown the other side.

Place the duck into an ovenproof dish and bake for about 10 minutes or until cooked medium-rate.  Remove from the oven, cover with aluminium foil and rest at room temperature for about 5 minutes.

Using the same frying pan, sear the mushrooms in any remaining duck juices, then turn down the heat and sauté until softened.  Add the beer and reduce the liquid by half, then add the gravy and bring to the boil. Adjust the seasonings and set aside while you reheat the späetzle.

Place the butter in a non-stick frying pan and add the späetzle. Saute over a medium heat until golden brown, then add the cheese, stirring until it melts. 

To Serve

Arrange some späetzle in the centre of each plate, slice the duck breasts across the grain and place on top of the späetzle. Spoon over the mushrooms and sprinkle the gravy around the plate. Serve immediately.

Match with:

Monteith’s Original Ale

Pinot Noir

  • Escarpment Kupe 2005
  • Neudorf Tom's Block 2005
  • Te Kairanga Pinot Noir 2006