Autumn menu two

Autumn menu two

Early–mid autumn

Annie's Farmhouse Kitchen
Patricia Niven; Illustrations: Robin Cowcher

Smoked duck fillet salad with apple & radicchio

Paupillette of veal with chestnuts, shallots & mushrooms

Pears in puff with salted caramel sauce

Smoked duck fillet salad with apple & radicchio


Quantity Ingredient
4 duck breasts, trimmed of excess fat
2 tablespoons smoking chips or sawdust


Quantity Ingredient
150g salt flakes
150g soft brown sugar
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons black peppercorns

Apple & radicchio salad

Quantity Ingredient
1 head radicchio
100g rocket leaves
2 large cooking apples
1 tablespoon clarified butter
100g walnuts
salt flakes
freshly ground black pepper
10 chives, snipped

Simple dressing

Quantity Ingredient
25ml apple cider vinegar
25ml white wine vinegar
50ml extra-virgin olive oil
100ml grapeseed oil
salt flakes
freshly ground black pepper


  1. To make the cure, mix together all the ingredients and pour enough into a glass, ceramic or plastic container to cover the base. Place the duck fillets on the cure, skin side down, then cover with the rest of the cure. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Rinse the cure off the duck fillets and pat dry, then place on a clean plate and dry, uncovered, in the refrigerator for 8 hours.
  2. Line a large wok with foil, place the smoking chips on the bottom and position a rack in the wok. I like to render the duck, skin side down, a little before smoking, so heat a frying pan over a medium heat, add the breasts, skin side down, and cook until golden.
  3. Turn them over and seal the other side. Place the wok over a high heat, position the breasts on the rack and cover with a lid. When the smoke starts, turn the heat down to medium–low and smoke for about 15 minutes. The duck fillets need to be pink in the middle. Remove and rest for at least 10 minutes before use – the breasts can be eaten hot or cold.
  4. To make the salad, preheat the oven to 180°C. Break up the head of radicchio, then wash to remove any dirt and pat dry. Do the same with the rocket. Peel and quarter the apples, then cut each quarter in half again to give 8 pieces for each apple. Melt the clarified butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, carefully add the apple and cook on one side until golden brown, then turn over and cook the other side to an even golden-brown colour. Remove and drain on paper towel.
  5. Place the walnuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with a little pinch of salt flakes, then set aside to cool.
  6. To make the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients and season to taste.
  7. To assemble the salad, cut the duck fillet into very thin slices. Toss with the salad leaves, warm apple pieces, walnuts and chives, and gently toss through the dressing. Season with a little salt and pepper. The salad can be plated individually or on a large platter to share at the table.

Paupiette of veal with chestnuts, shallots & mushrooms


Quantity Ingredient
1.5kg veal schnitzel
1.25kg minced veal
large pinch salt flakes
1/4 teaspoon quatre epices
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
16 slices kaiserfleisch
24 french shallots
olive oil, for drizzling
unsalted butter, for cooking
16 chestnuts
250g button mushrooms
vegetable or grapeseed oil, for cooking
125ml white wine
250ml Veal Stock
or 250ml Chicken stock


  1. Start by assembling the paupiettes. Examine your pieces of schnitzel: you will need to trim them down to 16 somewhat evensized pieces. Hand-mince any trimmings with a kitchen knife and add to your minced veal. Place each piece of veal between two pieces of plastic wrap or baking paper and beat gently with a meat mallet to an even thickness.
  2. Place the minced veal in a bowl and season with salt, quatre epices, pepper and 1 tablespoon of the parsley.
  3. Mix well to combine. Lay out all your pieces of veal on a clean surface and divide the mince stuffing evenly among them – it will be about 80 g for each. Roll up to make 16 neat parcels and wrap each one in a slice of kaiserfleisch. They should hold together nicely, but if you are unsure you can fasten with kitchen string as well.
  4. I like to prepare each of the vegetables separately and add them to the paupiettes when they are cooked. Start with the shallots.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  6. The easiest way to peel a lot of shallots at once is to blanch them. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add the shallots and bring back to the boil, then strain. Rinse under cold water. Peel the shallots, and place in a baking dish. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with olive oil and a knob of butter. Roast for about 20 minutes until golden brown, then remove and set aside.
  7. Meanwhile, cut a cross in the bottom of each chestnut and place in a shallow baking dish. Roast for 10–15 minutes or until the chestnuts are bursting out of their shells. Remove from the oven and prepare yourself: the next step is the tedious bit. While they are still very hot, carefully peel the chestnuts. This is best done by picking them up in a cloth, removing the hard outer casing and, with the tip of a small knife, removing the skin around the flesh. If they cool and become too hard to peel, pop them back in the oven for a minute or two. Continue until they are all peeled (don’t worry if they break up into little pieces).
  8. Wipe away any dirt from your mushrooms and trim the stalks. If the mushrooms are tiny, leave them whole; cut larger mushrooms into halves or quarters. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable or grapeseed oil and a knob of butter in a frying pan over a high heat and cook the mushrooms for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Season, then remove from the pan and set aside.
  9. Now, all of the above steps can be done well in advance and refrigerated until needed.
  10. When you are ready to cook the paupiettes, preheat the oven to 180°C.
  11. Heat a little vegetable or grapeseed oil a frying pan over a medium heat and cook the paupiettes on both sides until golden brown. (You will probably need to do this in batches.) Transfer to a gratin dish or baking dish that will hold them snugly in a single layer.
  12. Deglaze the frying pan with white wine, add the stock and bring to the boil. Pour over the paupiettes. Ideally, the liquid should come about halfway up the side of the parcels. Bake for about 30 minutes, then remove from the oven and scatter the mushrooms, shallots and chestnuts over the paupiettes. Return to the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the string, if used. Scatter with the remaining parsley and serve, preferably at the table in the baking dish.

Pears in puff with salted caramel sauce


Quantity Ingredient
1 quantity Puff pastry

Poached pears

Quantity Ingredient
1kg granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways and seeds scraped
4 pears, peeled

Salted caramel sauce

Quantity Ingredient
225g granulated sugar
125ml pouring cream
60g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1.5- salt flakes or fleur de sel


  1. To make the poached pears, combine the sugar, 1 litre of water and vanilla bean in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, then add the pears and gently poach until just cooked. The time will vary, depending on the ripeness and variety of the pears, but start checking with a skewer after about 7 minutes. When cooked, remove the pan from the heat. The pears can be stored in the syrup until you are ready to use them.
  2. To make the salted caramel sauce, combine the sugar and 60 ml of water in a large heavy-based saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar has mostly dissolved. Increase the heat to high and bring to the boil. Use a brush dipped in water to wash down any sugar crystals from the side of the pan, but do not stir the syrup.
  3. As soon as the syrup starts to turn an amber colour, remove from the heat and swirl it around the saucepan. The caramel will continue to cook and become darker after it has been removed from the heat, but if it does not become a rich amber colour, put the pan back on the heat for 5 seconds, then remove and swirl to mix.
  4. Off the heat, immediately add the cream, whisking constantly. The caramel will rapidly bubble up, but keep whisking until it has stopped bubbling. Add the butter and salt and whisk until the butter has completely melted and is mixed into the caramel. Leave to cool before using, or immediately pour the hot caramel into clean heatproof jars and store in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to a month – it will thicken when chilled, so reheat before using.
  5. Preheat the oven to 210°C and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
  6. When you are ready to assemble the tarts, roll out the pastry to a thickness of about 4 mm. Make yourself a homemade pear-shaped stencil out of stout cardboard – it should be about 1.5 cm bigger than the pears. Cut eight pear shapes from your pastry and chill while you prepare the pears.
  7. Carefully remove the pears from the syrup with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
  8. Cut them in half lengthways and remove the cores. Place the pastry cutouts on the prepared tray and top each one with a pear half, cut side down.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry is risen and golden brown. Reduce the temperature to 170°C and bake for another 10 minutes to cook the pastry through. Remove from the oven.
  10. Serve each tart with a generous helping of caramel sauce and some whipped cream.


  • The day before

    Cure the duck fillets, then rinse, pat dry and refrigerate. Assemble the paupiettes and refrigerate. Make the puff pastry. Poach the pears and refrigerate.

    The day of serving

    Prepare the salad ingredients and refrigerate. Make the dressing. Prepare the vegetables for the paupiettes. Roll out the puff pastry. Assemble the tarts and refrigerate. Make the caramel sauce.

    1–2 hours before serving

    Smoke the duck fillets and set aside at room temperature. Make the mashed potato and set aside somewhere warm. Place the paupiettes in the oven.

    To serve

    Pan-fry the apple pieces and assemble the duck salad. Serve the duck salad. Gentry reheat the mash on the stovetop, finish the paupiettes and cook the broccoli. Increase the oven temperature to 210°C. Serve the main course. When you have finished eat ing the main, cook the tarts, then serve hot with the sauce.
French classics
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again