“What the heck is Pomegranate Molasses?” I said to myself, after scanning the recipe for ‘Duck and Pomegranate Ragu’ in the latest edition of Donna Hay magazine. That sounds interesting, maybe I’ll give it a try, but where will I be able to buy Pomegranate Molasses in Adelaide?
It turns out that finding the molasses was easy- a quick trip to ‘Goodies and Grains’ at the Adelaide Central Market was all I needed to put my hands on this little bottle of deliciousness. The next hurdle was to make a sauce with it to go with some duck legs I had bought- something good enough to make us want to go back for more.
This was the first time I had used Pomegranate Molasses in a recipe and it turned out very good. The molasses added a slightly tart taste to the sauce, while retaining some sweetness (maybe I’m trying to say ‘sweet and sour’?)- my hubby gave this recipe the ‘thumbs up’ and I snuck back into the kitchen for seconds.
Despite leaving several stains on my cutting board from using some real Pomegranates for the garnish, I’ll definitely place this recipe in my regular repertory- it is a good alternative to the ‘Duck Breast in Orange Sauce’ recipe that I did in one of my first posts.
This dish is not too difficult and the prep time is 40 minutes max- and then there’s the 1 hour 15 minute cook time to ensure the duck meat falls off the bone before final plating.
I tried two ways of plating this dish; one with the duck served on top of the baked semolina (see top photo) and the second plating with a slice of semolina on the side (see below); which way do you prefer?
- 4 duck thighs (duck marylands)
- 4 shallots, coarsely sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped finely
- 3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup (250 ml) red wine
- 3 cups (750 ml) chicken stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- For the Baked Semolina:
- 750 ml milk
- 30 g butter
- 1 cup (160 g) fine semolina
- 1 cup (80 g) grated parmesan cheese
- 2 egg yolks
- salt and pepper to taste
- More parmesan to garnish top of the semolina
- Pre-heat oven to 180 ° C (360 ° F)
- To make the baked semolina, combine the milk and butter together in a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil- careful not to scald the milk.
- Reduce the heat and whisk in the semolina until the mixture thickens. Remove the pan from the heat and add the egg yolks, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper.
- Pour the batter into a lightly greased pan (20 cm x 30 cm), smooth the top of the mixture with a spatula and place in the fridge until set, approximately 1 -2 hours.
- In the meantime, heat a small amount of olive oil in a dutch oven on the stovetop. Over medium-high heat, brown the duck legs on both sides for several minutes, leaving the skin on. Remove the legs from pan and let drain on baking paper.
- Retain a small amount of the duck fat in the pan and drain the remainder. Sweat the shallots and garlic in the pan until translucent in color. Now add the tomato paste, wine, chicken stock and pomegranate molasses together and stir.
- Add the duck legs back into the pan, cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes or until the meat falls off the bone.
- Remove duck from the oven and shred the meat from the bone. Thicken the sauce if required, using a paste made of a small amount of corn flour mixed with water. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat the broiler oven to high; remove the semolina from the fridge and cut into round shapes using a pastry ring (or cut into other shapes as desired).
- Place semolina shapes into a lightly greased tray, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake for several minutes until golden crust forms on top.
- Place the baked semolina on a plate, cover with shredded duck pieces and then add sauce on top.