Duck and Squash Shepherd’s Pie
- Preparation : 50 minutes
- Cooking : 210 minutes
- Portions : 8
- 1 whole duck, ready to cook, about 3 kg (6 1/2 lb)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 medium squash, about 1.36 kg (3 lb)
- Nutmeg, finely grated
- Milk or 15% cream
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1/2 bulb of fennel, trimmed and chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) sweet relish
- 80 ml (1/3 cup) chili sauce (ketchup style)
- 2 cans (398 ml each) of creamed corn (or corn kernels)
Cooking time: 3 hrs. 30 minutes
Preparation time: 50 minutes
Preparation ahead of time: Up to 3 days
Waiting time: 1 hour
Preheat the oven to 165 °C (325 °F). Rinse and dry the duck thoroughly. Place on a large baking sheet, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Cut the squash in half and scrape out the stringy inside. Place the squash halves on the baking sheet, cut side down, beside the duck.
Place the baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and cook the duck for about 2½ to 3 hrs. The duck is ready when you pierce the thigh joint and the juices run clear.
Remove squash after the first hour of cooking. The flesh should be very tender.
Use a spoon to scrape the flesh out of the squash. Place in a medium-sized bowl with a flat bottom. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then add the nutmeg. Add a few pats of butter, and mash well with a potato masher. Add enough milk to produce a creamy texture. Mash again thoroughly and set aside.
In a large skillet, add a little butter and sauté the onion, fennel and garlic until transparent and tender. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
Once the duck is cooked, remove from the oven and let cool for 1 hour before deboning thoroughly. Chop the meat and add it to the skillet containing the vegetables. Add the relish and chili sauce. Mix, then pour this mixture into a baking pan about 9" x 13" (23 cm x 33 cm). Press the meat mixture into place.
Layer the creamed corn and the mashed squash on top. At this point, you can either cover the baking pan and refrigerate for up to three days or bake immediately.
Bake for 35 minutes in an oven preheated to 165 °C (325 °F). Transfer carefully to plates to serve. If you make the recipe in advance and put the pan directly in the oven from the fridge, increase the cooking time by 10-15 minutes. Serve with Greek salad and fougasse bread.
Recipe developed by Nicolas Vallée, professional chef