Beer Malt Peking Duck with Pooley Reserve Pinot Noir

Kris:I have to admit, Peking Duck is one of my all time favourite dishes. It’s also one of the most challenging I have attempted to make. There truly is an art to getting perfectly cooked meat and super crispy skin. I also thought this time around I would add a beer element. Instead of honey or maltose, which is common in a lot of recipes, I used some sweet beer malt extract (again the type used for home brewing). I should also mention that you can’t rush this recipe, allow yourself half a day of preparation. The perk is you can enjoy a couple of beers in between steps and the final product is definately worth the wait.

Malt Peking Duck

1 1.5kg-2kg Duck

3 litres water

6 Tbs Beer Malt Extract

50 g piece of ginger (sliced)

4 cloves of garlic (crushed)

4-5 star anise

100ml soy sauce

120ml rice wine vinegar

sea salt

Pancakes

1 cup plain flour

1 Tbs corn flour

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs

1/2 tsp salt

Method

Combine the water, malt, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, star anise and rice wine vinegar in a large saucepan

Bring to the boil then allow to simmer for 15 minutes

Cut off excess fat from the duck and pat dry the cavity and skin

Using a bicycle pump, insert it under the skin around the neck and inflate the skin (separating the skin helps it get crispy when cooking)

Rub the skin with some good quality sea salt

Tie some twine around the neck and dip the duck into the stock

Using a ladle keep coating the duck skin with the stock for 2-3 minutes

Hang the duck over a bowl and place in front of a fan for 2 hours

Preheat an oven to 170C

Place the duck on an oven rack over a roasting tray

Place 2-3 cups of stock in the tray (Use this to baste the duck throughout the cooking time)

Cook the duck for 1 hour 15 minutes

Pancakes

Wlile the duck is cooking, sift the flour into a bowl

Add the salt

Make a well in the flour and add the eggs and milk

Whisk until a nice thin consistency (add more milk if needed, the key is to have a really thin mixture)

Allow the mixture to sit for at least 20 minutes

Heat a fry pan to medium

add a small amount of vegetable oil (between each pancake)

Use a ladle and cook off small, thin pancakes

Place them in a bamboo steamer

Turn the oven up to 220C and cook the duck for a further 15 minutes (this helps to get the skin really crispy)

Take the duck out and rest for at least 20 minutes before serving

Place the pancakes in the steamer over a saucepan of simmering water (to warm)

Serve the duck with hoisin sauce, pancakes and pieces of spring onion or cucumber

 Kris: I know the beer nazis out there will disagree with me for drinking wine, but come on, a good Pinot Noir and Peking Duck are something you need to experience. On numerous occasions, particularly in Chinatown in Brisbane and Melbourne, Caroline and I have drank some amazing Pinot matched with equally fantastic Peking Duck. I do love a Belgian Brune or Dubbel or an Amber Ale with this dish, but believe me, Peking Duck and Pinot Noir are a classic pairing for very good reasons. The skin wasn’t quite as crispy as I have had at Chinese restaurants that specialize in this dish, but it’s a recipe that continues to challenge me and one that I will continue to attempt to perfect.

Caroline: The Pooley Family Reserve Pinot is a BEAUTIFUL wine. Thanks so much to the Carlson’s for the gift! It was a perfect match for the duck! The wine is from 25 year old vines in the coal river valley. It’s a perfectly balanced wine with soft tannins and hints of cherries and summer berries, I would easily drink this wine by itself as well! The duck was delicious, as Kris said, the skin could have been crispier, but hey, you live and you learn.

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