Duck with beetroot and onion confit


  • If planning to re-heat, only slice the duck breasts after re-heating.
  • Use a large roasting tin.
  • You will probably need to fry the duck breasts in two batches.


  • 4 duck breasts, skin on
  • 700g raw beetroot, peeled and cut into thin wedges
  • 4 red onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 6 thick slices of fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (we use a bit more)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C fan/200°C/gas mark 6 (or buy an Aga).
  2. Arrange beetroot in large roasting tin. Pour over 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season. Cook for 20 minutes.
  3. Scatter the onions and ginger over the beetroot. Drizzle over another couple of tablespoons of oil. Season and give the vegetables a stir. Roast for another 25 minutes.
  4. (In batches) At the same time, heat a large frying pan over a high heat. Rub the five-spice powder into the skin of the duck breasts. Season them and fry skin side down for several minutes until golden. Drain off the fat, then turn the duck breasts and briefly sear the flesh side to colour it. Rest the duck breasts on a plate when finished.
  5. Remove vegetables from oven. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and stir. Settle duck breasts skin side up between them and return to the oven for another 15 minutes.
  6. Remove duck breasts on to a board, and leave them to rest for 5 minutes. Discard ginger. Tip the roasting pan to collect any juices in the corner, and spoon off any excess fat (leaving the ruby beetroot juices behind).
  7. Slice the duck breasts. Serve on top of the vegetables, scattered with parsley.