Thinking of Holiday menus? A duck pie to serve on a special night, or any other night!

December is already one week down, and I haven't done nor cooked nor posted half the stuff I had envisioned! Sure, I've researched like mad, for edible gifts that can be made at home, filled with love and care and attention, I've researched recipes for our Christmas dinner - we're having family over, this year, so it needs a bit of thought, as we're cooking for a much larger number than what we're used to! - and I've researched styling ideas for my shoots. None have come out exactly how I wanted them to, and it's becoming so frustrating! On the other hand, I've been writing a lot, and I do mean a lot. I'm so close to finishing the second volume of my trology!

But because it's December and Christmas is closer than I care to think about, my head is quite filled up with what I consider to be Christmas-y. Like pies. I don't know why, but to me pies are perfect for a Christmas Eve dinner. We're not having pie, this Christmas, not even for Christmas lunch - which is yet undecided, though we are having other family members over for said lunch. Still, we might consider having pie for New Year's Eve, if my son takes his mind off the shrimp tempura he always insists on eating on that night! A hearty pie with a good wine, or an artesanal beer, or even a nice bubbly, it's so festive, and so pretty and makes up for such a great dish to be shared! I do love pies.

This one is a duck pie. It feels even more Christmas-y, being duck pie. It's a crunchy, meaty, creamy pie, the filling spiced up with earthy flavours from the herbs, the crust made with goose fat, a treat that can be eaten cold or warm, and it will look so great on a dinner table. We always make pies out of the leftover carcass - I've mentioned we usually buy our poultry whole and we use every edible piece of it. The carcass is usually left with good chunks of meat clinging to the bone that would get discarded by most people, but not by us, nope. We use that meat, which is quite quite flavourful and tasty, and we use some of the offal too. I'm not picky about that, I detest waist.

If you use a pressure cooker to cook the carcass, you can get a lot of meat out of it. Andthat meat is god for so many dishes!! I also love using the duck carcass to make a duck meat ragu with red wine that gets tossed with homemade tagliatelle. It's a thing of heaven, be sure of it. A duck lasagna is also a great way of using the meat that clings to those bones. The same with chicken and turkey. ONe can make such delightful food out of what one would think has no use at all. It does. There really is a lot of meat clinging to those carcass bones, and it is good meat, so if you buy your birds whole, please do not discard it! Try something new, it might surprise you.

So for this pie, the crust is important. It needs to be flaky and crunchy. Here's how:
  • 180 gr flour
  • 50 gr goose fat (you can use lard)
  • 25 gr butter
  • 50 to 100 ml cold water
  • pinch of salt
The first thing you need to remember is that you're making two doughs. You're not doubling this recipe, you're making this recipe twice: one for the base and the other for the lid. So, on a food processor, pour the flour, salt, goose fat and the butter and pulse until you have something resembling sand. Now transfer to a bowl and start adding the water, using a knife to mix it into the dough. Once it's come together and looks silky, stop adding the water! Wrap it up on baking parchment and refrigerate it until it's needed. Now, repeat it all over again, until you have two batches of dough. Let them both sit in the freezer until you need to use them.

As for the filling, it goes this way:
  • one duck carcass
  • one leek
  • two cloves of garlic
  • duck stock
  • olive oil
  • salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary to taste
  • flour as needed
On a pressure cooker, cook your duck carcass until tender and falling off the bones - literally! Let it cool on a platter and debone as soon as you can handle the duck. Reserve the water from boiling the carcass. Once the meat is separated from the bone, chop up a leek and the cloves of garlic and gently stir fry them on a pan, with a good glug of olive oil. Once they're tender, make a roux with a table spoon of flour sifted into the fry up, add the duck meat and laddle a couple of spoons of the duck stock. Stir everything together, and season with salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary. Let it cook through until it's creamy. Bring out one of the doughs and roll it on a floured surface. Cover a deep oven dish with it, making sure you stretch the dough over the walls of the dish all the way to the top. Bring out the other dough and roll it to a circle big enough to cover the oven dish. Pour the filling in, and cover with the dough lid. You can decorate as you like, or leave it simple. If you want to, you can beat up an egg yolk with a little cold water and brush the egg wash over the pie lid, so it gets pretty and golden when it bakes, but it's not necessary. We hardly ever do. Bake the pie in a pre heated oven at 180º for about forty minutes, until the dough is completely cooked through. Allow to cool for ten minutes before serving, and add a side of greens to it. Scrumptious, I say!!


  1. December is a crazy period for me. The thing is that it has just started and now it's almost the middle of it. How did it happen? The pie looks delicious!
    Marta / What should I eat for breakfast today

    1. Yes, it is nearly CHristmas and it has only just begun, this month!! Where did it all go? Thank you, the pie was indeed scrumptious.

  2. Dezembro é um mês fantástico e cheio de celebrações cá por casa :) Adorei a tua parte, aliás tudo o que leve gordura de ganso, ou pato, sabe melhor. Nós compramos latas e latas deste ingrediente para confitar. No restaurante, porque aqui em casa não se come sequer pato. No departamento das carnes a opção é cada vez mais reduzida, mas o rapaz não reclama ;)
    Já me ri com o comentário na Padaria, eu também fui menino do black metal, e ainda oico algumas coisas qd o Magnus não está em casa!
    olha o teu livro sai ou não? Perdi alguma coisa?

    1. Tás brincando comigo???? Tu é trve kvlt e n me dizia nada???? O livro sai... AMANHÃ!


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