In the early 1900s, the village of De Panne, close to the French border in Belgium, was famous for two things — the ‘Pannepots,’or fishing boats, that could be seen along the coast, and the unique dark ale enjoyed by the local fishermen. De Struise Brouwers Old Fisherman’s Ale is a tribute to these hardy sailors and their rich, flavorful brew.
Pannepot is an unfiltered, unpasteurized, bottle-conditioned dark ale with an intense, complex chocolate malt aroma, roasted accents, and subtle hints of spice. When I first had this beer, I was blown away by the complexity in flavors, textures and overall experience. When I thought about cooking with beer, I first thought of duck legs, that could pair nicely with the richness of the meat to blend with the elegant malt selection found in this brew. De Struise also uses thyme with hops when brewing this beer, creating a very unique flavor, that begs to be enjoyed in a glass or in a pot with this recipe.
For beer pairing: After having Pannepot, both a 2006 and a 2003; I was so inspired by these brews from Urbain, Carlo and Phil, that I created this dish to showcase the unique and incredible flavors of their beer… Please, ask your local watering hole or bottle store to bring this beer to their shelves. This beer with time will evolve and morph into something very dramatic on your tongue, like art on ones palate. There is a reason ratebeer has scored this beer in 18th place, out of 100 beers of 2007.
As duck isn’t as a popular meat to find in most grocery stores, finding duck meat might be more difficult, if you aren’t friends with a hunter. One of my favorite companies to get duck from is Sonoma Poultry | Liberty Duck. Located just outside Petaluma, CA, they offer all things duck. All the ingredients in this recipe are sourced from them. Duck hearts, duck gizzards, duck bones | feet | necks (great for stocks), duck legs, duck breasts, duck skin (duck chicharrones anyone) and duck fat (for frying, sauteing and pastry – Duck Fat Strudel Dough). They are now shipping duck. Take a look at their site!
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Braised Duck Legs in Pannepot (Spiced Dark Ale)
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Duck a la De Striuse uses an amazing brew, Pannapot, full of amazing flavors, that compliment the duck legs, using this brew as a braising medium and ultimate beer sauce.
Wash duck legs and pat dry with a paper towel. Place legs into a shallow container, large enough to hold all 4 legs in an even layer and pour the Pannepot over the top. Cover and refrigerate for 3 days.
Preheat oven to 350°F | 177°C
Remove the duck legs from the beer, reserving the Pannepot for braising. Pat the legs dry with paper towels and with a sharp knife, score the skin in long slats across the leg/thigh. Repeat the process until all four legs have been scored.
In a dutch oven or large sauté pan over medium heat, add olive oil and butter. Add the duck legs, scored side down to the dutch oven.
Brown each side for 6 minutes, forming a nice crust.
Remove from the pan and place into a bowl.
Add the sliced leeks.
Sauté for 8 minutes or until translucent. Remove the leeks from the pan adding to the duck leg bowl, reserving the butter | oil in the pan.
Next add carrots, onions and shallots and sauté for 6 minutes.
Or until lightly caramelized.
Add sautéed leeks back to the pan.
Deglazing with Pannepot and special Port. Using a wooden spoon or tongs, scrap any fond or caramelized bits on the bottom of the pan off.
Add duck legs in a single layer back to the pot, topping off with vanilla bean, oranges (squeezing the juice out) and thyme.
Bring to a boil.
Cover with a lid and place into the center of the oven for 2 – 2 ½ hours or until the duck is fork tender.
To finish the dish, carefully remove the duck legs from the stock and vegetables and bring to a boil. Check seasoning; remove vanilla bean, thyme and orange halves from the cooked vegetables. If the sauce is a little thin, you can mount the sauce with some cold butter or if too think use some chicken stock.
Place some Potato Celery Root Purée to the side of your plate, prop a duck leg on to the purée, and garnish with the sauce of vegetables and stock. Garnish with chervil and vanilla bean.