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Roast Duck, Pumpkin Gratin and Cranberry Mostada

Serves 4
Prep time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 2 hours 30 minutes

This delightfully rich French dish is the perfect celebration meal. Serve with a Pinot Noir to complete the picture.



  • 1 fresh duck
  • 6 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
  • sprigs thyme or rosemary
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pumpkin and Potato Gratin:
  • 1 kilogram Agria or other floury potatoes, peeled
  • 1 kilogram Crown pumpkin, peeled
  • 1½-2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • butter
  • Cranberry and Red Wine Mostada:
  • 1 tablespoon duck fat* or olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1½ teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 375 gram bag frozen cranberries, thawed
  • To finish:
  • 1 cup good beef stock
  • hot wilted spinach
View the method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Rinse the duck and dry well. Put the garlic, rosemary and lemon in the cavity and season. Tie the legs with kitchen string. R
  3. ub the skin with a little olive oil and season generously. Place breast side down on a rack, set over a baking dish. Roast for 1 hour. 
  4. Turn the duck, breast side up and scatter over a little more salt and pepper. Roast for another hour. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely and leave for 20 minutes.
  5. Pour off the fat and place the baking dish back over the heat. Add the stock and boil until reduced and syrupy. Season and strain into a jug.


  1. Butter a six cup-capacity oven-proof baking dish.
  2. Cut the potatoes and pumpkin into ½ cm thick slices. Place alternate layers in the dish, sprinkling each layer with garlic, rosemary, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. 
  3. Pour over the stock, season, sprinkle with Parmesan and dot with butter. 
  4. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook until the top is golden and the vegetables are tender. The gratin can be cooked at the same time as the duck.


  1. Heat the duck fat or olive oil in a saucepan and cook the shallot, garlic and rosemary until tender. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the red wine, balsamic vinegar, mustard and the bay leaf and cook at a fast simmer for 15 minutes or until well reduced and syrupy. 
  2. Stir in the cranberries and simmer for a further 7-8 minutes. Some of the cranberries will burst but try to keep at least half of them whole. Cool if not using immediately but reheat gently before using.

To serve:

Cut the duck into quarters and remove the rib cage and all the small bones. This will give semi-boned portions. Place a serving of gratin on individual plates and top with spinach. Arrange the duck on top with a spoonful of cranberry mostada and a drizzle of the pan juices.

*When the duck has been cooking for 30 minutes, drain off a little fat to use in the mostada.

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