Duck Breast with Lavender

This dish from Great British Chef James Sommerin combines the diverse flavours of sweet potato, beetroot and lavender to create a duck breast which is both surprising and masterful. Recipe courtesy

Serves: 4
20 mins
60 mins


Spiced duck breast

  • 4 Gressingham duck breasts
  • 10g of Szechuan pepper
  • 10g of coriander seeds
  • 5g of cumin seeds
  • 5g of fennel seeds
  • 10g of lavender, dry
  • 100ml of maple syrup

Beetroot and sweet potato

  • 2 large beetroots
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • olive oil
  • butter
  • salt


  1. Combine the Szechuan pepper, coriander, cumin and fennel in a dry pan on a medium heat and toast for 5 minutes.
  2. Place the spices into a mortar and pestle and roughly crush. Combine with the lavender and mix well. Set aside until required.
  3. Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. Cover the beetroot with foil and place in the oven until tender, approximately 1-1.5 hours. Allow to cool, the peel with a small knife while still slightly warm. Cut into large cubes.
  4. Dice the sweet potato and lightly season with salt and coat with olive oil. Place on a baking tray and into the oven, cook until tender, approximately 40-60 minutes. This should be done while the beetroot are roasting.
  5. For the duck, place a large pan on a medium to high heat and season the breasts evenly with salt. Place each breast skin side down into the dry pan and slowly render down the fat. As the fat is released from the breast be sure to remove any excess from the pan by tilting it towards you and taking out with a spoon.
  6. Cook for 6 minutes and then turn and continue to cook for a further 4 minutes. Finish in the oven for 2 minutes at 220°C/gas mark 6. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5-7 minutes.
  7. When the duck has finished resting, place the breasts flesh side down into the spice mix.
  8. Heat a second pan over a medium to high heat. Add the butter and once it begins to foam add the roast beetroot and sweet potato. As soon as the vegetables are heated through, season with salt and remove the pan from the heat.
  9. Once the duck has finished resting, return to the pan, flesh side down to sear the spices. After 1 minute, add the maple syrup and coat the duck until it reduces down to a sticky glaze. Remove from the pan, slice and serve on a bed of the roast root vegetables.

Our Story

The Gressingham duck is a unique breed that first came about when the small but flavourful wild Mallard was crossed with the larger Pekin duck giving a meaty, succulent duck with more breast meat, less fat and a rich gamey flavour.