Duck Ragu Stuffed Courgettes

A simple and delicious recipe: Gressingham Duck ragu stuffed courgettes from guest blogger, Dominic Franks from Belleau Kitchen

Serves: 4
1 hour 10 mins


For the slow roast duck

  • 1 large whole Gressingham duck
  • 2 large tablespoons of smoked maldon sea salt flakes
  • 4 or 5 twigs of thyme or lemon thyme if you can get it
  • 1 large carrot - roughly chopped

For the ragu sauce

  • 2 large onions – finely chopped
  • 1 large fennel bulb – finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot – finely chopped
  • 4 large courgettes – sliced lengthways with the middle scooped out
  • 2  x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • a selection of fresh herbs – I used 1 twig of rosemary , 2 twigs of thyme and a bunch of oregano
  • 150ml of raspberry cidre – Stella Artois make a good one
  • 150ml good quality vegetable stock
  • olive oil and butter
  • 100g strong cheddar cheese – grated


For the slow roast duck

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C
  2. Place the carrots and the duck giblets into the bottom of a large oven-proof roasting tin and lay the duck, breast-side up, on top.
  3. Rub half the salt onto the breast skin and stuff the inside with the thyme, then turn the duck over and rub the underside with salt.
  4. Place in the oven, breast-side down for one hour, then carefully turn the duck over and roast for a second hour until gorgeously dark golden brown - set aside uncovered for 10 minutes before consuming but don’t forget to leave half the bird for your ragu.
  5. Using two forks, shred the left-over duck and set aside
  6. For the simple duck ragu:
  7. Now you can make the ragu… in a large casserole dish or deep-sided pan, gently heat a little olive oil and butter and then throw in the onions and let them caramelize for a good 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Next add the carrots, courgettes and fennel along with the fresh herbs and let them sauté for 5 minutes or so, then place the lid on, turn the heat very low and let them sweat for a further 5 to 8 minutes until all the veg is soft.
  9. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir it all together and with the lid off let it simmer on the lowest heat for at least an hour or until the liquid has reduced by half – then add the shredded duck and simmer again for another 20 minutes, then add half the grated cheese and stir well in.
  10. Pre-heat the oven to 170c and line a roasting tin with parchment paper.
  11. Lay the hollowed out courgettes skin side down in the roasting tins, drizzle with a little olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.
  12. Stuff them liberally with the duck ragu and bake them in the oven for 20 minutes, after which time, sprinkle on the remaining cheese and bake again for another 10 mins.
  13. Eat and of course, enjoy!

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.