Roast Mallard with apples and sloe gin

1st October 2016 Recipes

If you found Wild Duck a bit fishy try Mallard. It rarely strays from its pond eating mainly the farmers grain. It’s lazier lifestyle means you get a little fat to keep it juicy and because you know what they have eaten they are truly flavourful.

We will have Mallard on the menu in October. Sourced locally from Johnny at Burnside Farm Foods. Val, our forager from Gattonside picks sloes from hedgerows which we steep in Edinburgh gin.

Serves 4
2 Mallard
Onion unpeeled
Bunch of thyme
Butter approx. 50g
10 juniper berries, sea salt and peppercorns crushed glass of sloe gin sea salt and pepper
4 small apples skin scored around the middle Stock

Set the oven to 220c

Cut the unpeeled onion into chunks and place with the thyme in the Mallards with a knob of the butter. Spread the remaining butter over the bird and season with the crushed juniper mixture.

Place the apples and mallards in a roasting tin

Roast for 15 mins

Adjust the oven to 180c and roast for a further 15 to 20 mins. I like mine pink.

Remove the Mallard and apples from the tray and set aside. Collecting any juices

Put the roasting tray on a moderate heat. Add sloe gin and equal amount of stock, reduce to thicken, check seasoning and any juices from the resting birds. Strain into a jug.

Take the meat off the Mallard and place on a warm plate with the apple. Serve with the gravy.

I love Mallard with warmed soused red cabbage and indulgent creamy mash.


1/2 head of red cabbage core removed thinly sliced
4 tbsp sea salt, I use Hebridean
1/2 tsp black peppercorn
2 bay leaves, I have some from Moira Peters garden
Sprig of rosemary  – from our herb box
500ml cider vinegar
400 g Demerara sugar
Red onion thinly sliced

Mix the cabbage and salt in a bowl. Leave for an hour stirring occasionally

Put all the remaining ingredients and 50 ml of water into a pan. Bring to the boil. And then set aside to cool. When cool strain through a sieve.

Put the cabbage in a collinder and rinse well. Transfer to a tea towel (not your best as it will stain) and squeeze dry.

Place the cabbage in jars, pour over the liquid. Best left for a least a couple of hours. Will keep for a month or two.