Duck is a very popular ingredient in Chinese cuisine and will often be cooked and served with mushrooms. Hoisin sauce is a rich, tasty sauce, both sweet and salty, which is popularly used in China either as a meal ingredient or as a dip. It goes particularly well with duck. Where this recipe idea veers dramatically away from the conventional is the point at which the duck, mushroom and hoisin sauce combination is made to serve as the filling in a pie. This pie design is based on the Scottish steak and sausage pie which sees stewing beef and beef sausages in a rich gravy topped by puff pastry.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
- 2 large baking potatoes
- 1 large duck breast fillet
- 1 small white onion
- Vegetable oil for stir frying
- 6 medium closed cup mushrooms
- 5 ounce foil pack of hoisin and garlic stir fry sauce
- ½ pint fresh chicken stock
- ½ pound puff pastry
- Flour for rolling pastry
- 1 small egg, beaten, for glazing
If you have a preferred alternative method of making the potato wedges you can of course use it but I like to make them in three stages (when time permits) for maximum external crunchiness and internal fluffiness. The first step is to scrub the potatoes clean but they should not be peeled. Cut them in half before cutting each half in to three or four wedges. Put them in to a pot of cold, salted water and bring the water to a simmer for five minutes. Drain the wedges through a colander and leave them for five to ten minutes until they stop visibly steaming. Lay them in a suitably sized plastic dish in a single layer and refrigerate for an absolute minimum half hour.
Potato wedges are drained and cooled on kitchen paper after their first deep frying
Bring your deep fat fryer or a deep frying pan of oil up to a medium to high heat. Deep fry the chilled wedges for three to four minutes until they are just starting to color and no more at this stage. Lift them to a plate covered with kitchen paper and let them drain off and cool down for a few minutes before returning them to the fridge in a similar fashion as before while you prepare and cook the pie.
It may be that you can't get a small foil pack of hoisin and garlic sauce such as the one I used but hoisin sauce in glass bottles is even more widely available. If you have to use the sauce from a bottle, measure out around three tablespoons of it as an approximate equivalent quantity.
Cut the duck breast in half along its length. Cut each half across the way to a thickness of around three-quarters of an inch. Peel the onion and cut it in to quarters.
Bring your wok (or very heavy duty frying pan) up to a smoking hot heat. Pour in two or three tablespoons of vegetable oil and when that has come up to heat, add the duck breast and onion and stir fry for around a minute until the duck pieces are just sealed and colored all over.
Use a metal slotted spoon to remove the duck breast and onion pieces to a heatproof glass or stone bowl. Allow to stand for ten to fifteen minutes to cool completely.
Mushrooms, hoisin sauce and chicken stock are added to cooled duck breast and onions
Wipe the mushrooms clean with some wet kitchen paper and quarter them down through the center. Add them to the bowl containing the now cooled duck breast and onion, along with the hoisin sauce and chicken stock.
A large wooden spoon is best used to carefully stir/fold the pie filling ingredients together until they are all evenly combined.
This pie dish is called an ashet and is what is generally used to make steak pies in Scotland. They come in a variety of different sizes and I have a set of them which I use for different purposes. This middle sized one is ten inches by seven inches and around an inch and a half deep. You'll need a similar sized dish in to which you should add the pie filling solids. Pour in the liquid until you've roughly half covered the solids. In this instance, all the liquid was needed and proved to provide the perfect quantity.
Put your oven on to start preheating to 400F/200C/Gas Mark 6.
Lightly flour a clean, dry surface and roll out your pastry to a size that it is slightly larger than your pie dish and will provide an overhang all around when laid on top of the dish. Crimp the pastry round the edges of the dish and trim with a sharp knife. Glaze the pastry all over with beaten egg and cut a "+" cross to serve as a steam vent in the center. Sit the pie on a larger baking tray and cook in the heated oven for half an hour or until the pastry is risen and golden.
When the pie comes out of the oven, sit it aside to rest while you complete the cooking of the potato wedges.
Bring your deep fat fryer or pan of oil up to a fairly high heat and fry the wedges for five minutes. Lift to a plate covered with kitchen paper to drain while you plate the pie.
Cut the pastry of the pie in half across the way and carefully lift one half up and over the other as shown above.
A large slotted spoon is best used to scoop the revealed half of the pie filling on to the first serving plate.
Lift the freed half of pastry on to the filling. Plate the second half of the pie on another plate in the same way.
Salt the wedges, divide between the two plates and serve immediately.