|  Meantime


Duck is partnered with the lesser-known white asparagus, pea cream and an achingly good Meantime London Pale Ale gravy in this recipe from Adam Gray of the Great British Chefs. The potato fondant adds another touch of luxury to this creative concoction.


Duck breasts
4 duck breasts, free-range, skin-side scored with a sharp knife
1 tbsp rapeseed oil

Potato fondant
4 large potatoes
rapeseed oil

Meantime beer gravy
300ml Meantime London Pale Ale
1 onion, peeled and sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
500ml brown chicken stock
50g butter
rapeseed oil
pepper Pea cream
500g frozen peas
100g shallots, finely chopped
50g butter
50g spinach leaves, washed with stalks removed
ground white pepper

Seared white asparagus
12 white asparagus spears
1 knob butter


1. First, make the sauce. Place a thick-bottomed pan over a medium heat and add a splash of rapeseed oil. Fry off the onion, thyme, garlic and bay until nicely golden brown

2. Cook for 2 more minutes, then add the pale ale and bring to the boil. Keep cooking until the beer has reduced by three quarters

3. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to the boil once more. Reduce by half, then pass through a fine strainer into a clean pan. Whisk the butter into the sauce and add salt and pepper if needed. Keep to one side until ready to serve

4. For the potato fondants, peel each potato and use 6cm metal pastry cutters to stamp out neat cylinders from each potato. Cut each cylinder to a thickness of 3cm, then neatly round off the edges until the potato resembles a hockey puck. Add to a pan and submerge the potatoes with rapeseed oil. Heat the oil until it reaches 110°C and leave for 40-45 minutes to confit

5. To make the pea cream, add the butter to a pan and when foaming, add the shallots to the pan, cook out a little then add the peas. Sweat for 5 more minutes, then tip the contents of the pan into a food processor. Blitz for 2-3 minutes until nice and smooth

6. Place the spinach leaves into the blender with the purée and blitz for 1 minute longer

7. Tip into a chinois (or a fine sieve) and pass through to create a nice smooth finish. Season with a little salt and white pepper to taste

8. Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7

9. Now cook the duck. Season the meat with some salt and pepper and add the rapeseed oil to a roasting tray. Place on the hob over a medium heat

10. Add the duck breasts to the tray skin-side down and cook for 8-10 minutes until the fat has been released and the skin is crispy and golden brown. Flip the breasts over and place the tray in the oven for 7-8 minutes to cook through. Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave to rest for 4-5 minutes

11. Add the asparagus to a pan of boiling water to blanch for 2 minutes, or until tender. Once cooked, drain and refresh in iced water

12. Turn the oven down to 200°C/gas mark 6

13. Drain the potatoes from the oil and arrange on a roasting tray. Roast for 8-10 minutes until nicely golden, then remove from the oven and season

14. Add a knob of butter to a frying pan and, when bubbling, add the asparagus spears. Fry until lightly golden then drain and season with salt and pepper

15. To serve, cut the breasts in half lengthways and arrange onto plates. Add a spoon of the pea cream, the asparagus spears and some of the beer sauce. Serve immediately.



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