24/09/2010 13:18 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Valentine Warner's Duck Confit, Beetroot Vinaigrette And Creamed Kale

Jonathan Lovekin

Recreate this special autumn menu that Valentine Warner has exclusively created for Harrods and welcome the new season in decadent style.

Serves 8

8 good farmed duck legs
1 good tbsp per duck leg of rock salt
20 Broken Peppercorns
8 Sprigs of thyme
8 Sprigs of rosemary
16 broken Juniper berries.
Enough duck or goose fat to totally cover the amount of legs cooked
1 Glass of white Burgundy for 8-16 duck legs

Method - this will need to be done the day before:
1. Choose a container that can hold the ducks in 2 layers comfortably.
2. In the bottom of this chuck in all the pepper, juniper and herbs and one closed fistful of rock salt per duck leg.
3. Add the duck legs and turn everything over together really rubbing in the salt.
4. Get some order in the container and stack the duck legs in two layers in the container, the salt and aromatics distributed evenly throughout.
5. Put the lid on and store this in the fridge for one day or night. Turning over once or twice.

To serve:
On the day you plan to cook the legs, take them out of the container and brush of all the salt and lay the legs in a two layers in a close fitting pan with any of the herbs that can easily be picked from the salt. The bigger the pan the more duck fat you will need, so choose a sensible size.

1. Cover the legs with the duck or goose fat and one glass of white wine until they are just submerged.
2. Cut a circle of greaseproof paper that fits neatly inside the pot on top of the confit.
3. Bring the legs to the faintest Plup, Plup, Blup bubble and leave the pot on this heat for 2-3 hours.
4. When you want to test the confit to see if it is cooked, take a piece from the bubbling fat to a plate with some tongs. The meat should almost fall away but with a little prompting - not of its own accord.
5. When they are ready take all the legs out and put them in a sealable container and cover them with fat, once it has cooled.
6. When you are ready to use the legs take the required amount and scrape of the fat.
7. Turn the oven to 220C.
8. Place the duck confit in a totally metal frying pan or oven tray and put it in the oven.
9. Cook it for 15 - 20 minutes before having a look. When done it will be dark brown sizzling and very crispy.

Creamed kale:
1 ½ kg young (essential) Kale leaves, stalks removed
3 heaped tbsps Full fat crème Fraiche
Freshly grated Nutmeg, to faintly taste
Salt and Pepper
2 cloves of excellent garlic (must not be sprouted as it will be used raw)

1. Wash the kale thoroughly and drain it in a colander.
2. Get a pan large pan of water boiling. Boil the kale for about 7 minutes until totally soft.
3. Drain then immediately plunge into ice cold water in order to stop it cooking and retain its colour.
4. Thoroughly drain again, pressing out all the water
5. Transfer the kale to a food processor and whizz with the remaining ingredients until totally smooth
6. Adjust the seasoning to taste, remembering it will take a little more salt than one might expect. Heat up the creamed kale just before you need it. If kept on a long slow heat, ticking over, it will lose its fabulous colour, so use as needed.

Beetroot vinaigrette:
2 large beetroots
2 heaped tsps Dijon mustard
4 tsps tarragon vinegar
2 tsps caster sugar
100ml good extra virgin olive oil
A squeeze of lemon juice to taste
Salt to taste

1. Top and tail the beetroots, but do not skin them.
2. Having washed them, lightly grease with some olive oil before wrapping up in foil and placing in the preheated oven for 2 hours at 200C.
3. Unwrap the beetroots and allow to cool before peeling them.
4. Combine mustard, vinegar and sugar before slowly beating in the oil until it all has emulsified. Lemon juice and salt add last to taste.

To assemble the plate:
- Slice three rounds of beetroot about the thickness of a £1 coin, sprinkle a little salt over them and dress with vinaigrette. - - - Lay the duck leg on top with a serving of the kale beside it. It is important that the red and the green are immediately visible together.

The entire three course menu

Crab croquettes | Duck confit with beetroot and creamed kale | Queen of puddings

Valentine Warner is fronting Harrods Festival of British Foods campaign in-store from now until 3rd October 2010. Find a fantastic selection of British produce in the Food Halls and enjoy seasonal, British recipes at selected restaurants. Find out more at