A very sophisticated, delicious main course to serve during a dinner party is duck. And you can truly appreciate duck only with a side dish that enhance the savor of duck meat. If you intend to cook a duck for your guests or for your family, you need to pick the perfect side dish. Duck meat is tender, sweet and, unlike turkey or chicken, there’s a lot of meat on the bones. The best side dishes for duck are those based on vegetables, accompanied by sour and sweet gravy.
Cabbage works great with duck. It might not sound so glamorous, but if it’s cooked right, cabbage is an extraordinary side dish for duck. Chop the cabbage as finely as you can. Put a large pan on fire and add some sort of fat. If you have duck fat, it’s perfect. If not, you can simply replace the duck fat with butter or a good quality vegetable oil. Wait until the fat from the pan heats up and add the finely chopped cabbage. For about 15 minutes, keep stirring inside the pan, to avoid burning the cabbage. After the cabbage turns softer and gets some color, you can put a few drops of water, to help the cabbage cooks better. The cabbage is done when it becomes really soft and tender and gets a caramel-like flavor and color. Generally, you need about 30 minutes to cook the cabbage. It’s a very simple, but sweet and flavored side dish, that works great with duck.
Roasted vegetables are another great side dish you can serve with duck. It’s very easy to make, it will take you only 10 minutes to prepare and another about 50 minutes in the oven. You can use all your favorite vegetables: carrots, celery and parsley roots, onions or garlic. Cut all the vegetables in pieces that have about the same size, wash them in cold water and let them dry. In the mean time, take a large pan, add some olive oil inside and start flavoring the oil with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, rosemary and oregano. Mix the olive oil and the flavors very well, and then add the vegetables. Make sure that the vegetables picked up some flavored oil on all sides. Cover the pan with some aluminum foil and place it in the hot oven for about 30 minutes. Then uncover the pan and let it inside the oven for another 20 minutes, until all the vegetables are well roasted.
A warm red beet salad also goes very well with duck. Although it might take you a while to cook the red beet, the savor of this salad will perfectly complement the taste of duck meat. The first step is to cook the red beet. Wash them really well and put them inside the hot oven, in a pan covered with parchment paper. That step will take a while – red beets taste much better if you bake the entire root, without cutting it in small pieces. However, it will take about two hours for the red beets to be bakes. Once they are ready, you have to chop the as finely as you can. Flavor the red beet salad with olive oil, salt, a pinch of sugar, a small quantity of horseradish and a generous amount of caraway seeds.
Mashed potatoes with caramelized onions are a sweet and flavored side dish, ideal for duck. Prepare the mashed potatoes as you normally do, with plenty of butter and milk. Cut the onions in slices and put them in a hot pan with olive oil, stirring continuously. In about 20 minutes, the onions will become soft and caramelized – they are ready when the color is light brown. The combination between the mash potatoes, caramelized onions and duck is just divine.
Mashed pumpkin is simply delicious with duck. Bake the pumpkin in the oven, and after is completely cooked just mash it with butter, milk, salt and pepper, until it becomes a rich, creamy paste.