(Serves 8)

A signature dish at Balthazer restaurant in New York. Serve with a mixed green salad. Include some bitter leaves - e.g. rocket, radicchio or endive - to help cut back the richness of the pie.


6 duck legs (wild if you wish)
80g (½ cup) onions (peeled & diced)
65g (½ cup) celery (diced)
80g (½ cup) carrot (peeled & diced)
60g (½ cup) celeriac (peeled & diced)
8 cloves garlic (peeled)
5 sprigs thyme
1.5L (2 bottles) Cabernet Sauvignon

Maldon sea salt freshly ground pepper
45mL (3 tbsp) olive oil
30g (2 tbsp) tomato paste
30g (2 tbsp) flour
750mL (3 cups) duck stock (or a mixture of chicken and beef)
140g(1½ cups) shiitake mushrooms (sliced)
Potato Topping


  • Trim excess fat from duck legs and place in large non reactive dish. Add onion, celery, carrots, celeriac, garlic, thyme and wine. Cover and place in refrigerator overnight to marinate.
  • Remove duck legs from marinade and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Strain vegetables from marinade and set aside. Reserve marinade. Season duck legs with salt and pepper.
  • Preheat oven to 185ºC.
  • Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan. Slowly brown duck legs all over. Remove from pan. Discard all but 4 tablespoons of duck fat.
  • Transfer vegetables, garlic and thyme from marinade to pan. Sautè over medium heat until browned.
  • Add tomato paste and flour and cook for 5 minutes. Add reserved marinade and cook until liquid reduced by two-thirds.
  • Add stock, bring to the boil and skim. Place duck legs in large casserole dish and cover with sauce (reduced marinade and stock). Cook in oven for about 2 1/2 hours or until duck legs are tender.
  • Remove duck legs and let them cool slightly. Remove fat from duck legs and shred meat. Reserve sauce and vegetables.
  • Heat remaining olive oil in large frying pan, add mushrooms and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 200ºC.
  • Place duck meat in large bowl, combine with mushrooms and reserved vegetables. Add enough sauce to moisten this mixture.
  • Place meat mixture in large oven proof gratin (or 8 individual gratins). Cover with Potato Topping and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake in oven for 20 minutes, or until pie is piping hot and cheese is browned.