Roast duck with Spiced Red Cabbage & Cider gravy

Duck and spiced Red cabbage are a match made in heaven (Devon) particularly when you add a good lashing of local cider (Sandford Orchards are our favourite!).

Remember to cover with foil & rest the Duck well after taking it out of the oven, this will lock in the moisture and tenderize the meat beautifully. It will also release loads of delicious aromatic juices flavoured with Star Anise that you can add to the gravy pan.


  • Serves: 4 people

Ingredients for the roast duck

  • 1 whole duck
  • 1 red onion cut in half
  • 3 star anise
  • Rock salt & freshly ground pepper

Ingredients for the spiced red cabbage

  • ½ a large red cabbage roughly chopped.
  • ½ diced red onion
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 200ml dry cider
  • 2 tablespoons of local honey
  • 2 bay Leaves
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 tsp all spice
  • Rock salt to taste

Ingredients for the cider gravy

  • 4 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 pint good quality vegetable stock
  • 1 pint local cider
  • Salt to taste

Instructions for the roast duck

  1. Remove the duck from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking. Remove the giblets from the internal cavity.

  2. Preheat the oven to 200c, Fan 180c, Gas mark 6. Prick the skin around the duck legs and season.

  3. Take one red onion, cut in half and place inside the cavity with 3 star anise (this will help keep the meat moist & add a depth of flavour). Place the duck on a rack in the roasting tin and place on the middle shelf.

  4. Cook for approximately 45 minutes per KG plus an extra 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and leave to rest for 30 minutes before carving.

Instructions for the spiced red cabbage

  1. Melt the butter on a medium heat in a decent sized lidded stove top casserole dish, add the onion and stir until soft, add the cabbage and stir until it softens and becomes slightly darker in colour (Approx 3 minutes).

  2. Stir in the all spice, cider, honey, bay leaves and a pinch of rock salt.

  3. Turn down the heat, cover and cook on low for 25 minutes or until tender. Taste and add more salt if desired.

  4. Remove lid and put up the heat for 10 minutes to reduce the liquid if needed.

Instructions for the cider gravy

  1. With the duck resting covered on a serving plate, place the roasting tin directly on the stove on a low heat and spoon off a few tablespoons of the fat.

  2. Stir in the flour until all of the juices have absorbed into it.

  3. Slowly add the cider, scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate any meat juices.

  4. Add the veg stock slowly and turn up the heat to allow the gravy to thicken, stir for 10 minutes and season to taste.

Thanks to Creedy Carver, for sharing this recipe with us.