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Magret de canard, (duck breast fillet), in a madeira sauce with fresh mushrooms and  truffles and creamy mash – comfort food doesn’t get much more luxurious than this!

Typically this dish is made with beef tournedos. Tournedos is the name given to the small round pieces of beef cut from the center portion of beef tenderloin, often wrapped and cooked with bacon or lard. However as I live in the south-west of France, in the Dordogne, duck is king. We are the center of foie gras and therefore all things duck. The magret is the beautiful breast piece that is exquisitely tender and flavourful. Serve it medium rare for it to be at its optimal. So, instead of using the traditional beef, I bought some magret and shaped it into a circle, tied it with bacon and string and sautéed it before serving it with a classic sauce madère. A sauce madère is a delicious robust, dark sauce made with madeira or sherry usually including shallots and mushrooms. And to take it over the edge, and because it is truffle season at the moment here, why not add a few slivers of freshly shaved Perigordian black truffle. A dish fit for a king, or queen, or just because you deserve something special.

Serves 4


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 duck breasts steaks, about 6 ounces / 170 g
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
450g / 1 lb button mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
A few shavings of fresh truffle (optional)

For the sauce au madère
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon oil
2 shallots, finely diced
125 ml / 1/2 cup veal stock
60 ml / 1/4 cup madeira or sherry
1 tablespoon cold butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper



Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over high heat
Season the tournedos with salt and black pepper
Place the tournedos into the skillet and sear until golden brown, turn the fillets over, lower to medium high heat, and continue cooking for 3 to 4 minutes for medium-rare doneness
Remove the tournedos to a plate
Remove all but 3 tablespoons of the fat in the pan and return to medium high heat
Add the mushrooms and cook until golden brown and their liquid has evaporated
Set aside
Wipe the pan clean and melt the butter and oil over medium high heat
Add the shallots and cook until soft
Add the madeira and cook until reduced by half
Add the veal stock and cook until thickened a bit
Whisk in the butter and cook for 30 seconds
Season with salt and pepper, to taste
Add the mushrooms to the sauce
Place a tournedos on each plate (do not forget to remove the string) and spoon some of the sauce over
Add one or two slivers of freshly shaved truffle (optional)