Duck and Wild Red Mead

A meal fit for the Irish Chieftains of old! A hearty meal to go with Wild Red Mead or Merlot Barrel Aged Mead, this will make you feel like Celtic Royalty



  • Skeaghanore Duck (1.9 Kg)
  • 4 Bay Leaves
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • Medium Onion (130g)
  • Small handful of sprigs of thyme

Wild Red Mead & Blackberry sauce

  • Knob of butter
  • 1/4 medium onion finely chopped
  • 60ml Wild Red Mead
  • 120ml of Duck Stock
  • punnet of blackberries
  • 1 tbsp of honey
  • 1 tsp cornflour mixed with a little water
  • salt and pepper

Pearl barley

  • 40g Butter
  • 100g finely chopped onion
  • A sprig of thyme
  • 90ml Mead
  • 320g of pearl barley
  • 750ml duck stock


Preparation & Cooking for the Duck:

Stuff the duck with the Onion (cut in large pieces), Garlic (cut in large pieces), thyme and bay leaves.
Cook in the oven for ~2.5 hrs @ 170C (Duck will be fully cooked).

Preparation & Cooking for Wild Red Mead and Blackberry Sauce

Heat the butter in saucepan and add the onions and sweat.
Add blackberries and honey and cook for 10mins
Add the Wild Red Mead and Duck stock and let it simmer.
Thicken with teaspoon of corn flower, continue to simmer,
Season with a little salt and black pepper.

Preparation & Cooking for the Pearl barley:

Soak the pearl barley in cold water for two hours, then rinse.
Then blanch in cold water and bring to the boil and drain (removes the starch).
Heat the butter in large oven pot and sweat the onions for ~10mins
Add the pearl barley into the pot and mix well.
Add 120ml of Wild Red Mead bring to the boil, reduce by half,  1-2 mins
Add 750ml Duck Stock, cook for 15mins
Pearl Barley can be finished in oven at ~200C for 15-20 mins.
The liquid can be reduced further on the hob once cooked.
Season with salt & pepper.
Once cooked, add 25g parmesan and 40g of butter and mix until melted.
Now ready to serve.

Parsnips and Apples

Roast 3 medium parsnips in duck fat for 15-20mins.
Peel a good sized apple, cut into 4 and hollow out the core.
Cook in a little oil and butter for ~10mins till golden on either side but still quite firm.
For serve, add some cooked blackberries to the hollowed out centres.


Garnish  the roast duck with local flowering herbs
Glaze the duck with a little Wild Red Mead & West Cork honey mix  (60ml Mead, 40g Honey).
Place roast parsnips against and around the duck
Place 4-5 scoops of pearl barley around the duck
Position 4 apple pieces with blackberries in front of the duck.
Spread a little blackberry sauce on the plate
Put the sauce in small serving bowl at side
Serve with a  glass of Wild Red Mead

Serves Four

Olivier Queva at Maxs restaurant