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Here in the South West, we all know that we have a lot of duck but, for some, it is one of the reasons why we moved here.  However, there is more to duck than confit and magret and Philippe Birckel of Restaurant de Bastard in Lectoure has given us a fresh idea for how to serve it.

Cannelloni of duck confit with a mushroom and red wine sauce and cheese crisps

For 8 people:

4 Duck legs “confit”

4 Sheets of lasagna (20×20 cm)

500g Seasonal mushrooms

200g Chopped white onions

3 Cloves of garlic, chopped

500ml Duck stock, 300ml red wine, 100ml crème fraiche

200g Ewe cheese (tomme de Brebis)

20g Fresh thyme, Salt and pepper, chopped parsley, a few sprigs of chervil

100g Butter

Green salad leaves


Philippe Birckel


Cook the lasagna pasta until it is al dente. Leave to cool.

Remove the meat from the duck legs, chop coarsely and set aside.

Colour the onions and garlic, add the red wine (deglaze), reduce the liquid down and then add the duck stock to moisten. Stir in the thyme and chopped parsley to taste, adjust the seasoning and set aside.

Finely grate half of the cheese. To make the crisps (tuiles), place a tablespoon of the grated cheese in a non-stick frying pan, spread it out and cook until a shape has formed. Remove carefully and leave to cool.

Grate the other half and mix with the crème fraiche to create the sauce.

Sauté the mushrooms in a little duck fat/olive oil.   Season with salt and pepper.

Take a sheet of lasagna, add the duck and roll to make a cannelloni, place in a buttered roasting dish. Repeat.

Bake in the oven at 180°C for 10 minutes, cover with the cheese sauce and brown under a hot grill.

Whilst this is cooking, combine and warm up the mushrooms and red wine sauce, whisking in a little butter to thicken.

Serve with the mushroom sauce and arrange the cheese crisps on top with a sprinkling of chervil leaves. Accompany with a simple green salad of spring leaves.

Annick and Philippe Birckel are the welcoming hosts in the 18th-century setting of Hotel Restaurant de Bastard in the heart of the historic city of Lectoure in Gers. Their chef de cuisine, Xavier Billot, combines his experience from the South West and elsewhere to transform fresh produce into culinary delights. Formerly at Le Moulin de Mougins and at Lenôtre in Morocco, where he was the executive chef in Rabat, he was also a consultant to the royal family before returning to his home town of Lectoure. In addition to a convivial atmosphere and a wine list built around their passion for Gascony wines and other regions, they offer an impressive selection of vintage Armagnacs to complete the experience.

First published in the March/April 2019 issue of The Local Buzz

Images: Hotel De Bastard and Shutterstock