Duck with Gooseberry and Brazil Nut Stuffing

If you are a small family and decide to have duck at Christmas, this gooseberry and nut stuffing and sauce makes a nice change from the traditional orange sauce. Made in a slightly larger quantity it is also good for goose.


  • 1 4½-5½ lb (1.75-2.25 kg) duck

For the stuffing

  • 2 oz (50 g) pearl barley
  • coarsely grated rind and juice of 1 small orange
  • drained gooseberries from 1 small tin
  • heart and liver of the duck - chopped finely
  • 2 oz (50 g) brazil nuts - chopped finely
  • 2 oz (50 g) melted butter
  • 1 lightly whisked egg (size 4)
  • salt, black pepper

For the sauce

  • juice from the tin of gooseberries
  • 1 small glass sweet vermouth or sherry
  • juices from the duck
  • approx. 2 level teaspoons (2 x 5 ml spoon) arrowroot or cornflour
  • salt, black pepper


Boil the pearl barley in unsalted water, until tender but still slightly nutty. Rinse through with cold water and then mix thoroughly with the rest of the stuffing ingredients. Season well. Stuff the whole of the duck with this mixture and truss up or stick skewers in to keep down the loose skin of the neck and hold the legs together. Heat oven to Gas Mark 6/400°F/200°C. Rub a little salt all over the skin of the duck and roast in the centre of the oven, first on one side for 30 minutes then the other side for 30 minutes and finally on its back for 40-50 minutes.

Transfer the duck to a serving plate and keep warm. Then pour off the fat from the juices (keep the fat, as it is wonderful for fried and roast potatoes) and pour the juices into a saucepan. Add the gooseberry juice and vermouth. Blend the arrowroot (this will make a transparent, shiny sauce) or cornflour with a little water and stir into the juices. Bring to the boil and bubble, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve in a sauce jug with the duck. Don’t forget to spoon all the delicious stuffing out.