Wild Duck with Barley

There seems to be an attempt to make barley a fashion food item, although one attempt at eating a barley risotto cures most people. However I am very fond of barley properly utilised. Try this curious way of preparing it which comes from a Swedish recipe and which I think goes well with the richness of the duck.


  • 2 wild duck, if possible with their livers
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 115g/4oz prunes
  • 450ml/¾ pint water
  • 3 apples, chopped
  • juice of1 orange
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 115g/4oz barley, cooked
  • 55g/2oz Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp grated horseradish


Rub the outside of the duck with salt and pepper. Stuff with prunes and apples and livers. Smear with soft butter and roast in a very hot oven – 230°C/450°F/Gas 8 – for 20–30 minutes depending on rareness liked, baste during cooking.

In a pan boil together for a few minutes orange juice, honey, vinegar and oil. Stir in the barley and season, add the yoghurt and the horseradish and heat through. When the duck is cooked, make a thin gravy from the juices and the water, carve the duck and serve in the barley with the gravy on the side.