Food & drink

James Street South Cookery School: Two recipes from new Belfast cookbook Made at the Met

Silverhill Peking Duck, a recipe that features in the new Belfast cookery book Made at the Met

THE dog-eared, flour-covered books on my kitchen shelves testify to my love of a good cookbook and it’s fantastic that Belfast Met is launching its own. Made at the Met celebrates 110 years of teaching the city how to cook – and both of this week’s recipes appear in it.


I’m lucky to have had a relationship with Belfast Met for nearly 30 years and I was rather chuffed to win a Gold Award last year from the Association of Colleges (AOC) as a further education graduate. Having studied professional cookery there, it has been a privilege to help nurture the next generation of chefs with our James Street South Apprentice scheme.

If you, or anyone you know, is looking for a new challenge, we are now recruiting for the 2016 programme; details can be found at


Belfast Restaurant Week is fast approaching and we can’t wait for our night with Ian Orr from Brown’s and Ardtara House in Derry as he will be preparing a delicious five-course tasting menu. Ian has worked at River Café and appeared on BBC’s Great British Menu so this will be an evening you won’t want to miss.


Next week (October 5-9) Armagh celebrates all things local and home grown with the Festival of Food and Cider so one of this week’s recipes is a classic apple dish to make best use of the amazing produce from the Orchard County. There’ll be loads going on for everyone to enjoy so visit for more details.



(Serves 4)


2 whole ducks

100g salt

100g sugar

Zests of 1 lime, 1 lemon, 1 orange

1 litre duck fat or vegetable oil


Pea puree

500g peas


Creamed potato

700g Maris piper potato (in skins)

250 ml milk

200g diced butter

5 g salt



Selection of micro/baby vegetables (pre-cooked)

1 teaspoon chopped tarragon

200ml duck jus or any suitable meat jus


Ask your butcher to separate the breast and legs from the whole bird. Make your marinade by blending the salt, sugar and citrus zests together. At this point we are only cooking the legs so season the legs with salt and pepper and pour over the marinade. Cover with cling film and place in fridge for 24 hours.


Once marinated, wash the excess salt from the legs; place in a casserole dish and cover with the duck fat/vegetable oil. Place in a preheated oven at 130C and cook for up to three hours until the meat falls from the bone.


For the creamed potatoes, wash the potatoes and then place in an oven at 150C for 40 minutes. Scoop the potato from the skins and push the cooked potato through a potato ricer; leave the flesh to the side. In a saucepan add 450g of potato to the milk and gradually add in the butter and mix until a smooth consistency and season with salt to taste. This should be really creamy.

For the pea puree, cook the peas in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and blend in a food processor until smooth. Season to taste.


To cook the duck breasts, start by heating a pan; colour the duck skin side down. We tend to use frying pans in the restaurant as you can place these in the oven (no plastic handles). Once coloured, place the duck breasts in the oven and cook at 180C for around 6 minutes. The core of the breasts should read 60C on a meat thermometer.


To serve, place the duck breasts on the plate; serve the leg meat which should be removed from the bone with some of the creamy mash (this is similar to a cottage pie in theory). In the restaurant we would top it with some small croutons and crispy duck skin pieces.


Serve with the pea puree and some micro vegetables. To cook the micro vegetables, place in a small amount of boiling water and butter; add the chopped tarragon and season to taste. To give the vegetables a nice glisten, spoon over a little of the water and butter. Finish with some jus and pea shoots.




80g sugar

30g butter

1 granny smith apple

1 sheet of puff pastry

vanilla ice cream


Heat butter and sugar until caramelised, then pour into moulds – enough to cover the base. Peel and slice the apple, then place on top of the caramel. Cut a disc of pastry 5mm thick to fit the mould; place on top of the apples and tuck in the edges. Bake at 150C for 10-15 minutes until the pastry is golden; turn out (using kitchen gloves) and serve with a good-quality vanilla ice cream.

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