Pre-birthday Gressingham duck-fest: Home-made red wine gravy


So. Rich.


Stars are nothing without their stylists. And although the Gressingham duck was quite clearly the star of the night, it would be nowhere without its amazing hair and makeup artist, the red wine gravy.

This gravy was part of my pre-birthday Gressingham duck fest. Read more about the evening here.

This recipe is based on Gressingham duck’s pan gravy. The bit that takes the longest is making the stock – I had never done this before, but it is really very simple. The nice thing is that when you buy a Gressingham duck, they remove the giblets for you and keep them in a sealed bag inside the duck, so it saves the dismantling that I was dreading.

I made the stock the night before to save time, and then cooked up the gravy about an hour before serving the dinner. It is rich, flavourful and just lip-smackingly tasty. I let it simmer for quite a while so it came out nice and thick, but if you prefer your gravy more liquidy, simply reduce the cooking time.

Makes enough gravy for one Gressingham duck of 1.6kg plus roast vegetables

Duck stock (can be made the night before):

  • Giblets of one duck, minus the liver (the soft, reddish brown bit)
  • 1/2 onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, coarsely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Handful of peppercorns or some freshly ground black pepper
  • 300ml water


  • 40g butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 350ml red wine
  • Duck fat (see below)

For the stock, put all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let simmer for about an hour. If you are doing this the day before, keep aside and in the fridge overnight. If not, pour into a separate bowl and proceed directly to the gravy.


Simmering duck stock – what a beautiful sight


For the gravy, take the saucepan and melt the butter and then whisk in the flour, creating a roux. Once it is bubbling, add in the red wine and the strained stock.

By this time, your duck should have been in the oven for a while. Carefully spoon off some of the fat and juices that have collected around the sides, and add to the saucepan (around 5-10 tbsp, or more if you like).

Continue whisking and let simmer for about 30 minutes. If you’d like it thicker, leave it for an extra 10-15 minutes, if you prefer it liquidy, only simmer for 20 minutes.

Pour over the duck and roast vegetables and be sure to lick the spoon clean!