Italian Duck Ragu

Duck ragu is a classic Italian dish, and this recipe is full of rich flavor. Make sure you get a good sear on the meat when it's in the oven; it makes all of the difference! 


  • 3 pounds KOL Foods organic-fed, pastured duck legs and/or wings
  • Sea salt
  • 1/2 ounce dried mushrooms, broken into pieces
  • 3 tablespoons duck fat or olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 celery sticks, minced
  • 2 carrots, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 quart KOL Foods organic-fed, pastured duck or chicken broth
  • 1 quart crushed tomatoes or tomato puree
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

Lay out all the duck legs and wings skin side up on a roasting pan. Sprinkle some salt over them and pop them in the oven. Turn the heat to 400°F. Don’t preheat the oven, this will allow the duck fat to slowly render out. Roast until they are nicely browned, about 30-45 minutes.

Meanwhile, soak the dried mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes, then remove and chop. Strain the mushroom water to remove debris and reserve.

When the duck legs have about 15 minutes to go, heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the duck fat or oil. When it melts, add the minced onion, celery and carrot and brown them well. Salt the veggies lightly as they cook. When the vegetables are getting brown, add the tomato paste and mix it in well. Cook the mixture until the tomato paste begins to turn dark red, about 5 minutes.

When the legs are done remove from the oven and reserve in a large bowl. If there is a lot of fat in the pan, drain it off (reserve for later use). Pour the mushroom water and the white wine into the roasting pan and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits. Pour this into the pan with the Dutch oven.

Mix the liquid from the roasting pan into the tomato paste-vegetable mixture and bring to a boil. Cook it down by half. Add the duck legs and any juices that have collected in the bowl to the Dutch oven. Cover with the duck broth and the tomato puree, add the bay leaves and oregano and mix well. Bring to a gentle simmer and let this cook for at least 90 minutes. It will look like duck stew at this point, which is good. You want everything to cook down slowly.

You’re ready when the meat wants to fall off the bones. Fish out all the legs and shred the meat off, then return it to the pot. If the "stew” has cooked down into a nice pasta sauce, you’re good to go. If it hasn’t, turn the heat up and boil it down until it’s as thick as you like.

Add salt and black pepper to taste when you are ready to serve. At the last minute, stir in the parsley

Serves 4 to 6.