Duck ragu

Ingredients (serves 4)

4 duck breast fillets
4 slices pancetta or prosciutto
1 brown onion, finely chopped
150 grams mushrooms, sliced
10 fresh sage leaves, shredded
½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons red wine
400 gram can diced tomatoes
½ cup chicken stock or water
¼ to ½ teaspoon brown sugar


Heat frying pan over medium-high heat
Add duck breasts skin side down and cook for 10 minutes until golden brown
Turn duck over and cook on the other side for a further 5 minutes
Remove duck to a plate
Drain the majority of the fat from the pan and re-heat
Add the pancetta, onion, mushrooms, sage, thyme, garlic to the pan and stir for 5 minutes until golden brown
Add tomato paste to the mix and stir for 1 minute
Add the red wine to the pan and cook until sauce is reduced
Add tomatoes and stock to pan
Add brown sugar and stir well
Slice duck and return to pan with any juice
Bring to a simmer
Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the duck is tender and the sauce has thickened.

Serve with wide-flat pasta like fettuccine or serve with mashed potatoes and green vegetables
Sprinkle chopped parsley and grated parmesan cheese over duck ragu to serve.


When slicing the duck it’s better to take the fatty skin off, but if you really like it, you can leave it on – it will make the meal quite fatty though.
You can use prosciutto in place of the pancetta – either are easy to get in the local supermarkets.
Use the sugar sparingly and to taste, to bring out the rich tomato flavour.

Recipe inspired by Woolworths Fresh

Summer lotus flowers

If you love gardens, one of the visits you can take while staying at Montage is to the Jardin de Martels. It’s about one and a half hours drive and you can choose to take the motorway (toll road) or the scenic country back roads. Why not take one going there and the other coming back?

The gardens are stunning in the summer time, but equally lovely at other times of the year – with over 2,500 different types of plants there is always something to see. Their specialty is lotus flowers and they are amazing, blooming late June through September. At well over 1.5 metres high with huge leaves that could almost be used as umbrellas, the lotus flowers come in lovely whites and pinks, but the left over seed-pod are also quite pretty in its own way.

Take a look at some of these photos, and start planning your trip so you can stay at Montage during the lotus blooming season.