Duck Strognoff with Celeriac Dumplings

Duck time! I slow-roasted a whole duck to start with, then this is one of the things I made with the leftovers. You could use sautéed sliced duck breast instead, but I looked at the price of 2 duck breasts versus the price of a whole duck, and basically I could have the legs and the rest of the duck thrown in for an additional cost of less than a quarter of the price of buying just the breasts. I just can't help being frugal even if it means I spend more money - after all, it also means I get more duck. Duck fat! Duck stock! Duck Stroganoff!

However you get your duck, this is a delicious way to serve it. I recommend adding the dill pickle, if you have it. I have to say I find I want a little sour note in my meat dishes more and more as I get older - it is so often exactly what they need. 

We had a bumper crop of celeriac this year, so I am looking for things to do with it, but this would admittedly be just as good with noodles, potatoes, or rice.
4 servings
30 minutes to prepare and cook the celeriac
45 minutes prep time to finish the dish
Duck Strognoff with Celeriac Dumplings
Make the Celeriac Dumplings:
1 1/2 cups mashed boiled celeriac
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups whole spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste 
Peel the celeriac, putting the prepared pieces into a bowl of cold water with a bit of vinegar or lemon juice added to it. Once it is all peeled, cut it into evenly sized chunks. Cover with water and boil until tender; about 20 minutes but depending on the exact size of the chunks. 
Lift the cooked celeriac into a bowl with a slotted spoon, saving the cooking water in the pot. Add a bit more water if it is not enough to cook the dumplings.
Mash the celeriac thoroughly. This can be done up to a day ahead. 
Cream the butter and work the celeriac into it. Measure the flour and mix the baking powder, salt, and pepper into it. Work it into the celeriac to form a fairly stiff dough. If it is too stiff you may moisten it with a spoonful of the sour cream, but it should be about the texture of pie crust. Form the dough into 32 ping-pong ball sized dumplings. (Divide into quarters, then each piece in half, half again, aaand half one more time.)
Bring the pot of celeriac cooking water back up to a boil. Boil the dumplings for 10 to 12 minutes until firm and cooked. Drain and serve with the Stroganoff; either separately or added to their serving dish just before they are served.

Make the Stroganoff:
1/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon rubbed savory OR thyme
2 cloves of garlic
225 grams mushrooms
1 large leek
2 duck breasts OR 3 cups diced cooked duck meat
2 to 3 tablespoons duck OR bacon fat
2 cups duck OR chicken stock
1/2 cup sour cream
1 medium dill pickle, diced OPTIONAL
Mix the flour and seasonings in a small bowl. Peel and mince the garlic and add it. 
Clean, trim, and chop the mushrooms. Wash, trim, and chop the leek. 

If using raw duck breast, cut them into 1/4" slices, and saute them in a tablespoon of fat until nicely browned on both sides. Transfer to a dish to wait. Otherwise, check your duck meat that it is free of bones and cut into neat bite-sized pieces. 

Heat the fat in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and toss them into the fat, then let them cook for several minutes until they begin to brown. Add the leek and reduce the heat slightly. Continue to cook, stirring regularly, until the leek softens and reduces slightly in volume, but don't let it brown. 

Add the little bowl of flour and seasonings, and mix in well until no white can be seen. Slowly mix in the stock, then add the duck pieces and let the mixture simmer until thickened. Mix in the sour cream (and the diced pickle, if desired), and let it heat through, but do not allow it to simmer again. Serve with the well-drained dumplings.
Last year at this time I made Lemon-Mustard Brussels Sprouts

Duck Strognoff with Celeriac Dumplings