These delightful pastry pies are a must try during the spring racing carnival. 


  • 2.2 kg duck Marylands, skin removed

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 carrot, diced

  • 2 celery stalks, diced

  • 1 onion, diced

  • ½ leek, white part only, well-washed and finely chopped

  • 1 litre chicken stock

  • ½ clove garlic, finely chopped

  • ½ bunch thyme, leaves picked

  • ½ bunch tarragon, leaves picked and chopped

  • 1 whole Chinese roast duck, meat removed from bones and diced

  • Pea Puree

  • 150 g shelled peas in pods or 150g frozen peas

  • 1 bunch spinach

  • 1.25 kg puff pastry

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten


  • 1.

    Preheat the oven to 140°C

  • 2.

    First, make the filling for the pies. Season the duck Marylands with salt and Pepper. Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof heavy-based saucepan over high heat and brown the duck on all sides. Remove, and set aside.

  • 3.

    Add the carrot, celery, onion and leek to the saucepan and cook for approximately 5 minutes. Add Madeira to the pan, scraping the bottom to incorporate the flavours. Add the rested duck to the pan. Add the chicken stock, garlic, thyme and tarragon and bring to the boil.

  • 4.

    Transfer to the oven and braise for 2 ½ hours until the meat is almost falling off the bone

  • 5.

    Remove from the oven. Increase the oven temperature to 200°C.

  • 6.

    Take the duck and vegetables from the pan. When cool enough to handle, pull all the duck meat from the bones and aside, along with the vegetables.

  • 7.

    Skim excess fat from the braising liquid and reduce until it is a sauce consistency then pour over the duck and vegetables. Add the roast duck meat and the peas then leave to cool

  • 8.

    Blanch the spinach in boiling water and leave on a clean, dry tea towel, to dry.

  • 9.

    Divide the duck and vegetable mixture into eight equal portions, roll each into a ball and wrap in eight blanched spinach leaves. Cut the puff pastry into eight circles about 8cm in diameter, and then cut another eight circles 11cm in diameter.

  • 10.

    Place a spinach-wrapped ball of duck in the middle of each smaller pastry circle then lightly brush the edges of the pastry with the beaten egg. Cover with the larger pastry circle, pressing the edges to seal.

  • 11.

    Place the pies on a greased baking tray and brush with a beaten egg. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (8 servings)

  • Energy 2738kj
  • Fat Total 234g
  • Saturated Fat 73g
  • Protein 68g
  • Carbohydrate 86g
  • Sugar 5g
  • Sodium 1933mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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The following recipe was created by Matt Moran for the James Boag Birdcage Marquee for the 2015 Melbourne Cup Carnival.

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