I am going to assume a few "store-cuboard" staples (*) so i apologise if you do not have these items in the house.
OK so a Brief overview of the Menu - I will provide a link to a Tesco shop i have done to show the cost of this meal.
Caramelised red onion and goats cheese tart
Slow roast duck legs with dauphinoise potatoes
Poached Pears with Chantilly Cream
2 red onions - Finely sliced
2 Cloves of garlic - Smashed*
3-5 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar*
2-3 tablespoons of brown sugar*
Salt and pepper*
Ready rolled puff pastry
Decent knob of butter*
Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the onions and the garlic and gently soften the onions for about 10-15 minutes. Once they are soft add the sugar to the onions and then the balsamic vinegar and thyme and let cook until sharp and sticky. Season and taste, if you think the onions need more sweetness or vinegar then add a little extra. Remove the garlic.
Lay out the pastry and give it 5 minutes in the oven at 180 degrees. After 5 mins remove from the oven and put the onions on the pastry, crumble the goats cheese over the top and place back in the oven for 15-20 mins until the pastry is puffy and crispy.
n.b, The pastry onions and goats cheese can all be pre-pared then popped in the oven 15 mins before serving.
I hate it when people tell you how to serve things so i will let you be the judge of that.
Duck and Sauce
2 Duck legs - skin on
1 clove of Garlic - smashed
Double cream - 250ml
Milk* - 250ml
Take your duck legs and season them with salt and pepper, place them in a roasting tray and cover with foil and place in the oven at about 140 degrees for 1hr 30 mins. Remove the foil and any excess fat, turn up the oven to 220 and cook for another 25 mins. The meat should fall of the bone and the skin should be lovely and crispy.
For the potatoes - peel them and then slice them as finely as possible (like a crisp) sometimes the long slot on the grater works well. Rub garlic over an ovenproof dish (individual ramekins are nice too) and place a layer of potatoes on the bottom. Having mixed the cream and milk poor over the potatoes continue to do this layering techniques until the dish is full. Place in the oven at 180-200 for at least an hour. See if a knife goes through the potatoes easily and if not place back in the oven. Different thickness of potatoes will take different amounts of time to cook.
For the Sauce - Take a smashed clove of garlic and soften in the pan. Add a glass of red wine and the juice of an orange with half the zest and a couple of twigs of thyme, add 100 mls of stock and let it reduce down to a sticky sauce.
Poached Pears With Chantilly Cream
A lovely light dessert after a relatively heavy first 2 courses.
2 Pears peeled but whole - (comice are probably the best)
Water - 1L
Caster Sugar* - 300g
Knob of ginger
In a sauce pan boil the water and sugar until the sugar has dissolved, add the spices and pears and cook for 30 minutes, or until the pears are soft and cooked through.
Let the pears cool in the liquid.
Chantilly cream - Whip up some cream add icing sugar until it is sweet enough for your taste, add vanilla extract/pod if you have any in.
Wine on a budget means only 1 thing for me. AUSTRALIAN SHIRAZ. Any will do it has big flavours (and big alcohol content) and should stand up well with all these courses. I have included a McGuigan GOLD Shiraz at 7.99 which is very nice and will certainly do the trick. But to be honest with Shiraz you don't even have to pay this much.
And that will go perfectly with any remaining Goats cheese you have left.
Total Price: 18.39