Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Duck and Armagnac Rillettes

A few weeks ago I posted about some confit duck that I'd made. I said then that the plan was to make them into rillettes. Well, I've got this week off work so it's the ideal time. I'd told Sandra at work my latest plan and she bought me in a present: a jar of rillettes de canard that she's got while on holiday in France. So I've now got something to aim for.

That's French for 'potted duck'

As some of the rillettes will be given away for Christmas I bought some small jars to make them look like I'd made a bit of an effort.  Before I started I washed the jars in hot soapy water and put them in the oven at 120 to sterilise them. The lid were covered in boiling water from the kettle.

Duck and Armagnac Rillette Recipe

  • The meat from 6 confit duck legs (see here for my confit adventure);
  • 2 tablespoons of the confit fat
  • The reserved confit stock (I used 2-3 tablespoons)
  • Armagnac (or any other spirit)
  • Pepper

I used a kilner jar to store my confit duck, so the first thing was to get the duck out of the solid fat. I just warmed the jar a little bit to soften the fat. It was a bit of a messy affair. And by a bit I mean 'a lot', and I 'a lot' I mean it went everywhere. So I'd suggest using gloves. Really. Use gloves (it also makes you feel like you're in an episode of CSI, or satisfies your inner latex fetish, whatever). 

From the left: melted fat, armagnac, duck stock and meat
  1. Strip the meat off the bones and place in a sturdy bowl. Grab a wooden spoon and pound the bejesus out of it to form a coarse paste.
  2. If using, taste the reserved stock (to gauge for salty it is), add a small amount to the meat and beat it in until it's combined. Keep tasting and adding more until it's just salty enough. I added around 2-3 tablespoons.
  3. Re-render the fat and put it through a sieve (this removes any rogue skin, meat or bits of bone that you might have missed). Add 2 tablespoons of fat to the meat and beat it to combine; at this stage it will start to take on a paler colour and look more like pate.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of Armagnac and a good grind of pepper and give everything a good mix.
  5. Add more Armagnac and pepper to taste. Hint: don't take a big swig of Armagnac before you do the tasting (as I did), it means you won't be able to taste the Armagnac. But you will start to enjoy making rillettes much more 
  6. Add to your sterilised jars and seal with fat.

Making the rillettes isn't that difficult, it just requires a little bit of time and elbow grease. Covered with fat and kept in the fridge they should last a little while, though they're so tasty they probably be gone faster than a plate of cookies at a weight watchers meeting.

Take rillette, apply to face

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Tyrolean Lonzini

Christmas is fast approaching, so I've been hard at work crafting things. I put two lonzini into the curing chamber a couple of weeks ago. I really hope they are ready in time as I am planning as giving them as gifts!

My other Christmas gifts ready to go

I used the recipe from Scott of the sausage debauchery fame. He doesn't go into details as to specific amounts on his blog, so I just free-styled (recipe below; I used a mix of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg as a substitute for allspice). One was cased in a beef bung, the other was left uncased and cold smoked twice (12 hours a time) in a mixture of roughly 50/50 oak and apple. So i guess that technically it's a speck: although it should probably have a thicker covering of fat to qualify. I was really hoping to smoke it four times, but the smoker has been having trouble in the sub-zero temperatures we've had this week - it burned about one-quarter of the way round each time, then went out. I persevered, but gave up after the 8th time.

Here's the recipe that I used:

Tyrolean Lonzino (all credit to Sausage Debauchery)

Ingredient Weight (%)
Pork loin
Cure #2

The cure was mixed up and applied to the loin (90% to the meat, 10% on the fat). The meat was put into a ziplock bag, sealed and left to cure for 10 days. One was cased in a beef bung (see the spicy lonzino post), the other was smoked before hanging. Fingers crossed they're ready in time.

Ready for Christmas?