I refuse to believe every “new fact” I read about food because facts change as science and attitudes change. You can shop around for the truth you want to hear. Once you find it, you can hold onto it tightly. Blind to other truths. So today I read that duck fat is considered by some as a healthy fat. Healthier than butter, closer to olive oil. Oh GOOD. Because I bought a jar of duck fat just last week. One version of the truth is good enough for me.
A new fat
I’ve never cooked with duck fat before, so in the spirit of research here’s two simple recipes that might inspire you to cook with duck fat. Duck fat can be found in glass jars in the oil section or in plastic tubs in the meat section of your supermarket or at fancy food shops. You can even make your own duck fat as a by product of cooking duck like this.
Duck Fat & Sage Roast Potatoes
Sage is easy to grow and imparts a savoury fragrance to these potatoes. Coupled with duck fat, I think this is a winner. Great with roast chicken, pork or even duck :) I used agria potatoes which are floury potatoes and fluffy rather than gluey when cooked. Other floury potatoes are:
- King Edward
Serves 4 as a side dish Ingredients
- 2 tablespoons duck fat
- 6 potatoes
- 6 sage leaves, roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 180C. Peel potatoes and cut into quarters. Put into a medium saucepan and cover with boiling water. Simmer for 10 minutes. Do not overcook.
- Drain potatoes, discarding the water, return potatoes back to the pot and add duck fat, chopped sage, salt and pepper.
- Press a lid on top of pot give them a firm shaking to furry up the edges and coat all potatoes with fat and seasonings.
- Place potatoes in a roasting tray in a single layer and roast for about 40 minutes until golden on the outside and wonderfully fluffy inside, turn the oven up for the final 10 minutes (especially good if you are roasting pork with crackling) until everything is crunchy and golden.
- Ideally, you will be roasting these with a roast beast of some sort. So plan ahead to have the meat and the potatoes ready at the same time. A chicken will take about the same amount of time as these potatoes while a roast pork will be about double.
Duck Fat Croutons with Salami & Sage
I serve a platter of these alongside bowls of soup. Double this recipe to use up a full baguette suitable for 4 people. Serves 2 with soup Ingredients
- Half a baguette (day old is fine), thickly sliced
- 10 sage leaves
- A small piece of dry pork salami, around 60 grams/2 oz, thinly sliced
- Salt and pepper
- Heat 1 tablespoon duck fat in a large skillet or frying pan. Fry off salami until crisp and set aside.
- Fry off sage leaves until crisp and set aside.
- Add another tablespoon duck fat and toast bread small batches on both sides until golden on both sides (turn once).
- Arrange croutons on a plate and scatter on top with salami, sage leaves. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve with bowls of soup.
Next time I might try…
Duck fat and potatoes:
- Smashed potatoes
- Oven baked fries
- Potato hash
- Hashbrowns/potato cakes
Duck fat and bread:
- Toasted sandwiches, Monsieur Croque, grilled cheese
- French toast
Use duck fat in place of oil:
- Stir fry
- Fried rice
- Grilling burgers
- Pork crackling – Rubbed on pork skin for super crackling – use in place of butter in this recipe http://bunnyeatsdesign.com/2012/08/23/crackling/
- Roast chicken – Rubbed on chicken skin for divine roasting
- Roast vegetables – brussels sprouts, capsicum, carrots, mushrooms
- Caramelised onions
Slightly fancier uses for duck fat:
- Yorkshire Pud or popovers
- Savoury scones or biscuits
- Duck fat roux – equal parts duck fat and flour, heated and mixed well. Great thickening agent for a mac and cheese base or white/cheese sauce or soups and gumbo
This post is part of Our Growing Edge, a monthly blogging event to encourage us to try new food related things. Becky from My Utensil Crock is the host for this month’s event. If you have a blog and you are eating or cooking something new this month, click below to join.