Today is The Big Man's worst nightmare - I cooked both beets and liver. The only two foods he refuses to eat...but I'll say it... one of my best meals ever. I'm pretty sure he's gonna have a cheese sandwich for supper.
As my beets were roasting I laughed a little remembering the last time I had roasted beet and goat cheese salad. It was in a fancy bistro and it cost probably $8 or $9 for a pint sized serving. My cost to make the same thing here on the farm - practically free. And it was delicious. Easy peasy - roast beets, slice, and plop a big dollop of goat cheese on top. Now that's living, friend.
Then came the main dish. The duck risotto was eclipsed only by the duck liver pate. It was so good I may never eat again. I'm not even kidding.
Sweet mother of pate look at that! Oh liver... I love you in the wurst way...
This culinary adventure started earlier today when we dressed a couple of the younger ducks for supper. You know what that means. To answer before you ask - no it wasnt awful, yes it was easy, and wow having the right scald water temperature really makes for fast plucking. We only did two ducks because we were pressed for time. Hopefully this weekend we'll finish up the rest of that group.
Just enough rendered fat to coat the bottom of the pan.
After we cleaned up our work area I ran into the kitchen with a bowl full of large duck livers and fat. Immediately I started rendering the fat in a heavy pan over low heat. When there was enough fat to coat the bottom of the pan I moved the still solid fat into another pan to finish rendering. The livers were sauteed in the fat in the first pan. I loosely based the pate on this recipe here...mostly because I liked that it included brandy.
I used the necks, hearts, and wings to start a duck stock - low and slow for several hours - in anticipation of the risotto. I love making risotto, especially with barley instead of arborio rice. I think its makes for a richer and more earthy flavor which is perfect for this thyme scented duck risotto.
This is a close approximation for how I whipped up this rich and easy risotto. Of course I stirred in some cream at the end. And... I used some of my goat cheddar instead of parm which was a fabulous substitution. It shaves beautifully and adds an amazing quality to this dish. And its free(ish). In fact, this luxurious supper would have cost a pretty penny in civilization but my cost of goods was just about $1 or so.
So I'm raising a glass to my pal Free and hoping she and her chicks are staying warm. And I'd better go and make The Big Man a cheese sandwich.
Hope everyone had a great day - is the Halloween candy on sale yet?