Pork and Chicken Liver Pâté

It’s long past New Year’s and I’m not into resolutions, but I was inspired over the holidays to try my hand at more charcuterie and I’ve decided that trend will continue into 2019 as part of my weekend kitchen routine. The sausages we made over the break (more on that in a bit) were not the first bit of salted meat I attempted and my first foray into this exciting new realm of grinders and guts was quite a hit at our holiday table.

Call it pâté, terrine or fancy meatloaf the concept of salted, pressed, finely ground fat, flesh and offal that is shaped into a mold then slow cooked and served cold is about as old as the concept of “cuisine” itself. If you didn’t pick up the accent, this dish is French, unapologetically oldschool French in the same way that quail with grapes or veal tripe in white sauce is. The process has been streamlined since the days of Grandfather Escoffier, but it’s still got that that slightly fussy way about it that both makes it a joy to execute and a hell of a story for your guests when you drop it on the table.

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Duck Confit

Duck ConfitDuck is, by far, my favourite thing to cook and eat. Tender, juicy, deep ‘n woodsy, fat and formerly feathery. Fantastic in every way!

I always buy whole ducks, either from the store (usually frozen) or from a local farm (like Christine’s Quackery in Comox) and process ‘em myself. The breasts get sautéed, stuffed, roasted or whatever, the bones get cleaned up and go into a stockpot, the excess fat is carefully removed from all over the bird, chopped finely and rendered, and the legs… Ahh, the legs. They get some extra special treatment. The whole thing is like an event. Duck Day! Hurray! (more…)

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