Its Monday, and as much as I’m ricocheting around the house, bouncing off furniture in my hurry to make the train to work, (yes I am a notorious for prolonging the inadvertent crawl out of bed) and promising myself this will be the last time I run late, when I ACTUALLY finally step out the front door and walk to the station, it is an incredible visual experience.
I am a coffee drinking character and most times my mind is seized shut until I get my first coffee, however this morning the incredible sunrise demanded extra attention and thereby almost creating a car crash, (trying to find the perfect photo angle).
As a result I stepped onto the train victorious for the below reasons:
- Actually making the train on time;
- In one piece; and
- Getting to see the incredible show nature put on for me.
Now, as promised in my last blog, The Man With The Amazing Eyes and I had an adventure on Saturday to Blackheath, (there’s a place you will never forget, especially the Antique Centre in the old Victory Theatre), where not only did we buy our produce for the week, but I discovered a Deli that sells tinned duck fat. Before I had even walked out the door with this purchase, I had planned the Sunday night dinner, where I would try my hand at Duck Confit accompanied with a side of Duck Fat Smashed Potatoes with Rosemary and Red Onion, (to hell with my diet!) and freshly steamed peas.
For such a famously French dish its so easy, and the flavours are borderline illegal. I first had Duck Confit in Paris so it invokes images of all things Parisian (insert every cliché French thought in here because that’s actually how amazing it is!). The duck fat gives and incredible flavour and produces such an amazing ‘roast’ effect especially to potatoes. By adding freshly chopped rosemary and red onion, this makes the smells coming from your kitchen positively ‘salivate’ worthy. Top with cracked pepper and sea salt and I can personally guarantee, (once you have sent your clamouring neighbours away from the front door) you will be tempted to sit the pan on your lap and eat it all in one sitting.
Duck Fat Smashed Potatoes w/- Rosemary & Red Onion
- 4-5 Large Potatoes Peeled and Roughly Chopped
- Sea Salt
- 2-3 Tbl Duck Fat (I used the some after cooking the Duck)
- 2 Sprigs Rosemary Coarsely Chopped
- 2 Cloves Garlic Smashed
- I red Onion finely Chopped
Heat oven to 200 degrees. Place potatoes in a small pot and cover completely with generously salted water. Bring water to a boil and cook potatoes until fork tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and allow potatoes to rest until cool enough to touch. Using the palms of your hands, carefully smash potatoes until flat but still in one piece.
Place potatoes on a small rimmed baking sheet or pan. Drizzle with duck fat and add rosemary and garlic to pan. Generously salt and pepper potatoes. Gently toss potatoes until evenly coated with the duck fat.
Roast potatoes for 20 minutes. Flip them and add the chopped onion then roast an additional 8 to 10 minutes. Serve warm in pan.
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 Garlic Clove, finely chopped
- 2 tsp Thyme
- I kg of Duck (I used breast, legs are traditional)
- 700g Canned Duck or Goose Fat
- Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper
Combine salt, shallot, garlic and thyme in a bowl.
Place duck in a single layer in a non-reactive dish, scatter salt mixture over and rub well all over duck. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours (or as long as you can).
Brush excess salt mixture from duck, pat dry with absorbent paper and place in a single layer in a deep roasting pan.
Preheat oven to 100C. Warm duck fat in a saucepan over low heat until just melted, then pour over duck legs until completely submerged. Bake until very tender and just beginning to fall from the bone (1-1½ hours).
Scatter a little salt in the base of an earthenware casserole. Remove duck from fat, place in a single layer in casserole and strain over duck fat to cover completely by at least 2cm. Cover and refrigerate until required.
Enjoy friends, if in the next 12 hours you are driving though the Blue Mountains, you may see a man furiously running around the block to remove this course off his hips. No regrets!
Ps – Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram! @thewanderinggastronomist