Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Duck and Morel Pie



Remember that 'defeat' I suffered at the hands (wings?) of a duck? Well, tonight I exacted my revenge. My sweet revenge. The medieval punishment for any animal miscreant: end up in a pie.

I had one and a half breasts and one leg of duck leftover from the previous night's dinner. Not really enough to feed a pile of people, so I made this as chef's perk only. Anyway, as I mentioned, the duck had been slightly over-cooked, so there was no point in re-heating it the next day and over-cooking it more...or was there?

I pulled out the pressure cooker, cut up the duck meat and got it together with some chopped shallots, a chiffonade of fresh sage, a bit of garlic, a bunch of morel mushrooms (re hydrated from dried), along with the re hydrating liquid (leave the grit behind), the leftover duck demiglace (now a wobbly blob of gelatinous yum), a bit of duck fat (I always save and strain every last drop), some fresh thyme, a cup of red wine and a cup of water along with the usual seasonings. On went the pressure cooker lid, and up went the fire. This does not need long at all given that the meat is already half way there. I say about 25 minutes will suffice.

Once done, I opened up the pressure cooker (my favourite part of the ritual - you never know what you're going to find in there.) Inside was dark and tender and unctuous. I started mashing stuff together with a fork. Then I transferred this extremely rich ducky mess into a meal-sized ramekin. Next, I carefully piled the leftover mashed spuds on top, smoothed it all out like a potter at his wheel, and with the tines of my fork, sculpted little crop circles; a whimsical pattern derived by my unconscious mind. The Pièce de résistance? Duck fat. It's always going to be duck fat. I melted a bit in a small prep bowl, dipped in a brush and glazed my pie till shiny and beautiful.  To finish, I sprinkled with flakey Maldon salt and did a few cranks on the pepper mill. Into a 400 degree oven for ten minutes, and a further five or so under the broiler.  Take that duck!

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