Category Archives: The Hunter’s Kitchen

Grilled Hapuka with spiced kumara and chickpea salad, crayfish mayo

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 This is an excellent recipe for those hot summer afternoons where you need to make use of the days catch (with enough veges to keep you in good nick). If Hapuka isn’t available, don’t dismay, as any fresh fish goes beautifully with this recipe. 

IMG_6712

Grilled Hapuka with spiced kumara and chickpea salad, crayfish mayo
Serves 4
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 45 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 45 min
Ingredients
4 nice pieces (700g approx.) Hapuka (or any other fish is fine)
Chickpea, feta and kumara salad
1 large Kumera – 1cm dice
1tbs Mixed spice
50g Feta - crumbled
1 small can Chickpeas, drained
¼ Red onion, fine dice
1 Tomato, seeds removed, diced
1 Spring onion stalk sliced (green and white parts)
2 sprigs Mint, chopped rough
2 sprigs Italian parsley, chopped rough
1tbs Olive oil
1tsp Lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Smoky eggplant
1 Eggplant
1 Lemon (juice only)
1tsp Cumin, ground
50-100ml Olive oil
For the salad
Toss the kumara in a little oil and the mixed spice. Roast on an oven tray at 180C for abour 12-15 mins until the kumara is nicely roasted and cooked through. Toss all the ingredients together and can be kept in the fridge for a couple of hours if needed.
For the eggplant
Char eggplant over a high heat on the grill side of your bbq until the skin is very blackened, then peel when cool. Blend in a food processor with cumin, lemon juice and oil. Season with flaky sea salt. You want to be able to taste the olive oil and the lemon juice in the puree.
To serve
Grill the fish until just cooked and serve on the chick pea salad and the smoky eggplant. A nice touch if you’ve got some cooked crayfish left over is to dice it up, fold it through some home-made or good quality store bought mayo (Hellmann’s is good).
MacLean Fraser http://macleanfraser.com/

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How to: Breaking down a leg of Venison

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So you’ve done the hard yards and carried your meat home, now it’s time to turn it into something you can cook with. When breaking down a whole deer taking out the back steaks are pretty self-explanatory, just make sure that you run your knife hard up against the backbone to make sure you get all the meat. You can take off the shoulder by cutting away behind the shoulder blade and the hind quarters can be removed by going through the hip joint. Make sure you don’t forget the inner fillets which run along the spine on the inside of the cavity and make sure you take the neck meat, it’s some of the best braising meat in my opinion. Personally I like to dice up the shoulder meat for stews, pies, curry etc and the back steaks I keep relatively whole for the BBQ or for pan frying. Don’t throw out any trim as this can be put through the mincer and used for things like meatballs, lasagne and chilli. The hind leg is probably the most difficult piece of meat to deal with so that’s what we’ll be breaking down today. The hind leg is made up of four primal cuts (Rump, knuckle, topside and silverside) plus the shank. These four main cuts are collectively known as Denver leg and I use them interchangeably using a fast cooking method (fry, roast, BBQ etc) with the shank the only cut that I think always needs to be braised. Depending on the age and condition of your particular animal you should be able to cook all these cuts as you would a steak, however once you’ve aged your meat to your liking and your meat is still tough one you may want to change to a slow cook method to make it nice and tender.

 

You will need:

A tray to place you meat in as you prepare it

Two bowls: one for your off cuts and one for rubbish

A good sized chopping board with a wet towel underneath to stop it moving

A sharp boning knife and steel

A hacksaw (optional)

 

Step 1:

Set your work bench up with all the gear you’ll need and place your leg flat on the chopping board. What we’re looking to do is to remove all the main muscle groups which are all separated by connective tissue. You’ll be able to pull away the muscle groups and use the knife to just help them on their way.

 IMG_0722

Step 1

Step 2:

Once the muscle groups are opened up and you’ve exposed the main leg bone (femur) you can just cut away the muscle with the knife hard up against the bone, this way you don’t waste any meat.

 Step 2

Step 3:

Keep following the seams and remove the main muscle groups off the bone and set aside.

Step 3

Step 4:

Remove the side muscle from the shank and keep this to one side for slow cooking.

 Step 4

Step 5:

Cut through the joint and separate the shank and keep for slow cooking. You can take the meat off the shank if you like or using a hacksaw remove the end of the bone so the shank fits better in your pot or slow cooker. The femur you can use to make stock of give to your dog and make his day.

 Step 5

IMG_0739

Step 6:

Now you will have your leg broken down into the main muscle groups you can follow the natural sinew lines and break each primal into its individual muscle groups.

 Step 6

Step 7:

Remove all the membrane and silver skin by inserting your knife under the skin and with your knife angled upwards removing it by cutting it away in strips. If left on this will cook up very tough.

 Step 7

IMG_7863

Step 8:

Now that you have your meat trimmed up you can go ahead and portion it how you like. Either leave as whole pieces, cut into meal size chunks or portion into steaks or medallions ready for the BBQ. If you are going to freeze your meat be sure to make sure it’s wrapped well (this is where a vacuum packer earns its price) to avoid freezer burn.

Step 8

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Wild Venison Scotch Eggs

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This recipe is a take on an old classic. It’s just like how your Nan would make but much, much better…

Scotch Egg

 

Wild Venison Scotch Eggs
Serves 4
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
50 min
Scotch egg
250g Venison mince
1cl Garlic- minced
1Tbs mustard
1tsp minced (or dried) Thyme
1/2tsp salt
4 Eggs
Aioli – makes 500ml
5 yolks
1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove
Juice of 1 lemon
400ml canola oil
100ml olive oil
Salt and pepper
To Finish
Breadcrumbs
Flour
Egg - whisked
For the Scotch eggs
Combine all the ingredients except the eggs. Boil the eggs for 6 minutes then run under cold water until cold and peel. Get about a quarter of the venison mix in your hand, flatten out and bring round the egg to encase it.
For the Aioli
Combine all the ingredients except the oil in a food processor or blender and blend well for 1-2 minutes. With the blender running on high, slowly drizzle in the oil to emulsify and create the aioli. If your aioli is too thick you can add warm water at the end to thin it down if necessary.
To Finish
Take your venison wrapped eggs and dust them in flour, then egg and then finally in the breadcrumbs. You can deep fry these or if you don’t have a deep fryer you can bake them in the oven or shallow fry them but they will need to go into the oven for a few minutes until the centre is hot. Serve with a side of aioli
MacLean Fraser http://macleanfraser.com/
 

 

 

 

 

 

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Paua Fritters with aioli

hunters kitchen spread

One of the best things about New Zealand, and something that we probably take for granted, is our free and easy access to wild game and fresh seafood. If you’re into your hunting and fishing and like to go for a dip in the ocean, or know a mate who does then here’s a classic recipe to cook at home or chuck on the flat top of the BBQ. A few years ago I was lucky enough to be doing a stint as a chef in the Queen Charlotte Sounds and have access to paua fresh as you can get. We would slice thinly and fry it quickly in butter with a squeeze of lemon and they were amazing. If you’re using great, fresh ingredients often the more simple recipes are the best.

Paua can be pretty tough and everyone has their own theory on how to tenderise them. The general rule of thumb is once they’ve been removed from the shell, gutted and the teeth removed you need to slice them thinly and fry them quick and fast, slowly braise them or mince them which is the method I am using for this recipe. These fritters are great thrown between two slices of fresh white toast bread with some aioli or you can serve them with some buttered new potatoes and a salad for a full meal. As always, it’s up to us to be responsible and ensure the future prosperity of our resources so make sure you stick to your bag limits and know your minimum sizes so we’ll all be able to enjoy nature’s bounty for years to come.

Paua Fritter Image

 

 

Paua Fritters with Aioli
Yields 6
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Paua Fritters
3cl garlic
1/2 onion
1 egg
1/2 C flour
1/2tsp baking powder
1/2tsp salt
1tbs chopped parsley
3 large paua minced
4tbs milk
Aioli (makes 500ml)
5 yolks
1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove
Juice of 1 lemon
400ml canola oil
100ml olive oil
Salt and pepper
For the Paua
Finely dice the onion and crush the garlic. Place the onion and garlic in a large bowl with the minced paua, a whisked egg, chopped parsley and the salt. Combine well. Mix together the flour and baking powder then add to the paua mix. Lightly fold in the flour and don’t mix too much, too much mixing will make the mix tough and rubbery. Add the milk, using a little less or a little more if needed to get a stiff batter.
For the Aioli
Combine all the ingredients except the oil in a food processor or blender and blend well for 1-2 minutes. With the blender running on high, slowly drizzle in the oil to emulsify and create the aioli. If your aioli is too thick you can add warm water at the end to thin it down if necessary.
MacLean Fraser http://macleanfraser.com/
 

 

 

 

 

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Venison Koftas with Mint Yoghurt

hunters kitchen spread

When trimming up and portioning my venison I always end up with offcuts and trimmings that you can struggle finding a use for. If you’ve made the kill and gone to the effort of carrying as much of the meat out as you can it seems a shame to waste any of it, and this is where a mincer comes in handy. If only doing limited quantities you can purchase a small hand mincer for a minimal investment and it will pay for itself in no time. Hang on to all your venison trimmings to put through the mincer and you can use them to make this easy BBQ recipe. Make sure to soak bamboo skewers in water so they don’t burn when putting them on the grill. Ground spices can be used in place of the whole spices if you don’t want to grind them yourself, however you will always get better flavour grinding your spices fresh.

Venison Kofta MacLean

Venison Koftas with Mint Yoghurt
Serves 6
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Venison Koftas
400g Venison mince
100g Pork mince
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1/2C Breadcrumbs
3cl Garlic, minced
2tsp Cumin seeds
2tsp Coriander seeds
1tsp Fennel seeds
1/2tsp Chilli flakes
2tsp Smoked Paprika
1tsp Salt
Mint Yoghurt
1/2C Plain Yoghurt
10-12 Mint leaves
Squeeze lemon juice
Pinch salt
For the Mint Yoghurt
Finely slice the mint leaves and mix together with the yoghurt with a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt to taste. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
For the Koftas
Lightly toast off the whole spices and grind together in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together until well combined. Wrap some of the venison mix around your choice of bamboo skewers and place them on the grill plate of the BBQ for about 3 minutes a side until just cooked through. Alternatively you can fry them in a pan over a moderate heat with a little oil to stop them from sticking.
Serve the koftas with some warmed flat bread, a fresh seasonal salad along with the mint yoghurt.
MacLean Fraser http://macleanfraser.com/

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Venison Wellington with mushrooms and kumara mash

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This is a good recipe for entertaining and an impressive way to cook venison. The kumara adds a buttery richness to the dish and the earthiness of the mushrooms compliments the flavour of the meat well. If you wanted to save time and did not want to use the pastry aspect of the dish you could simply grill the venison and add some cream and meat stock to the mushrooms for a simple mushroom sauce.

Venison Wellington Final

Venison Wellington with mushrooms and kumara mash
Serves 4
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Venison
600g venison back strap
2 sheets puff pastry
Splash of milk
Mushroom Duxelle
1/2 onion
250g mushrooms
3cl garlic
1/2tsp dried thyme or fresh
50g butter
1tsp red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Kumara Mash
2-3 kumara
50g butter
Splash milk or cream
For the Mushroom
Finely dice the onion, mushrooms and garlic by pulsing them all together in a food processor. Place in a pot along with the butter and thyme and cook out on a low to moderate heat until everything has softened and the liquid has evaporated, about 15mins. Add the vinegar and cook for another 2mins. Season to taste with salt and pepper then set aside to cool.
For the Kumara mash
Peel the kumara and cut into even sized pieces. Starting in cold, salted water boil the kumara until nice and soft. Drain in a colander then return to the pot and cook over a low heat for 1 to 2 minutes to remove any excess water. Mash the kumara until nice and smooth. Melt the butter along with a little milk or cream and fold through the kumara mix. If the mash is too stiff add some cream or milk to thin it down and then season to taste with salt and white pepper.
For the Venison Wellington
Trim the venison back strap of any silver skin by inserting a sharp pointed knife (such as a boning knife) under one end of the silver skin then with the blade angled upward remove the silver skin off in strips cutting off as little meat as possible. Pat the meat dry with a kitchen towel if required and season with salt and pepper. In a very hot pan with a little oil, sear the back strap until nicely browned on each side but not at all cooked. Set aside.
Place the venison on a pastry sheet (you may need to cut your venison in half to fit depending on the size of your pastry sheets). Spoon some of the cold mushroom mix on top of the venison so the entire top of the meat is covered and then with one edge of the pastry brushed with milk so that it sticks, roll the venison and the mushroom together in the pastry and pinch the edges. Brush the pastry with milk.
To Serve
Bake the venison Wellington on an oven tray lined with grease proof paper in a 200C oven for 10-15mins for rare to medium rare depending on the thickness of your back strap. Cooking beyond medium rare will make your venison dry. Once cooked remove from the oven and poke a few small holes in the base of the pastry to allow any resting juices to escape and rest on an oven rack for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with some hot kumara mash and a green salad or seasonal veg along with Branston pickle if desired.
MacLean Fraser http://macleanfraser.com/
 

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Southern Fried Rabbit with Smoky Chilli Mayo

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This recipe and is a home version of fast food using wild game. It’s one of my favourite ways to eat rabbit as it locks in the moisture and flavour so make sure you don’t skip the brining process as this is critical to ensuring a moist result. If you don’t have all the ingredients to make the brine you can use just salt and water and that is better than nothing. The smoked chilli mayo recipe uses smoke essence which is available from specialty shops or you can replace the chilli powder and tabasco with canned Chipotle chillies which will give the mayo a lightly smoky flavour.   

 Fried Rabbit

 

Southern Fried Rabbit with Smoky Chilli Mayo
Yields 24
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Cider brine
500ml apple cider
3lt Water
1/2C salt
3 star anise
4 bay leaves
4 sprigs thyme
2 rabbits (about 1kg each)
Smoky chilli mayo
4 yolks
1 whole egg
1tsp tabasco sauce
1 small garlic clove
Juice of 1 lemon
375ml canola oil
125ml olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4tsp Chilli powder
Dash smoke essence
Rabbit coating
1/4C milk
2Tbs cayenne pepper
1Tbs paprika
1tsp ground black pepper
1tsp garlic powder
1C flour
1/4C corn flour
For the brine
Mix everything apart from the rabbit together and stir well to dissolve the salt. Take your skinned and gutted rabbit and using a sharp pointed knife remove any membrane and silver skin from the outside of the meat as this will go tough once cooked. Halve the now trimmed rabbit and cut each half through the bone into 6 pieces depending on how big you’d like them (I like to get 12 pieces out of every rabbit). Submerge the rabbit in the brine for about 12 hours or overnight.
For the mayo
Combine all ingredients except the oil and smoke essence in a food processor or blender. Slowly add the oil with the food processor running to emulsify the oil and create the creamy mayo. Add smoke essence to taste and more tabasco/chilli powder if more heat is desired. Add warm water at the end for consistency if the mayo is too thick.
For the rabbit coating
Combine in a large bowl all the ingredients except the milk and stir to mix all the spices evenly through the flour mix. Remove the rabbit from the brine and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Toss in the milk, shake off the excess and transfer to the flour mix. Toss the rabbit in the bowl of flour and leave for up to 2 hours making sure to give it a toss every now and again. This is to build up a good thick flour coating on the outside of the rabbit.
Fry in vegetable oil or lard at 160C for about 10mins (depending on the size of your rabbit pieces) or until golden brown and just cooked through. If you coating starts to get too dark before the middle of your rabbit is fully cooked you can remove the rabbit from the oil and finish it in an oven set to 150C for a few minutes until cooked through.
MacLean Fraser http://macleanfraser.com/
 

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Chipotle pulled pork burger with cucumber pickle

hunters kitchen spread

This recipe calls for pork shoulder which is a tougher secondary cut of meat and benefits from a slow, wet cooking method. You can get canned chipotle chilies from the supermarket and can serve the burger with a nice fresh coleslaw. Wild pork is great here, however any pork could be used but stick to a tough cut such as shoulder or belly.

 Pork Burger Fullsize

Chipotle pulled pork burger
Serves 6
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Total Time
4 hr 45 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Total Time
4 hr 45 min
Chipotle pulled pork
1.5kg (or there about) bone in pork shoulder
2 shallots (or 1 small onion)
6 cloves garlic
1Tbs smoked paprika
3Tbs brown sugar
100g can chipotle (use ½ to 1 whole can depending on how hot you want it)
250g can tomato paste
3Tbs red wine vinegar
1/2C water (use 1.5C if using an oven instead of a slow cooker)
1Tbs chopped rosemary (or dried herbs)
1Tbs salt
1/2tspn white pepper
Cucumber pickle
500g (about 2) cucumbers
1 onion
1/4C salt
1.5C white wine vinegar
3/4C sugar
1Tbs wholegrain mustard
1tspn turmeric
For the burger
Blend all the ingredients together in a blender or food processor and rub all over the pork. Place the pork along with any left-over marinade in your slow cooker and cook for about 8 hours or place in a roasting tray covered with tin foil and bake at 150 for 4-5hrs until tender and falling off the bone. If there is any liquid left then place in a pot and simmer until it thickens. Once cool enough to touch shred the meat and mix with any remaining cooked marinade and reduced cooking liquid.
For the pickle
Slice the cucumber and onion and toss with the salt in a bowl. Cover the cucumber salt mix with cold water and leave for an hour. Drain the salt water in a colander. Combine the remaining ingredients in pot and bring to boil. Pour the hot vinegar mix over the cucumber and onions then leave to cool. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month.
MacLean Fraser http://macleanfraser.com/

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How to: Plucking a Duck, wax method

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“Here is a technique that gets a pretty good result, about as close as you can get to looking like a store bought duck. Plucking a duck can be a pretty laborious job but this technique is pretty quick and easy and means you get to enjoy the whole bird and its crispy skin.”

 

You will need:

Paraffin Wax

A big pot to boil water

A bucket of cold water

 

Step 1:

Find a place where you don’t mind making a bit of a mess and get your knives sharpened and ready along with a decent sized chopping board sitting on a wet towel to stop it from moving round on you. One of the first things you will want to do is get your big pot on to boil and add your paraffin wax to it to melt. Apparently National brand candles are made of paraffin wax which is certified food grade.

 Step 1

Step 2:

Remove the wings.

 Step 2

Step 3:

Remove the wing and tail feathers. The easiest way is to pull these straight out, with the grain.

 Step 3

Step 4:

All the other feathers are easiest if pulled out against the grain. Don’t completely pluck the duck, what we want to do is leave a covering of the down feathers so we can remove them with the hot wax.

 Step 4

Step 4 part 2

Step 5:

Holding your semi plucked duck (guts still intact) by the head and feet, dip it slowly into a pot with the melted wax for a few seconds then transfer to a bucket of cold water. Leave the duck there for about 5 minutes in order for the wax to set rock hard.

 Step 5 part 1

Step 5 part 2

Step 6:

Now that the wax is hard and has stuck to the feathers you can start at the neck and carefully peel it off the duck, removing all the feathers in the process. Once your duck has all the feathers and wax removed you can go ahead and remove the head and feet. If there are any small down feathers left here and there they can be singed by a quick go with a blow torch.

 Step 6 part 1

Step 6 part 2

Step 6 part 3

Step 7:

To gut the bird remove the tail by cutting straight through just past where the bones stop. Reach into the cavity and pull out all the contents being sure to remove the lights (lungs) which are found at the neck end of the bird on either side of the backbone. Give it a good rinse inside and out with cold running water, inspect for any shot and pat it dry. Now it’s ready to cook. 

Step 7 part 1

 

Step 7 part 2

 

Step 7 part 3

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Duck confit on caramelised Brussel sprouts, bacon and grain mustard with bread sauce and fig chutney

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This recipe utilises the whole duck and because of the slow method of cooking in fat you end up with a tender, moist and flavoursome result. I recommend giving the Brussel sprouts a go as bacon always makes things better but if you don’t feel like making the accompaniments then serving with some nice buttery mash potatoes is the way to go. 

Confit Duck with Brussel Sprouts Image

Duck confit on caramelised Brussel sprouts, bacon and grain mustard with bread sauce and fig chutney
Serves 4
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Prep Time
1 hr 30 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Total Time
5 hr 30 min
Prep Time
1 hr 30 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Total Time
5 hr 30 min
Duck Confit
1 Duck, cleaned
Rendered duck fat
Confit Salt
1 bulb Garlic
6 Juniper berries (or 1 Star anise)
1 tsp Peppercorns
1/2C Rock salt
12 sprigs Thyme
3 Bay leaves
Brussel Sprouts
400g Brussel sprouts
2Tbs Butter
1Tbs Wholegrain mustard
4 Rashers streaky bacon (or 2 rashers Middle bacon)
4Tbs Brown sugar
Bread Sauce
1C Milk
1Tbs butter
¼ Onion
1 Whole clove
4 Whole peppercorns
1 Clove garlic
1 Bay leaf
1 Sprig thyme
2 Slices white toast bread (crusts removed)
Pinch ground nutmeg
Salt and white pepper
For the Duck
Place all the confit salt ingredients except the salt itself into a food processor or using a mortar and pestle coarsely grind together. Add the salt and briefly grind together until well mixed. Cut the duck completely in half along the back bone and rub the salt mix all over and into both sides of the duck. Cover and leave in the fridge for 10-12 hours or overnight. After no more than 12 hours rinse off all the salt mix under cold running water and pat the duck dry on a kitchen towel. Place the duck in an oven proof dish and cover completely with rendered duck fat, cover with baking paper then tin foil and bake at 110C for 2-4 hours until the meat easily falls away from the bone. As long as the duck is covered in the fat it can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 months. To serve, drain the duck out of the fat (keep the fat for next time or for roasting potatoes), then roast in a hot oven to crisp up the skin.
For the Brussels
Cut the Brussel sprouts in half lengthwise and cook in salted boiling water until they’re just cooked; about 5 minutes. Drain and keep to one side. Chop up the bacon and fry in a little oil for 1 min. Add to the pan the Brussel sprouts, butter, brown sugar and mustard and fry over a moderate heat until nice and brown. Season with a bit of salt to taste (keeping in mind the bacon is already a bit salty).
For the Bread Sauce
Gently heat the milk, clove, peppercorns, bay leaf and thyme in a pot. Chop the onion into small pieces and roughly smash the garlic with the back of your knife. Gently cook the onion and garlic in a pot with the butter for about 4-5 mins until softened but not brown. Pour the hot milk mix on top of the onions and garlic and simmer gently for 10mins to infuse the flavours. Strain the flavoured milk into a pot, discard the onions and herbs etc and add the bread to the milk mix. Simmer for 3-4mins. Blend with a stick blender until smooth or leave chunky for a rustic sauce. Season with a pinch of nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
To serve
Serve the crispy confit duck with the Brussel sprouts and bread sauce piping hot along with some nice fruit or fig chutney.
MacLean Fraser http://macleanfraser.com/
 

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