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Huge Tin of Duck Fat---Use and Storage

n
nissenpa Nov 29, 2006 12:13 PM

MY DH brought me back a huge tin of duck fat from his recent trip to France. I've been told that roasted potatoes are awesome in duck fat. Other than that what can I do with it? It is a HUGE tin. How do I store it? In some tupperware in the fridge? How long does it keep?

Thanks for your help!

  1. b
    bugz13 Nov 22, 2007 12:55 PM

    Duck fat contains twice the unsaturated fats (mono & poly) and half the saturated fat of butter... therefore it's an excellent substitute for sautéing almost anything of a savory nature. Plus it imparts an excellent, yet very subtle, flavor. Try thinly sliced turnips, with a little salt & pepper, sautéed in a tablespoon of duck fat until just beginning to turn golden-brown around the edges, you'll love it!

    1. g
      gperls Nov 30, 2006 11:02 AM

      If you make hash browns or potato pancakes (latkes), fry them in duck fat for a great taste.

      1. steinpilz Nov 30, 2006 12:13 AM

        I collect duck fat whenever I cook duck, I freeze it and it lasts forever. Potatoes are almost the only thing I'll part with it for and I go through most of what I've collected each winter.

        1. HaagenDazs Nov 29, 2006 03:34 PM

          How about bacon fat? I've got a little container that I've had in my fridge for about 3 or 4 months, sealed. Think it's still ok?

          2 Replies
          1. re: HaagenDazs
            d
            detlefchef Nov 29, 2006 05:16 PM

            Should be fine.

            1. re: detlefchef
              HaagenDazs Nov 30, 2006 01:17 AM

              Oh poo... I opened my bacon fat to brown some venison shoulder tonight and it was moldy. In the trash it went. Time for more bacon though! Always a silver lining :-) There was a pretty strong moldy scent and a good bit of white mold on the surface. Same color as the bacon fat, so be careful folks who are saving their prized lipids in the fridge; they won't last forever!

          2. j
            JudiAU Nov 29, 2006 02:41 PM

            As someone said, it doesn't last forever so if it is very large freeze it in one cup portions until ready to use. Then keep a portion (removed from the tin) in fridge and use it like any cooking fat. If you have a huge amount make the confit and save the fat, it can be reused if carefully skimmed.

            1. s
              Spot Nov 29, 2006 02:25 PM

              I always melt it and then freeze it in ice cube trays, then to a ziploc for the freezer. Nothing better can be done to non-fat refried beans than a cube (or two).

              1. jillp Nov 29, 2006 01:28 PM

                Freeze at least part of it, if you're not going to use it within a year. I neglected to do that and I lost at least a cup of wonderful duck fat because of mold.

                In addition to potatoes, I've used it to add depth to browned poultry, I've sauted all sorts of vegetables in it and I've added it to dough for savory crusts. And I wish I had some now. Maybe I'll fix some duck breasts this weekend...

                2 Replies
                1. re: jillp
                  d
                  detlefchef Nov 29, 2006 01:48 PM

                  I guess I've never had it around long enough to really test "forever", my bad. What were the proportions you used in pasty, that I've tried to short doughs with entirely duck fat and had it all render out.

                  1. re: detlefchef
                    jillp Nov 29, 2006 01:52 PM

                    I've only added a tablespoon or so to pastry, just to give it a bit of extra flavor. I am one of those unfortunate people who can really taste fats, so the flavor came through really well for me.

                2. d
                  detlefchef Nov 29, 2006 12:53 PM

                  For starters, it will last essentially forever in your fridge.

                  Put it in everything, cook anything and everything in it and love your life more. The best mashed potatoes I've ever made I subbed half the butter for duck fat (which BTW apparently has less cholesterol than butter if you care).

                  The classic duck fat potatoes are russets that have been peeled, cubed, and par boiled and then roasted slowly with salt and duck fat until they essentially resemble croutons.

                  For confit, a classic prep includes herbs de provence, lemon zest, and garlic. We used to mix them in such a manner that you could smell each ingredient clearly. Add exactly as much salt as you have spice mix. and toss duck legs with mixture to thoroughly coat. Allow to sit in a perforated pan (or colander) in fridge for two days. At my current restaurant which is Asian inspired, we do the same thing with 5 spice and tangerine peel.

                  Scrape spices off and put in large pot of melted fat. You'll want to cook it about 3 hours at 300 degrees. It will be done when the fat along the leg bone shrinks back to expose the bone and the meat is quite tender.

                  Confit- while specifically refering to anything cooked in its own juices (lemon confit being lemon zest simmered in lemon juice, confiteure (sp?) referring basically to jam or fruit cooked in itself) it has also come to mean anything cooked in duck fat. Cured pork loin simmered in duck fat is quite tasty as well.

                  1. carswell Nov 29, 2006 12:30 PM

                    Duck confit is duck -- usually the legs but also the gizzards -- dry-brined, slow-cooked in duck fat and then packed in duck fat and allowed to ripen for up to four months. See Paula Wolfert's *The Cooking of Southwest France* for what is arguably the definitive recipe in English. Other flavourful fowl like guinea hen legs and whole quail can also be given the confit treatment.

                    Duck fat is great for roasting potatoes and other vegetables, not to mention seafood. And not only does it give popcorn a wonderful savour (pop the corn in it), it's healthier than butter. You can also use it instead of butter, lard or shortening to make savoury pastries.

                    Well-sealed, it will keep for months in your fridge. Longer than that, you're best off freezing it.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: carswell
                      MMRuth Nov 29, 2006 12:31 PM

                      Yes - I forgot about the brining part. It's really very easy to make, just takes time, but "hands-off" time.

                    2. n
                      nissenpa Nov 29, 2006 12:21 PM

                      I don't know what that is.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: nissenpa
                        MMRuth Nov 29, 2006 12:28 PM

                        You cook duck legs at a very low temp in the oven, covered with liquid duck fat, for about 3 hours. You can store up to a month. I like to make rillettes with them (basically process the meat in food processor with some duck fat) - makes a delicious spread on bread. You can also saute the legs and serve them that way, but I've not done that.

                        1. re: MMRuth
                          Ernie Diamond Nov 29, 2006 08:59 PM

                          Confit is fantastic. Put them in a low low oven (200) for several hours and the meat will fall right off the bone. I'll advise you against using a food processor, though. Let them cool and shred by hand or with two forks.

                          1. re: Ernie Diamond
                            MMRuth Nov 29, 2006 09:03 PM

                            That's a good idea - I tried to be gentle with the pulsing, but would have preferred a chunkier consistency.

                            1. re: MMRuth
                              n
                              nissenpa Nov 29, 2006 11:16 PM

                              So the 'confit' is the fat and meat of dug legs that have been braised in duck fat? Trying to figure out what the 'confit' is.

                              TIA

                              1. re: nissenpa
                                MMRuth Nov 30, 2006 01:00 AM

                                I believe confit is a method of cooking ... ie, you can make onion confit, lemon confit etc.

                                Quote from Detlef below:

                                "Confit- while specifically refering to anything cooked in its own juices (lemon confit being lemon zest simmered in lemon juice, confiteure (sp?) referring basically to jam or fruit cooked in itself) it has also come to mean anything cooked in duck fat. Cured pork loin simmered in duck fat is quite tasty as well."

                      2. MMRuth Nov 29, 2006 12:15 PM

                        You could make duck confit.

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