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OK, so here is the recipe I was taking about. Note; I was wrong about the internal temperature. The recipe says 160F.
It is taken from a book named "Charcuterie: The Craft Of Salting, Smoking And Curing" by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn. This book has become known as "The Charcuterie Bible" for good reason. If you try the recipe below and you enjoy it, then I highly recommend buying the book.
Every single person that I have served this to has raved about it. It truly is a beautiful thing.
Hot-smoked Duck Ham
This preparation, in which duck breasts are brined and then smoked until fully cooked, is reminiscent of ham in flavour and in its ratio of fat to meat. The pink salt keeps the meat pink and gives it a cured flavour, enhancing the smokey, rich, meaty duck flavour. Although you could serve it warm, this is even better when cold, and it is superb as part of a charcuterie plate or sliced and served on greens with a vinaigrette. It pairs especially well with blue cheeses, cherries and walnuts.
2 quarts / 2 liters water
3/4 cup / 175 grams kosher salt
1/4 cup / 50 grams sugar
3 teaspoons / 20 grams pink salt (I use Prague Powder #1)
1/2 cup / 125 grams maple sugar or 1/2 cup / 125 milliliters maple syrup
1/2 cup / 125 milliliters Madeira wine
1 bunch fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon / 8 grams juniper berries *1
1 tablespoon / 6 grams chopped fresh sage
*1 - I find that the wild juniper berries in my yard are far too potent to add the recommended amount above - 8 to 10 ripe berries, crushed, is plenty for my taste.
*2 - I have only removed the breasts from domestic "utility ducks" for this recipe so far. I think it should work fine with any duck, as long as you leave the skin on and there is a reasonable amount of fat.
1. Combine all brine ingredients in a large pot, place over medium-high heat, bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the salts and sugar. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until completely chilled.
2. Add the duck breasts to the brine and weight them down with a plate to keep them submerged. Refrigerate for 8-12 hours.
3. Rinse the breasts under cold water and pat them dry. Refrigerate them on a rack set on a plate, uncovered, for at least 4 hours, and up to 24 hours.
4. Hot-smoke the duck to an internal temperature of 160F (about 2.5 hours). Refrigerate until ready to serve.
This will keep in the fridge for a week or two. Never tried freezing it because it always gets eaten too fast.
It turns out like the bottom-most slices of meat in this photo (which is from the front cover of the book). The ducks I buy don't have nearly that much fat, but it still works amazingly well. I would be VERY interested to know how it works with Mallards or other wild ducks.
And those pickles in the photo are also amazing and very simple and quick.