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Why pork fat vs. duck fat in duck sausage?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I have nothing against pork fat. Believe me. I am just wanting to make a duck sausage and do not see any sane reason to sub in pork fat while omitting the duck fat. Does anyone know a specific reason why every single recipe I find does this?

 

Any help or links to information is appreciated.

post #2 of 11

Pork fat behaves.

 

It provides cohesion without a specific flavor but offers richness and mouthfeel you want. So it both provides the proper texture and binding from a physical perspective without interfering with taste. If you want to cut the fat, you  can substitute cooked white rice for about 1/3-1/2 of the pork fat. It behaves differently but acceptably close.

 

It's stable. It's a saturated fat so it is slower to go rancid. This is good for flavor, curing and health.

 

Some would argue that it's consistent. And while it will certainly vary as any natural product, probably less so in comparison to ducks where it's easier to find breed variation than among commercial pork.

 

Good recipes rely on being reproducible and pork fat offers that.

 

Duck fat doesn't offer those features. It's good in it's own right of course and you can use it if you want. You need to be prepared for the differences in workability and flavor.

 

Depending on your grinder, pork fat generally grinds up better than poultry fat, at least in my Kitchenaid attachment.

 

Try grinding the meat and fat separately and then combine the small clumps of meat with different ratios of duck/pork fat Cook off samples of each and MAKE NOTES so you can refer to your findings in the future.

 

 

 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Excellent points. The consistency makes a lot of sense.

 

As for cohesion, I was planning on putting into hog casings like for a Toulouse style link.

 

Grinding the duck fat separately and after being nearly frozen was already in my head.

 

As for the going bad faster, that shouldn't be an issue. Everything would be frozen in vaccuum bags after processing.

 

I like the rice idea and will probably do an 70/20/10 ratio of duck meat/duck fat/cooked rice.

post #4 of 11

(I've never cooked with duck fat, so I may be dead wrong here).  From watching TV, it seems like duck fat will render more completely than pork fat, and it appears to render faster as well.  If that is indeed correct, it seems like you would end up with a very oily end product vs the same recipe with pork fat. 

 

If duck fat acts like poultry fat (chicken specifically), the mouth feel would turn me off immediately. 

 

If I'm way off-base, I don't mind being corrected.  It will help me should I ever be faced with duck. 

post #5 of 11

You're pretty close, Gobblygook.

 

Duck fat is a relatively low-melt fat. In sausages, rather than appearing as integral pieces it will melt throughout, making the sausages greasy. They will also shrink exponentially due to the fat rendering out more readily. The result is likely to be a sausage that is, at one and the same time, both oily and dry.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #6 of 11

   I haven't got experience making sausages with duck fat, but I would also suspect it would be long gone early on while cooking the sausages.  Duck fat is supposed to melt @ 76f, while pork leaf could be 109-118f and back fat is supposed to be 89-104f. 

 

   For fear of ruining anything you may make with duck fat...you had better send it all to me right away!  I'll be sure to dispose of it as soon as possible.  Hmmm, I've heard of bacon ice cream.  What about duck fat ice cream!  I do swear...a sure fire way to get me to burn my tongue is to render some duck fat in a pan.

 

 

   dan

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonefishin View Post

   I haven't got experience making sausages with duck fat, but I would also suspect it would be long gone early on while cooking the sausages.  Duck fat is supposed to melt @ 76f, while pork leaf could be 109-118f and back fat is supposed to be 89-104f. 

 

   For fear of ruining anything you may make with duck fat...you had better send it all to me right away!  I'll be sure to dispose of it as soon as possible.  Hmmm, I've heard of bacon ice cream.  What about duck fat ice cream!  I do swear...a sure fire way to get me to burn my tongue is to render some duck fat in a pan.

 

 

   dan



The temps you are quoting are for already rendered duck fat. I am talking straight off the bird, frozen, ground, and then stuffed into a raw fresh sausage.

post #8 of 11

   Bishop, you're right...I was thinking about already rendered temperatures.

 

     dan

post #9 of 11

Bishop, I don't care if you freeze it with dry ice. When you grind it it will not intergrate properly with the rest of the meat.

 

You seem bound and determined to use it, though. So don't take my word for it. Run some frozen duck fat through your grinder and see what you wind up with. Then ask yourself if that's what you want distributed through the sausage. It's really that simple.

 

If you decide it's fine to use that way, be sure and make a sample sausage before stuffing the balance.

 

In other words, you have two decision points before concluding that you can use it.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #10 of 11

I agree with Phatch on this one 100%. The consistency and viscosity of duck fat is not like that of pork fat it is much more loose, higher melting point. An alternative you could try to incorporate duck fat is simply to fry or saute the sausage in duck fat if you are after the flavor aspect. We used to use duck fat from confit we made to saute our vegetables in instead of butter for a different flavor and it was quite good.

 

I have never heard about the use of rice as an alternative for sausage. It sounds like a good fat and cost cutting measure but I don't think it would be very flavorful at all.

Thanks,

Nicko 
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Thanks,

Nicko 
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All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
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post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone. I was just wringing out this idea and wanted to bounce it off some others.

 

I have two whole ducks and four breasts in addition. Made up my mind to just use the legs/thighs for confit in all the fat rendered from the rest of the duck and the breasts.

 

The breast meat I will use for sausage. It will be mixed with either fat back or pancetta as the fat.

 

Then a big batch of duck stock from the carcasses.

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