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Duck fat for sausages


Justin Uy
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Hello all,

So I just got my grinder attachment for my Kitchenaid, and my sausage stuffer will be coming soon. I'm interested in trying to make some sausages for the first time when they come in, but most of the recipes I've found call for pork fatback as the fat component of the sausage. The grocers near me aren't that great, and I haven't been able to source any locally.

I do have about a pound of leftover duck fat in the fridge though. I'm not sure what particular properties of fatback make it so popular for sausage making, but do you think frozen duck fat would be a serviceable substitute?

Thanks much,

Justin

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I've never done sausage making, but initially I wouldnt think the duck fat would work, since its basically a liquid at room temperature, where as you can grind fatback. With the fat back your not rendering the fat out, and using the liquid, your grinding the whole piece. I think it would sort of be like using the fatty skin from a raw duck, which you can grind, which actually sounds delicious. Now I'm curious. Dont listen to me Justin, someone else would have a bit more info then me. :-)

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Justin, I have zero experience making sausages, so can't answer your question as to whether you can sub duck fat for pork fat, in what proportion, etc.

But I can tell you that some duck fat in sausages can be spectacular. A local place that I love, Capone Foods in Somerville, MA makes a Chicken and Pancetta Sausage with duck fat that is fantastic. The distinctive flavor and richness of duck fat really transforms the chicken meat. The pancetta provides both flavor and some pork fat. Really, really good.


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The advantage of fatback is that it isn't just fat: it's lard embedded in a network of connective tissue that makes it solid at room temp (and quite a bit higher, in fact). There are certain sausages such as Mexican Chorizo that have a pure fat added (lard in that case) but they are a rarity. You definitely cannot simply plug in duck fat, or even lard, in place of fatback.

Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org

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The advantage of fatback is that it isn't just fat: it's lard embedded in a network of connective tissue that makes it solid at room temp (and quite a bit higher, in fact). There are certain sausages such as Mexican Chorizo that have a pure fat added (lard in that case) but they are a rarity. You definitely cannot simply plug in duck fat, or even lard, in place of fatback.

+1

Bud

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Duck chorizo just blew my mind at 3am...

I think this is something the world wants. No, needs. 90% of the way through a bottle of Australian Zin, duck chorizo--no, forget that, duck liverwurst feels as revelatory an idea as the coming of a messiah.

EDIT

There are technical reasons, mentioned earlier, why duck fat won't sub for pork fat. Sure. But if you make me sausages loaded up with duck fat and then saute them in duck fat--or even confit them--I assure you I'll still eat them. Happily.

Edited by ChrisTaylor (log)

Chris Taylor

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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

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I just took a sausage class last weekend and the chef thought chicken and duck fat was too soft, beef fat was too tough, and pork fat back has always traditionally been what people are used to. He puts pork fat in every sausage.

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Hello all,

So I just got my grinder attachment for my Kitchenaid, and my sausage stuffer will be coming soon. I'm interested in trying to make some sausages for the first time when they come in, but most of the recipes I've found call for pork fatback as the fat component of the sausage. The grocers near me aren't that great, and I haven't been able to source any locally.

I do have about a pound of leftover duck fat in the fridge though. I'm not sure what particular properties of fatback make it so popular for sausage making, but do you think frozen duck fat would be a serviceable substitute?

Thanks much,

Justin

Agree with Chris' comments about duckfat vs fatback.

That said, you can probably get the pork fat you need from your local grocery you just need to ask for it differently. I asked around for unsalted "fatback" for a month or two before it finally occurred to me to just ask them to save the fat trimmings off of some pork loins. Most meat guys at grocery stores assume you want a packaged product when you ask for "unsalted fatback" and don't think about the fact that they throw away a ton of what you want every week.

Mine sells it to me for $.25/lb. I ask them to save some and they call me a couple of days later to pick it up.

Edit: Typos

Edited by BadRabbit (log)
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Nicely timed posting. I just received my new Cuisinart stand mixer and sausage making attachment, and one of the things I was hoping to recreate was a wonderful duck/apple sausage that up until recently I was able to get from a nearby sausage vendor. The texture was certainly different than their pork sausages (maybe because of the softer fat?), but the flavour was amazing. Maybe worth trying a half batch with unrendered duck fat and another half batch with pork fat just to see the difference?

Where fat back isn't available would it be acceptable to use a particularly fatty piece of pork belly? I have used this successfully in pate recipes before.

Tyler

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Freeze the duck fat and grind it in with the meat and seasonings and immediately chill portions as you work on more. Keep it chilled until ready to stuff it.

You should test it part way through by frying a patty so you can adjust the seasonings before getting through all the meat.

I often make duck sausage using duck fat with this process.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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