Beetroot in aged duck fat/whey/mustard leaf

Beetroot in aged duck fat/whey/mustard leaf

By
From
Igni
Serves
4
Photographer
Julian Kingma

At IGNI we try not to put anything in the bin if we can help it and this includes anything that comes off the ducks we get in the restaurant, which are a staple on the menu. Because of the way they are raised (which is amazingly) the ducks are quite fatty, so we trim this fat off and keep rendering it down until we are left with a beautiful aged fat for cooking with. Here we confit the beetroot slowly in the duck fat with a little sherry vinegar until they shrivel and develop a nice, jelly-like texture, then we put them over the grill to bring them up to temperature and lend them a little extra smokey flavour, which complements their sweet earthiness. The mustard leaf adds a little pepperiness to the dish without the need for seasoning and was the result of an experiment to see how much heat green leaves could withstand on the grill – I was amazed by how much they could take before they burnt.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 beetroot (beets)
aged fuck fat, for frying
splash aged sherry vinegar
bunch mustard leaves
clarified butter, for brushing

whey sauce

Quantity Ingredient
1 litre acidic goat's whey
4 thyme sprigs
35g comté, roughly chopped

Method

  1. Peel the beetroot and use a ring cutter to cut into 5 cm rounds. In a heavy-based saucepan, add enough duck fat to cover the base of the pan by 5 cm and slowly heat until small bubbles start to appear. Slowly cook the beetroot in the aged duck fat, adding a splash of sherry vinegar, until they start to shrivel and become a jellied texture – this should take about 45 minutes. Set aside to cool.

    Wash and clean the dirt from the mustard leaves. Cut out circles from the leaves using a ring cutter two sizes bigger than that used to cut the beetroot. Set aside.

    For the whey sauce, add the whey and thyme to a heavy-based saucepan set over a low heat and slowly reduce to 500 ml . Remove half of the thyme. Blitz the mixture in a blender, adding the comté piece by piece, until smooth, then pass through a fine strainer.

    To finish, warm the beetroot gently over a medium fire, being careful not to burn or crisp the undersides. Brush the mustard leaves with clarified butter and grill over a medium fire until the leaves begin to crisp. Plate as you wish.
Tags:
igni
aaron turner
loam
melbourne
australian cooking
woodfire grill
geelong
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