Duck hearts, celeriac, sour cherry

Duck hearts, celeriac, sour cherry

By
From
Finding Fire
Serves
4

Duck hearts have to be one of the most undervalued and yet most tender parts of the bird. They are very approachable in terms of offal. With the Asian influences found in Australia, I wanted to create a play on peking duck, which is served in almost every restaurant in Chinatown. Instead of the entire duck, we go straight to the heart, grilling them on skewers with sour cherry sauce and spring onions. The whole lot is enveloped in grilled slices of charred celeriac to replace the traditional pancake (an idea inspired by acclaimed Danish chef Christian Puglisi, who uses the root to make a taco).

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
24 duck hearts, peeled, trimmed and cleaned (see Note)
1 litre Salt brine, 5%, chilled
1 celeriac, sliced 2 mm (1/2 in) thick (approximately 16 slices)
40g duck fat
12 spring onions (scallions)
fleur de sel or sea salt

For the sour cherry sauce

Quantity Ingredient
450g cherries, pitted, reserving the stones
3 tablespoons aged red-wine vinegar
3 tablespoons coconut sugar
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

Method

  1. 1. Prepare your embers.
  2. 2. Prepare the duck hearts. With a sharp knife, remove the top of the heart, clearing away any fat, sinew and arterial material. Place the duck hearts in the chilled brine solution and leave for 1 hour. Remove from the brine, rinse and dry carefully with a clean cloth.
  3. 3. Prepare the sour cherry sauce. Place the cherry stones between two pieces of paper towel and smash with a heavy-based pan or hammer. Reserve.
  4. 4. Combine the cherries, vinegar, coconut sugar, ginger, salt, cinnamon and lemon zest in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes until the fruit is completely soft. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Blend to a smooth purée, pass through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean pan, and bring to the boil. Add the broken cherry stones and cook over a low heat, stirring regularly, for an additional 1 hour or until thickened. Strain into a clean container and allow to cool.
  5. 5. Place the grill cooling rack directly on the embers. Grill the celeriac slices for approximately 2 minutes on each side until slightly charred and toasted. Brush lightly with some of the duck fat and keep warm.
  6. 6. On the same rack, grill the spring onions for 2 minutes until golden brown and lightly charred. Remove, season with salt and keep warm.
  7. 7. Meanwhile, thread the duck hearts on to the skewers (3 per stick) and grill for 2–3 minutes, brushing lightly with the remaining duck fat. Remove from the heat and season with salt.
  8. 8. Serve immediately with the charred celeriac pancakes, sour cherry sauce and grilled spring onions.

NOTE

  • Like all offal, it is important to use fresh hearts sourced from a trusted supplier.
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