September 7, 2011

Duck Ham with wild winter herbs


  • 2 x Duck breasts
  • 50g coarse sea salt(not rock salt) per breast
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns, crushed per breast
  • 2 tbl sp  ground ivy per breast, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Chopped Douglas fir needles per breast, finely chopped.

1.        For the duck breasts, place the duck breasts flesh side down on a chopping board. Using a very sharp knife, slice off the skin leaving about 3mm/⅛in fat attached to the meat. This layer of fat is essential to protect the duck and add extra flavour.

2.        Mix together the salt, pepper, Ground ivy and Douglas fir and rub the mixture into the duck breasts.

3.        Place the duck breasts, one on top of the other, in a container (a plastic tub is ideal), ensuring there is a layer of the curing mixture on the bottom, in the middle and on top of the breasts. Cover with cling film and place in the bottom of the fridge. Leave to cure for 24 hours, turning both breasts after 12 hours.

4.       Brush the salt and herbs off the duck breasts and rinse them under running water. Pat dry with kitchen paper then wrap each one in two layers of clean muslin. Tie securely with string, making a loop as you do so, and hang the breasts in the fridge for 12–14 days. It is important that the air can circulate freely around the meat.

5.        Slice thinly and serve with Wild root remoulade, crabapple jelly and crusty bread.


Wild root Remoulade


  • 1 crisp apple
  • 20g Hedge garlic root
  • 10g Wood Avens root
  • Mayonnaise
  • Lemon Juice

Chop the apple into fine matchsticks.  Grate the roots finely. Put the roots and apple in a bowl, lightly bind them together with a little mayonnaise and season with lemon juice and salt to taste.

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