When we did the meat bird harvest last month, we also thinned out our duck flock a little, putting some nice big duck breasts in the freezer. I have cooked duck breasts like a grass fed steak (seared then finished at a low temp in the oven) but I was looking for something else to try.
I found a recipe for homemade duck sausage online that intrigued me. The recipe called for adding skin and fat, but I didn’t have these so I modified it a little.
I started with two pounds of duck breast meat, cut into chunks. I also cut up a small onion and bell pepper from my garden. I put it all in a covered bowl in the freezer for a half hour, along with the meat grinder attachment. The recipe said things grind more easily if everything is cold.
After the prescribed cooling period, I set up my new grinder on the stand mixer and dumped the bowl of meat and veggies on the tray on top.
It was neat how well it worked! The meat and veggies mixed up as they went through and came out the bottom.
In a minute or two I had a bowl of ground duck and veggies. The grinder comes with a stuffing attachment too, in case you want to fill casings, but my recipe was for patties so I just set the grinder pieces in soapy water at this point and worked with the meat in the bowl.
I added fresh sage and thyme from the garden, salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and a bit of ice cold water (see linked recipe for quantities).
I used my hands to mix it all up and form patties. It made 8 patties, about 3” across and 1” thick.
I wrapped them up and set them in the fridge to cook until dinner time.
Because I didn’t have the added skin and fat in my patties, I melted some butter in a large cast iron skillet for cooking them. With a nice hot skillet, they cooked through in about 5 minutes on each side. They formed a lovely brown crust too!
Immediately after removing them from the heat I set a slice of herbed Boursin cheese on top of each patty, which melted into a gooey delicious pool.
The original recipe suggests topping them with fig jam and arugula on a slider bun but since we aren’t eating sugar or carbs, we skipped these and had them with roasted brussel sprouts.
The flavor was awesome but I do think the sausage patties would benefit from a bit more fat in them. Next time I may try mixing in some pork with the duck and see how that comes out.
I never imagined I’d be so excited for a meat grinder but now that I have it, I’m thinking of all the possibilities!
Do you have a meat grinder? What’s your favorite thing to make?