Duck Pies – WASTED!

I wanted to see if it was possible to make duck pies just as one would make Pork Pie just with all the duck trim, which was mostly fat. All the other previous experiments with duck trim worked well from croquettes to pinwheels &  fennel duck meat balls? In this mix, I baked the mix first without the addition of any additional bread or egg, wanted to see the fat loss. As expected the pie had a lot of rendered fat.

As before we salted and seasoned the mix the day before, minced the mix twice, added both egg and stale bread crumbs, this ended in a better result. There was no specific ratio of meat to fat, as this was purely experimental. 

For the pastry we used rendered duck fat, surprisingly it worked very well. 

After baking the mixture cooled down and we added aspic to fill the gaps, this elevates the pie, gives it a whole new taste experience. I did losse it when a guest asked for it to get heated…..

My only regret was not taking a picture of what it looked like on the inside. 

We used this as part of wasted snacks on the menu.

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Salmon Belly Nduja – WASTED!

Salmon Belly Nduja 

Made slightly different to the meaty Nduja version that is stuffed in a sausage casing and smoked. In the salmon belly version, we cure for three days with the belly and trim, seasoned it with garlic and home fermented chili with smoked paprika. All of this is minced twice before shaping with caul into a sausage. We gently cooked this and then smoked it.

In this first experiment it was not as soft as I would have liked, but it was still a fantastic flavour. 

I softened a little with olive oil and served with melba and dried fish skins. 

We also used it in our sole paupiette, which was an absolute winning combination. 

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Chicken Nuggets – WASTED!

Daily we clean chicken supremes, we trim/clean the humerus bone, this leaves us with a fair amount of fat, gristle and some meat. Up to now I have made chicken meatballs, sausage rolls, terrines, stews, burgers and stocks from the off cuts. This time we tried a snack that everyone likes – chicken nuggets for grown ups. In the crust we used stale sourdough, crisp chicken fat and dried carrot skin/peels. 

The Farce was minced with the addition of cumin, white and black pepper, garlic chili, bicarb, corn flour and mixed together before poaching and crumbing.

For the dipping sauce we made a chicken schmalz garlic type mayo. 

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Finding Burger Heaven (Part 19), Congratulations & Well Done!

Having lived in Ireland for just over a year I have tried several local burger eateries, and some big surprises. It is almost on every menu. It is after all a celebrated meal, a worldwide phenomenon. Gen whatever enjoys tucking into a meal whether happy or not, brioche bun, potato bun, sesame and everything bun. These are important as they hold all the combinations together no matter how weird or how wonderful.  

I do not take issue with any combinations as they are personal. 

But I do take issue with trying to find the perfect burger where everything is killed…..dead before loaded with your perfect combination. And before this gets lost, I must ask the question. Is it possible to taste the patty in its perfect form if well cooked?

or is the flavour profile different from medium or medium rare, or dare I ask Rare? 

What goes for steak must surely go for beef patty. 

Or does this open a whole new creative side where the taste is easier to manipulate as it is easier to hide behind  additional garnish needed to elevate the taste of welldone. 

I have always believed before tackling the ratio of fat to beef,  the perfect burger starts with its terroir, feed and breed. Take away the cooking technique and basting. 

All overcooked burgers rely heavily on the excess makeup and garnish for perfection. I just do not think the real flavour can be tested…tasted if over cooked. 

But then again, it takes a special skill to make a burger with the correct fat to meat ratio for a welldone beast cooked above 75…..

It is all about food safety, it is a well known fact that a burger is the cause of more food poisoning than any other food. In some extreme cases people have died, because of poor protocols where guests were infected with Shiga toxin-producing E.coli bacteria (or STEC for short). STEC is a particularly harmful type of E.coli that can cause kidney failure, particularly in children under five and the elderly. In 2016 a number of cases was reported from a single source that initiated a well done rule.

When beef is minced to make burgers, any harmful surface bacteria from the raw meat will be spread throughout the burger. So unless the burger is cooked right through, these bacteria can remain alive on the inside and could cause food poisoning.

On the other hand a steak that is seared over a high heat will kill harmful bacteria on the outside, making the beef safe to eat.

Essentially the rule states that to cook a burger properly, ensure juices run clear, the burger is piping hot all the way through and there’s no pink meat. Above 75 degrees Celsius. 

Admitting there is a gratifying part eating a well done burger, only because it is hot and not Steak Tartare.

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Duck Sausage Pinwheels – WASTED!

Duck Skin & Trim from cleaning duck breast, this is a very fatty mixture. We have experimented with many seasonings, my favourite being mint stalks, fennel, chili and allspice. In this mix we have not added any bread or egg. Salting the trimmings a day before aids in binding, emulsifying the fat and proteins.

We kept the mix ice cold and put it through the mincer twice. 

We then rolled out used puff pastry thin and spread the mixture on top before rolling it into thick logs that we cut to form pinwheels. These are then baked.

Note – We preferred the pinwheels to the sausage rolls. 

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Pork Pies

Pork Pie

Recently I have been working on a lot of wasted recipes and the use of trimmings. My thought centred around using a the duck trimmings. If I could make pie using the duck trimmings it could be very special. So a must try recipe in the next couple of weeks will be a duck pie, like a little pate en croute with duck. In this recipe I used pork, these little pies are eaten cold. I did this recipe for crush-online a number of years ago as part of a pie shoot.


  • Pastry
  • 750 g Plain Flour
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 1 C 250 ml Boiling Water
  • 220 g Butter or pork lard
  • 1 tsp +/- salt
  • Pork Filling
  • 1.1 kg Pork Mince
  • 200 g Smoked Streaky Bacon Minced
  • Tbsp Fresh Sage, chopped 7.5 ml
  • 1 tsp Parsley 5 ml, chopped
  • ½ tsp Sage Dried 2.5 ml
  • 2 tsp Fresh thyme 10 ml
  • 1 tsp Fresh Ground Nutmeg 5 ml
  • 1 tsp Ground Cloves 5 ml
  • 1-2 Tbsp Ice Cold Water 15-30 ml
  • Salt and Black pepper
  • butter for muffin pan
  • 1-2 Eggs for Egg Wash
  • Aspic
  • 3 Leaves Gelatine
  • 200 ml Chicken Stock or Pork Stock – clear
  • 20 ml Sherry


  • Pastry
  • Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl.
  • Heat the water, add the butter and heat slowly to bring to the boil. Remove from the heat.
  • Slowly mix the water into flour, mixing gently until combined. Add the egg and knead till well combined.
  • Add a little more water if needed.
  • Wrap in clingfilm and keep in a warm place to rest until needed.
  • Pork Filling
  • Combine all of the ingredients together and season. Ensure that the mixture is kept cold throughout the mixing process. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • To Assemble
  • Preheat the oven 180 °C.
  • Split the dough into ¾ and ¼ .
  • Split the bigger piece of dough into 12 equal sizes. To ensure that you do this evenly,weigh the piece of dough first, divide the full weight by 12 and then roll individual balls to the measured weight.
  • Roll the pastry out to about 2mm, with a diameter of about 12-14cm, depending on the depth
  • Split the smaller piece of dough into 12 pieces, use the same method as above to ensure equal pieces..
  • Roll out pastry lids to cover your pies – lids should be about a 7-8cm diameter; cut out a 1 cm hole in the centre.
  • Grease or butter a muffin tray. Use the alrger pieces of pastry to line the muffin cups, allowing edges to hang over.
  • Spoon the filling into the pastry. Top with the smaller pastry disk lid.
  • Pinch the edges to seal.
  • Brush with the beaten egg.
  • Bake in the oven for around 40 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
  • Aspic
  • While the pies are baking, get the aspic ready. Soften the gelatine in cold water.
  • Heat the clear stock and add the sherry. Increase the heat to bring the pan to the boil to cook out the sherry and adjust the seasoning. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before adding the softened gelatine.
  • Once the pies have been removed from the oven, allow to cool. Pour a little aspic into each pie..
  • Leave in the fridge overnight and serve the next day with pickled onions and a kale and spinach salad.

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Spice Roasted Cauliflower, #From the Pass

We wanted a vegan main course, cauliflower allows a beautiful marriage in flavours. 

Cauliflower is seasoned and marinated in light lemon based curry marinade with coriander and curry leaf.

In this feature we have a cashew chickpea sauce. I also use all the trim and discarded bits in the beautification of the dish. With the addition of cauliflower salad and Cauliflower pickle 

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Carrot Lox, #Fom the Pass

When I was working and the Mount Nelson, we were working on a lot of plant based vegan concepts, with so many of the ideas Kirstin was instrumental in this idea. With so many ideas she was the driving force in meticulous recording and doing trail after trial. She made it easy, she was the driving force in the discoveries and excecution.

We were working on ideas for afternoon tea, Kirstin worked on an idea to making a smoked carrot to replace smoked salmon on the tea sandwiches. This was genius, by no way a new idea. She just made it perfect. With a combination of salt baking and smoking, then finally finishing off with some olive oil.

I decided to use the same concept and create a new dish for our vegan guests. With a almond curd, toasted almond, pickled shallots. 

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