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Confit wild meat  RSS feed

 
Tim Wells
Posts: 120
Location: Essex, England, 51 deg
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Confit is like deep fat frying but with better fat ideally and at a lower temperature.

I confit on a low heat so it barely simmers

I use the best oil I can get and mix oils and fats.

Seasoning, herbs and alliums, roots can be added.

Water can be used with more seasoning instead.

It's like a water bath on min heat. Aim for 70 dec Celcius

Cooked for a few hours will turn all connective tissue to jelly and keep a lean meat moist.
 
Leila Rich
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Confit is one of my favourite cooking methods
I've only ever done it in a commercial kitchen as I don't have the fat at home.
I pretty much always used thyme and juniper berries, but you can use anything.
I've only used pork fat, duck fat and olive oil.
Things that can be dry, like wild duck, guinea fowl and hare and turkey legs make delicious confit.
Why stop at lean meats? Rillettes is a traditional French dish where pork belly is confit in pork fat, then shredded into a kind of fat/meat pate.
Sounds a bit disgusting really, but it's insanely tasty.
 
Tim Wells
Posts: 120
Location: Essex, England, 51 deg
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i confited my soay sheep lamb neck, amazing
 
Irene Kightley
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Location: South West France
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We confit a lot of food and even wings with not a lot of meat on them are a great base for an "Insanely tasty" (Love that expression Leila ) meal with beans, rice, lentils etc.



Wood pigeon are small but if they're confitted, (I'm sure that's not an English verb.) two will give enough taste when added to staples to feed 6 people. Gizzards are difficult to cook properly to make them attractive but confit, they're a delicacy which can be added to almost anything to make a luxury. In restaurants in France, a salad with gizzards added is one of the most expensive starters on a menu ! Here are wood pigeons and gizzards just out of the boiler ready to store.

 
Leila Rich
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Irene Kightley wrote:Wood pigeon...Gizzards are difficult to cook properly to make them attractive but confit, they're a delicacy which can be added to almost anything

Irene, is there a 'bag' on your wood pigeons?
Our native pigeon (kereru) is getting quite rare-
it has a reputation for being pretty, slow, friendly and drunk.
Those adjectives will often get you in trouble
I've always been fascinated by the gizzards'...muscularity...and as a kid tried to come up with ways to make it edible.
Yes, I was a bit of a savage!
With gizzards, do you halve them 'hemispherically', cut out the grinding part and confit?

 
Irene Kightley
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I don't half them, I just cut round a half if you see what I mean - probably the same thing as you ! Then remove the bag with the stones and bits in it on the right in the photo. Rinse and they're perfect for cooking.



When you say a "bag" on the wood pigeons, do you mean a maximum number that a hunter is allowed to shoot ? In the migration period (Which is short) there's no limit and outside that period it's six per day. They are fairly common here.
 
Tim Wells
Posts: 120
Location: Essex, England, 51 deg
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sometimes gizzards are plastic bagged from a shop

yes remove all plastic!!!
 
K Nelfson
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My understanding is that confit was originally a way to keep meat for longer. The fat must cover the meat to make this method work. And they kept the larder quite a bit colder back-in-the-day. I've not found much information about how long the meat would keep. Weeks, I would guess, maybe months. Sometimes the grease would start to go rancid a bit... it's "a thing," part of the tradition, I guess.

Now it's more of a cooking method and rancid is not part of the aesthetic, thankfully.

Confit duck is traditional and the best, in my opinion. You can do it in a slow cooker.

Save the duck fat for fried potatoes!
 
Leila Rich
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Irene Kightley wrote:When you say a "bag" on the wood pigeons, do you mean a maximum number that a hunter is allowed to shoot ?
Yes, exactly. I haven't a clue why I went all colloquial
Tim Wells wrote:sometimes gizzards are plastic bagged from a shop
Sorry, I forgot to explain my 'bag' terminology! But: you can buy gizzards?!
K Nelfson wrote:My understanding is that confit was originally a way to keep meat for longer. The fat must cover the meat to make this method work... I've not found much information about how long the meat would keep
I think 'back in the day' in France, animals were confit in Autumn at the peak of condition (read: fat),
submerged
in fat,
and stored through cold European winters.
I've only had confit stored in modern refridgeration but I think if the fat was fresh and the confit stored at a low temperature, it'd last for many months.
 
Michael Cox
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Submerged in fat is key - it excludes oxygen from the meat and prevents spoiling. If canned properly it should be possible to store confit meat without refrigeration.

I've not tried this myself yet, but I've heard that confit rabbit can be excellent - when I finally get out hunting again I'll try it (toddler care and full time job gets in the way a bit!).
 
Irene Kightley
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Posts: 386
Location: South West France
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Exactly Michael and K Nelfson (Duck fat chips (French fries) are the best ever !!),

The cooked meat is submerged in fat and even without sterisation (canning) should keep for up to six months in a cool place - which ties in very well with the seasons.

We sterilise the jars because you may as well cook a lot of things once you have a large cauldron of fat simmering next to a fire and I like to have a good stock of ready food - this is our equivalent of fast food.

Once sterlised, (Canned) the confit (And small jars of leftover fat for cooking) keep for several years in a cool, dark place.
 
Michael Cox
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Another good tip is that once the meat is cooked in the fat to shred the meat from the bones. If done properly it should be juicy and tender and fall apart easily. The meat will pack down nicely into jar with fewer gaps and need less fat for storage.
 
Tim Wells
Posts: 120
Location: Essex, England, 51 deg
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I decanted my confit oil into glass bottles with screw top and stored in the garage. 2 weeks later i reused it and it was fine. I poured it out a few weeks after the second use and it was smelly and rancid. I think refridgeration would be necessary to keep the fat from spoiling. Any experience with reusing the fat?
 
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