Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Duck Fat Roasted Brussels Sprouts – P.H.A.T. with an “F”

With all the rich and decadent football party food I’ve been sharing lately, I’d thought I’d take a little break, and post a nice, simple green vegetable side dish. Of course, these beautiful roasted Brussels sprouts were just a prop so I could demonstrate using leftover duck fat, but still.

If you watch any amount of celebrity chef TV, you’ve undoubtedly heard them going off on the virtues of duck fat. They mostly pontificate on its deep, palate-coating richness, which is true; but they also like to point out the health benefits. That part is a little cloudy…you know, like saturated fat when it cools down.

Duck fat does have much less saturated fat than butter, and is higher in oleic acid, the stuff that makes olive oil so popular with the healthy eating gurus, but make no mistake, this is still an animal fat, and should be used in moderation. The good news: “in moderation” totally works!

A few tablespoons and a very hot oven is all you need to turn some sleepy vegetables into something much more special. As I mention in the video, bacon grease will make a fine (and even more flavorful) substitute, but if you do cook duck, saving the leftover fat is nothing short of mandatory. I hope you give this technique a try soon. Enjoy!

Brussels sprouts (about 4-6 per person)
salt, pepper, cayenne to taste
enough melted duck fat to coat vegetables generously (about 2-3 tablespoons per pound of sprouts)
fresh squeezed lemon to finish
*Roast at 450 degrees F. until tender but still a little firm, about 15-20 minutes

View the complete recipe