Steve Rinella's Seared Duck Breast with Apple Sage Chutney

A lot of hunters are intimidated by cooking wild duck. If you are, you should not be. Steven Rinella shares the perfect way to prepare wild duck.

Watch the video here 

Duck  Breasts

2 duck breasts, skin on with leg attached
3 Tbl cooking oil
Trim the duck breasts by removing any excess membrane from the inside and scoring the fat side in a criss-cross fashion. Season duck with salt and pepper. Place duck breasts, skin-side down, in a hot, oiled skillet and cook until skin has browned. Flip the duck breasts over and place in a 400-degree oven (we use a Weston roaster oven ). 
Duck is best at medium rare so pull the breasts from the oven once they reach 125-130 degrees. Ten minutes in the oven is a good starting point. Let the duck rest for 5 minutes before slicing on the bias.
Apple Sage Chutney
Yield 2 ¼ cups
1 ½ pounds Granny Smith apples or other tart apples, skin on, medium dice
¾ cup apple juice
⅓ cup brown sugar
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup dried cherries
¼ cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons honey, more if desired
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine the apples, apple juice, sugar, vinegar, dried cherries, raisins, honey, sage, rosemary, garlic, and lemon juice in a sauce pot and cook over medium heat until the mixture starts to bubble. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Let simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove the lid and cook another 20-25 minutes. The chutney should be fairly thick. Remove it from the pot and let cool. If too dry, add more honey and a splash of water to hydrate and glaze.

Weston partner Steve Rinella's Venison Chili

Weston partner and MeatEater host  Steve Rinella shares his tips for cooking chili using a Weston slow cooker. You can watch the video here.

Makes  8 servings

- Ingredients -
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil, divided
2¼ lbs ground venison
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 large poblanos, stemmed and diced
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons ancho chile powder, or to taste
1½ tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons minced chipotle peppers in adobo
3 (14.5-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, preferably in tomato puree
2 (15-ounce) cans small red beans, kidney beans, or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups beef stock
Serving Ingredients:

corn chips
shredded sharp cheddar or Pepper jack cheese
sour cream
diced red onions or sliced scallions

sliced jalapenos or serrano chiles

- Tools - 

Weston Slow Cooker

How To 

Heat a large Dutch oven or other wide, heavy saucepot over medium-high heat.
Add 2 tablespoons of the oil.
Sprinkle the venison generously with salt and pepper.
Working in batches, crumble the venison into large chunks into the pot and sear until browned, transferring to a large bowl as done, 6 to 8 minutes per batch, adding more oil as needed.
Reduce the heat to medium. (If working on an electric range, you may need to remove the pot from heat to let it cool down a bit.)
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, the poblanos, and onions, scraping up the browned bits at the bottom of the pot to cool it down a little faster.
Return to the heat and cook, stirring often, until soft, 8 to 10 minutes.
Stir in the garlic, chile powder, cumin, and oregano and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
Add the chipotles and tomatoes, crushing the tomatoes with your hands or mashing with a potato masher, half of the beans, the stock, and the venison with any juices that have accumulated in the bowl.
Stir to combine, then bring to a simmer.
Transfer to a slow cooker for hands-off cooking.
Cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the venison is tender, about 2 hours.
Add the remaining beans and warm through. Adjust seasonings.
Serving Methods:

Serve the chili with the corn chips, cheese, sour cream, onions or scallions, and chiles.

Slow Cooker Wild Turkey Pumpkin Mole

serves 8-10

- Ingredients - 

2 lbs wild turkey (loin, breast, thigh, leg…)
1 large Spanish onion, sliced

Mole Sauce
3 lb pie pumpkin, roasted and pureed or 1 lb canned pumpkin 
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon chipotle powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

crumbled feta or cotija cheese

- Tools -

How To 

If using fresh pumpkin,  preheat oven to
Preheat Slow Cooker to high. 

In a large skillet, lightly brown the outside of the turkey. 

Mix together mole ingredients. Place the onions at the bottom of the crock, then add the turkey. Pour the mole on top. Cover and slow cook on high for 6 hours.

Use forks to pull the turkey from the bones and discard the bones. Serve hot, sprinkled with feta or cotija. 

Shrimp & Broccoli Tempura

Tempura, a long time staple of Japanese cuisine, was actually brought to Japan by Portuguese missionaries in the 16th C.  Tempura comes from the latin word for time which referred to the lenten fasting time when one abstained from eating meat. The first tempura was a fried green bean, but over time the Japanese lightened the batter and expanded into \frying almost anything. 

Makes 2 servings

- Ingredients -


1 c sifted all purpose or tempura flour
1 large egg
1 cup ice cold water

6 c oil for frying (vegetable or peanut or combo)

12 shrimp  ~ 1/2 lb (cleaned and deveined with tail intact)   Get to know your seafood monger and try to buy wild-caught shrimp when possible

Head of broccoli, cut into florets, blanched and cooled

- Tools - 
Weston Deep Fryer

How To 

Heat oil in fryer to 350 degrees

When oil is ready, mix the batter ingredients, being careful not to over stir- some folks recommend using chopsticks to minimize air

When batter is ready, dip shrimp into batter, lightly coat. and place into fryer basket

Drop basket into hot oil for ~ 2 minutes and check for doneness

Repeat process for broccoli and cook to desired tenderness, about 2 minutes

Enjoy with dashi or soy dipping sauce

    Summer's Iconic Dish, Ratatouille

    Ratatouille is an iconic summer dish, and the New York Times' Melissa Clark includes it as one of ten dishes that every modern cook should master.  This is the perfect time of year to make ratatouille, when gardens are full of squash and eggplant and tomatoes and dinner tables demand the flexibility of eating things hot or cold. It's a dish that I have been making for so long that I can't remember the exact origin of every detail,  but I do remember Alice Waters' suggestion for a basil bouquet.

    Makes 8 servings

    - Ingredients -
    2  medium eggplants, chopped into 1/2 " cubes
    2 onions, chopped into 1/2 " cubes
    6-8 chopped garlic cloves
    2 peppers (orange, red or yellow) chopped into 1/2 " cubes
    2-3 summer squash, chopped into 1/2 " cubes
    4 ripe tomatoes, chopped into 1/2 " cubes
    olive oil
    salt to taste
    fresh basil ( tie several stalks together with kitchen string)

    - Tools - 
    Weston French Fry and Vegetable Cutter   (makes easy work of chopping)

    How To 

    Chop eggplants, sprinkle liberally with salt and let drain in colander for 15 minutes

    Heat 1 1/2 T of olive oil over medium in dutch oven 

    Rinse eggplant, pat dry and add to olive oil. Cook until golden brown and remove from pan

    Add an additional splash of olive oil and cook onions until soft

    Add peppers and squash as well as garlic and basil and cook for 10 minutes

    Add tomatoes and cook for a few minutes; add eggplant back to pan and cook until vegetables are soft 

    Remove basil bouquet before serving

    Season with salt and pepper as well as chopped fresh basil

      Roasted Salsa Verde

      When the tomatillos start to come in I always get a hankering for salsa verde, and there's nothing like picking your produce from the garden.  

      Tomatillos are in the same nightshade family as tomatoes, and their cultivation dates 
      back to pre-Columbian times in Mexico. However, they have a very different flavor profile from their tomato sibling with hints of  tangy citrus, especially when eaten raw.  Roasting them adds depth and smokiness to the salsa.

      The fruit grows inside a papery husk, and you know its time to pick them when they fill the husk and start to break through.

      After removing the husk, the fruit needs to be rinsed to remove the sticky residue

      Salsa verde is a staple in Mexican cooking and can be prepared in multiple ways, cooked and raw, and served to add a fresh flavor to meats, Mexican dishes like enchiladas, or eaten with tortilla chips.

      Makes 2 cups

      - Ingredients -

      - Tools - 

      Weston Professional Blender  (coming Summer 2017)

      How To 

      Pre-heat broiler

      Roast peppers and tomatillos under broiler until well roasted (about 5 minutes and then flip over for another 5 minutes)

      Blend peppers and tomatillos together

      Add cilantro and blend to preferred consistency ( I tend to leave mine coarse)

      Mix in chopped onion and add salt to taste

      Lime juice is an optional addition

        July 4th Brisket and Bacon Burgers

        The Fourth of July,  or Independence Day (take your pick), is the most American of holidays, commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence (from England) on July 4th, 1776 and the birth of our new nation. Celebrated with speeches and fireworks, cookouts and parades, it's a time of friends and family coming together.

        Here are a few of our favorite recipes for this year's cookout.

        Brisket and Bacon Burgers

        Smoking bacon-wrapped brisket is fairly common, but combining the two in a burger elevates the fusion to another level. It's a simple preparation that yields great results.  And when you grind your own meat, you know exactly what's going into your burger.

        Makes 8-12 burgers, depending on size preference

        - Ingredients -
        • 2 lbs beef brisket, cubed (grass fed or free range)
        • 1 lb bacon (I used cherry smoked, but any flavor will do)
        • salt & pepper to taste
        - Tools - 
        Weston #8 Meat Grinder
        Weston Single Burger Press ... and  here are some great reasons why you need a burger press

        How To 
        1. Chill your equipment and meat: Place your grinder head in the freezer for a few hours before grinding as well as the meat you plan to use.  This will make the grinding process go smoother.
        2. Using the coarse grinding plate, push brisket through hopper and then repeat with bacon
        3. Mix the bacon and brisket together and process through medium grinder plate
        4.  Adjust the knob on the burger press to your preferred thickness
        5. Divide meat into even portions, and place in burger press (clean up is a snap if you use Weston patty paper)
        6.  Press down to form burger patty and repeat 
        7. Salt and pepper just before cooking

        Bacon and brisket before combining
        Bacon and brisket after 2nd grind

          Boston Baked Beans

          Baked beans have been made for centuries and became particularly popular in the early 20th century as a canned import from the U.K.  The recipe for the Boston version always include molasses and some say their popularity is behind Boston being called "Bean-town."

          Makes 24 4 oz servings

          - Ingredients -

          •          2 pounds dried navy beans
          •          8 strips bacon
          •          1 1/2 onions, chopped
          •          6 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
          •           1 cup dark molasses
          •          ½  cup ketchup
          •          1 c light brown sugar
          •          3 tablespoons mustard powder
          •          2  tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
          •          1 teaspoon pepper
          •          1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
          •          1 teaspoon thyme, either fresh or crushed
          •          2  bay leaves
          •          1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

          - Tools - 

          How To 

          1. Rinse beans and check for stones
          2. Place in Weston Slow Cooker and cover with water, soaking them overnight or at least 6 hours
          3. Drain beans, reserving water, and return to slow cooker
          4. Cook bacon in skillet until crispy; remove from heat and crumble, retaining some bacon grease in pan
          5. Cook down onions and garlic in bacon grease until onions are translucent
          6. Add onions and garlic, bacon and remaining ingredients to slow cooker and mix to combine
          7. Add reserved water to cover mixture by ½ inch, adding additional fresh water if necessary
          8. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or until tender, checking liquid levels and stirring every so often
          9. Season with salt and pepper to taste


            Scapes are a thing

            1. 1.
              a long, leafless flower stalk coming directly from a root.

            One of my favorite Spring rituals is the appearance of scapes at the local market.  As the definition explains, scapes are flower stalks that rise from the root of a plant, and in this case, garlic.  They need to be cut early in the growing season so they don't take nutrients away from the actual garlic bulb that isn't harvested until later in the year. They are a great addition to many recipes, and taste like a cross between a green onion and garlic.  

            Scapes are great tossed in a stir fry, in some scrambled eggs, and especially good in pesto and hummus.  Here are a few of my favorite scape recipes.

            Scape Pesto

            This is a fun riff on a classic Italian pasta sauce. Scapes are substituted for the basil in the traditional recipe and the result is a brilliant green sauce that packs a lot of flavor.

            - Ingredients -

            1/4 cup pine nuts
            3/4 cup coarsely chopped garlic scapes

            Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
            1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
            1/4 - 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
            salt and pepper to taste
            - Tools - 
            Weston Professional Blender  (coming Summer 2017)

            How To 

            1. Add pine nuts and scapes to blender and pulse to mix
            2. Add lemon juice and zest and pulse
            3. Turn on blender to medium speed and with it running slowly drizzle olive oil to mix
            4. Add cheese and combine
            5. Season with salt and pepper

            Pro Tip:  If you are serving pesto with pasta, combine a few spoons of pesto with a cup of pasta water to mix in bowl before adding pasta 

            Scape Hummus

            This is a spicy variation on a classic Mediterranean dip. Scapes are substituted for the garlic in the traditional recipe.

            - Ingredients -

            3 15 oz cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
            3/4 cup tahini
            3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
            1/3 - 1/2 cup chopped garlic scapes
            1/4 cup water
            1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
            1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
            1 teaspoon sea salt

            - Tools - 
            Weston Professional Blender  (coming Summer 2017)

            How To 

            1. Pulse scapes in blender until broken up
            2. Add garbanzo beans, tahini and lemon juice and blend until smooth
            3. Add water as needed to thin
            4. Slowly drizzle olive oil into mixture
            5. Add salt and cumin and blend a final tim

            Pro Tip:  When serving hummus, drizzle olive oil over top and dust with cumin for effect

            Celebrate National Donut Day with Blueberry Donuts

            Join Weston in celebrating  National Donut Day,  a nod to a holiday that started during World War 1 with the Salvation Army providing donuts to troops.

            Makes 12 donuts

            - Ingredients -
            2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
            1/3 cup granulated sugar
            1 tablespoon baking powder
            1 teaspoon cinnamon
            1/2 teaspoon salt
            4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
            1/2 cup lowfat milk
            1 egg, lightly beaten
            1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries (or other berries)
            oil for frying (peanut or safflower work well)

            2 cups powdered sugar
            1-2 tablespoons milk
            zest of 1 lemon

            - Tools - 
            Weston Deep Fryer 
            Weston Food Strainer

            How To 

            Preheat oil in deep fryer or pot to 375 degrees

            1.Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl ( flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt)
            2. Add melted butter to dry ingredients and stir until small crumbs form
            3. In another bowl, combine wet ingredients (egg, milk and vanilla extract) 
            4. Stir wet and dry mixtures together
            5. Add in blueberries, mashing or pureeing some using Weston Food Strainer
            6. Form dough into a ball, and  then roll it out on a floured surface or press by hand  to about 1/2 inch thickness
            7. Cut donuts using a donut cutter, a glass, or even a knife
            8.  Fry donuts a few at a time, depending on the size of your fryer for about 1 1/2-2 minutes per side. (check doneness of your first donut to make sure time is accurate)
            9. Whisk glaze ingredients together until it forms the right consistency.  Add more sugar for thicker glaze or more water for a thinner glaze
            10.  Dip donuts in glaze or pour over donuts

              Venison Merguez, Sweet Potato & Spinach Bowls

              Sweet potatoes and spinach make good partners for this sausage, but you can also choose to enjoy it on its own or with your morning eggs. Merguez is a Moroccan lamb sausage stuffed into sheep casings. Our version is venison, and we used more readily available hog casings. 

              serves 4

              - Ingredients - 
              1 lb venison, cubed
              1/4 lb pork fat, cubed and frozen
              fresh hog casings, soaked and rinsed

              Sausage Seasoning
              1/4 cup harissa
              1 tablespoon smoked paprika
              1 teaspoon coriander seeds
              1 teaspoon cumin seeds
              1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
              1/2 teaspoon hot chili powder
              1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

              For serving
              4 sweet potatoes, cubed and roasted
              2 cups fresh spinach

              - Tools - 
              Weston Meat Grinder (keep the head and plates in the freezer until ready to use)
              Weston Sausage Stuffer (or use your Meat Grinder, as we did)

              How To 

              Remove the fat from the freezer. 

              Toast the coriander, cumin and fennel seeds. Combine and set half of the mixture aside. 

              Run the nearly frozen fat through the coarse die of your Meat Grinder. Keep the fat chilled in the fridge. 

              Run the venison through the coarse die, then switch the plate to a finer grind. Run the venison through a second time, this time with half of the toasted seeds and the remaining sausage seasonings.

              Mix the venison grind with the reserved toasted seeds. Cover and refrigerate overnight to marinate. 

              Use a Sausage Stuffer to stuff the ground venison into the casings.

              All of our Meat Grinders can be converted into Sausage Stuffers with their included accessories

              Grill or sauté until lightly browned and cooked through.

              Serve sliced, over a bed of sweet potatoes and spinach.