Savoury Ducks

  • I have been looking at old North of England recipes and came across Savoury Ducks , which are also known as Faggots.
  • I think they are similar to  Polish liver pulpety .
  • They are made from pig’s liver, oats and sage and served hot with gravy.
  • Originally they would have been wrapped in caul – a thin lacy looking membrane of animal fat – and then cooked. Nowadays this is hard to find.
  • The origin of the names is obscure.
  • Use of the words savoury ducks was recorded 1840.
  • Some think it is a reference to the conical shape, which is like a duck’s egg.
  • The word faggots originally mean a bundle of sticks tied with string.
  • In 1851 the word faggots was noted as a type of meatball.

Ingredients

  • 500g pig’s liver
  • 150g of belly pork
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 or 3 sprigs of thyme
  • Lots of fresh sage leaves
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • Salt and pepper
  • 100g oatmeal or rolled oats blitzed
  • Salt & pepper
  • Plain flour for shaping –  or
  • 50g butter or lard – if using tray method

    Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4– 180°C.
  • Slice the liver, onions and pork thinly.
  • Put in an oven proof dish, which has a lid, with the thyme, sage, salt and pepper and cover with water.
  • Cook for 1 – 1 ½ hours.
  • Strain off the liquid and save for the gravy.
  • Add more fresh sage leaves to the cooked ingredients.
  • Mince (or use a mini-chopper)the cooked liver, meat, onions and extra sage finely.
  • Add the beaten egg and oatmeal to make into a fairly firm mixture.
  • Leave for around 20 minutes.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM6 – 200°C.
  • With floured hands form the mixture into small balls.
  • Place in a baking tin with some of the strained liquid at the bottom.
  • Bake for 45 minutes until nicely browned.
  • Serve with thickened gravy made with more fresh sage.

Variation

  • An easier option is to press the mixture into a well greased baking dish.
  • Mark out into squares.
  • Dot the top with the butter or lard.
  • Again bake for 45 minutes and serve with thickened gravy made with more fresh sage.