Roasting a Smoked Duck

These Belle Vie ducks are fully cooked, and just need a quick, hot roast in the oven to crisp the skin and heat them all the way through. A convection oven works best, but a still oven will work well, too. Allow 30 minutes before roasting to temper the duck a little bit, and about 20 minutes for roasting.

1 smoked duck

3 TBSP fat, such as lard, duck fat, bacon drippings, butter or chicken fat, melted

Remove the duck from the refrigerator and leave on the counter for 30 minutes at room temperature. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Place the duck on a wire rack set in a roasting pan or rimmed baking tray. Brush the duck all over with the fat.

Once the oven is hot, place the duck on the top rack and roast for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the duck from the oven, making sure you don’t spill any hot fat on your hands. Set the duck on a counter and brush again with the melted fat. Return the duck to the oven and roast for another 10 minutes. Remove the duck from the oven and allow to rest for a couple of minutes before carving.

Reheating Tamales

by steaming

Tamales can be steamed from frozen very nicely, so allow a little more time if they’re not thawed. Place a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water. Put the tamales, open-end up, in the basket and steam for about 5 minutes if thawed, or about 8-10 minutes if frozen. Check them to make sure they’re hot, and enjoy.

a la plancha

To sear tamales (great with eggs and salsa for breakfast), heat a cast iron pan or griddle over medium-high heat until hot. Unwrap the tamales from their husks. Add a very thin layer of oil or lard to the pan and sear the tamales on both sides until crisped and hot throughout, about 8 minutes.

Baking and Glazing a Wild Boar Ham

1 smoked wild boar ham

8 ounces of Bavarian Sweet Mustard

4 TBSP softened butter

45 minutes before baking the ham, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to temper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the butter and mustard in a small bowl and brush the ham with half of this mixture. Place the ham on a wire rack in a deep-sided roasting pan and add enough water to come up 1/2” from the bottom, but not touching the ham. Cover the ham tightly with foil or a lid and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the foil carefully and top off any water that’s evaporated. Bake for another 30 minutes. After an hour, increase the heat to 450 degrees, remove the lid, brush the ham with the remaining half of the mustard/butter mix and return the ham to the oven for 10 minutes to brown and caramelize the glaze.

Place the ham on a cutting board and slice into 1/4” thick slices with a sharp serrated knife.

Reheating a Breakfast Casserole

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once the oven is hot, place the covered casserole directly on the oven rack and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the center its warm. Carefully remove the lid and bake for another 10 minutes to brown the cheese. Remove from the oven and serve.

Baking Cinnamon Rolls *start this recipe the night before, if frozen*

Place the frozen cinnamon rolls in the refrigerator the night before serving to thaw completely. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the cinnamon rolls in a warm spot in the kitchen, or even in a warm laundry room. 80 degrees or more (room temperature) is optimal for allowing the rolls to rise. Allow to rise for about 1 1/2 -2 hours, or until the rolls have filled out the pan.

Place the rolls in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until browned and bubbling. Have ready a serving plate. Immediately after removing from the oven, carefully flip (away from you!) the rolls onto the serving plate. This ensures that the caramelized cinnamon glaze won’t stick to the bottom and will be on top of the rolls. Serve immediately.

Rolling out the Pie Dough

Thaw the dough in the refrigerator if frozen. It is important to keep pie dough as cold as possible, so a slow thaw in the refrigerator is best.

Separate the dough into two equal pieces. Roll each piece in a circular motion on a clean work surface lightly dusted with flour to form a soft, domed ball.

Next, with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out, gently pressing the dough from the center outward in a clockwise sequence until the crust is slightly larger than the pie pan you’re using.

Drape the crust over the rolling pin and transfer to the pie pan, gently pressing the dough to a uniform thickness. Chill the dough in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use, and repeat with the remaining half of the dough. Proceed according to your pie recipe.

Roasting a Brined Chicken

Substitute other vegetables for those listed depending on what's in season.

1 2 ½ lb brined roasting hen

1 medium sweet potato, cut into 1” squares

4 medium new potatoes, quartered

1 pint Brussels sprouts, stems trimmed

1 medium onion, sliced thickly

1 rib celery, cut into 1” slices

2 medium carrots, cut into 1” pieces

1 TBSP olive oil

salt and pepper

Brine the chicken for 24 hours in the refrigerator, submerging it in the completely cooled brine and weighting it with a plate, if necessary.

Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry.  Alternately, leave the chicken uncovered in a refrigerator for a few hours to dry the skin as much as possible; this will aid in crisping the skin.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Arrange all of the vegetables in a roasting pan just large enough to fit them all in one crowded layer, then drizzle with the olive oil and season with a little salt and pepper.  Mix to coat the vegetables, then place the roasting pan on the lower rack of the oven.  Place the roasting hen, breast side up, facing the back of the oven, directly on the oven rack over the pan of vegetables.  This will allow air to flow completely around the chicken and crisp all of the skin, as well as let the juices form the chicken drip onto the vegetables below.

Roast for 55 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees.

Remove the chicken from the oven by inserting a wooden spoon into its cavity, then tilting the bird back, allowing the accumulated juices within its cavity to drain into the roasting pan of vegetables.  Do this carefully.  Then, lift the chicken and place it on top of the vegetables.  Remove the pan of vegetables and allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes before carving. 

Cooking an Herb and Caraway Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Allow 45 minutes

1 Caul Fat-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a medium ovenproof pan, heat a thin film of olive oil or lard over high heat.  Place the tenderloin in the pan and sear on one side for about 5-6 minutes, or until well browned.  With tongs, give the tenderloin a quarter turn and brown the next of four sides.  Repeat on the third side, searing the meat very well.  Turn the tenderloin so that the last, unseared side is down, then place it in the oven.  Roast for about 8-12 minutes, or the tenderloin is about 145 degrees at its thickest part.  Remove the pan from the oven and set the tenderloin aside.   At this point, use the pan to cook cabbage, spaetzle or potatoes.  Let the tenderloin rest for about 5-10 minutes, then slice in 1/4" slices against the grain.  Serve immediately.

Roasting a Brined Turkey

Allow 4 hours

1 Brined Turkey, 16-20 lbs.

4 ounces schmaltz or lard, softened

Black pepper, optional

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.  Pat the turkey dry with paper towels, or place in front of a fan for a few minutes to dry the skin out thoroughly (this will help crisp the skin).  Place the turkey on a roasting rack in a roasting pan and rub all over with the softened schmaltz or lard.  Grind black pepper over the bird at this point if desired.  Place in the oven and roast hot for 30 minutes.  Turn the oven down to 350 degrees and continue to cook the bird for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until a probe thermometer reads 161-165 degrees at the thickest part of the breast and leg.  Allow to rest for 20-30 minutes before carving, loosely tented with foil.

Pot Roasting a Midolo Roast

Use a crock pot or a heavy enameled pot (le Creuset or Staub is optimal) to pot roast this marrow-stuffed boneless veal shank.

Allow 7 hours

1 midolo roast

2 TBSP lard, tallow or olive oil

4 carrots, cut in to large pieces

1 large onion, chopped

2 cups red wine

1 bay leaf

1 quart stock or bone broth

If using a pot, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Season the roast well with salt and pepper.  In the pot (or a large, heavy pan if using the crock pot) over high heat, sear the roast in the fat or olive oil on all sides until deeply browned.  Remove the roast carefully and add the carrots, onion and bay.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened.  Add the red wine and bring to a boil.  Reduce by a half, then add the stock.  Return the roast to the pot (or, at this point, place everything in the crock pot).  Put the lid on the pot and place in the oven.  After 3 hours, turn the roast.   Continue to cook the roast until very tender, about 6 hours in total.  Remove the roast from the pot and allow to cool slightly.  Remove the butcher's twine and slice thickly; serve with the sauce and something to catch the juices, like a simple risotto, mashed potatoes, rice or egg noodles.

Roasting a Brined Rack of Pork

Allow 3 hours

1 brined rack of pork

black pepper

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.  Season the whole rack with black pepper to taste, if desired.  Wrap the long rib bones only in foil, leaving the loin unwrapped.  Place the roast in a high-sided roasting pan, fat side up, and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, turn the oven down to 300 degrees and continue to roast until a thermometer reads 145 at the thickest part of the loin, checking every 20 minutes.  Once this temperature is reached, remove the roast from the oven and carefully pour off the rendered fat, reserving it for another use (like roasting vegetables or potatoes).  Allow the roast to rest for 20 minutes before carving; remove the loin from the rib and chine bones, then slice thinly across the grain.  Remember to run a knife between the rib bones to remove the flavorful meat found here.

On the smoker, this roast can be hot-smoked at around 300 degrees to an internal temperature of 145 degrees.

Roasting a Boneless, Stuffed Loin of Pork

1 brined pork loin, stuffed

black pepper

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.  Season the roast with black pepper to taste.  Place the roast in a roasting pan, fat side up, and roast in the hot oven for 20 minutes.  Turn the heat down to 300 degrees and continue to cook the loin until the internal temperature is 145 degrees according to an internal read thermometer.  Carefully remove the roast from the oven and pour off the fat, reserving for another use.  Allow the loin to rest for 20 minutes before slicing thinly against the grain.  Serve immediately.

This cut can likewise be hot-smoked at 300 degrees to an internal temperature of 145 degrees.

Braising an Achiote-Rubbed Shoulder of Lamb

allow 6 hours

1 achiote-rubbed lamb shoulder

salt and pepper to taste

1 quart lamb stock

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Season the lamb shoulder well with salt and pepper.  Place in a large roasting pan, casserole or Dutch oven and add the stock; cover with a lid or cover tightly with foil.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat on the stove, then put in the oven and cook until tender, about 5-6 hours, adding water if necessary to keep some liquid in the pan.  Once tender, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.  This can also be braised the day before, cooled completely and reheated to great effect.  Serve with cilantro, corn tortillas, pickled onions, chopped onion and stewed beans.

Roasting a Leg of Lamb

allow 2 hours

1 marinated leg of lamb 

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.  Season the lamb very well with salt and pepper (this can be done up to 24 hours ahead of time - we recommend pre-seasoning large roasts).  Put the leg in a large roasting pan with a rack and roast for 20 minutes, or until very well browned all over.  Tent the lamb with foil and turn the oven down to 325 degrees; check the lamb after 30 minutes by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the leg close to the bone (see doneness chart below).  We like lamb legs between medium-rare to medium.  Allow to rest for at least 20 minutes, then slice thinly.

Roasting a Sirloin

1 lamb sirloin roast

salt and pepper to taste

2 TBSP lard or olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Season the lamb well with salt and pepper.  In a pan over high heat, sear the roast in lard or olive oil until well browned on all sides.  Once browned, place the pan in the oven and roast for 15 minutes before checking the internal temperature with a meat thermometer.  Once cooked to the desired doneness, remove the sirloin to a warm place and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes, then slice thinly.

  • Rare: 125°F (about 15 minutes per lb.)

  • Medium-Rare: 130°F to 135°F (about 20 minutes per lb.)

  • Medium: 135°F to 140°F (about 25 minutes per lb.)

Roasting the Easter Bunny

allow 3 hours

2 TBSP lard, schmaltz or butter

1 Easter Bunny (boned and stuffed rabbit with sweetbreads, mushrooms and bacon)

1 pint demiglace

Preheat the oven top 350 degrees.  In an ovenproof pan large enough to hold the rabbit, heat the lard or butter over high heat until melted.  Add the rabbit and brown on all sides, turning occasionally.  Once browned, add the rabbit glace and enough water to come halfway up the rabbit.  Roast for one hour in the oven, uncovered, then turn the rabbit to expose the submerged half.  Roast another hour.  Remove the rabbit from the pan and allow to rest in a warm place.  Put the pan back over high heat and reduce the sauce back to a pint.  Season the sauce with salt and pepper, if necessary.  Remove the fore and hind legs and slice the rabbit into thick one-inch slices and serve with the sauce spooned over.

Roasting a Stuffed Duck

allow 3 hours

1 Stuffed Duck

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Pat the duck very dry with towels, or place in front of a fan for a few minutes to get the skin very dry; this will help the skin crisp nicely.  Place the duck on a roasting rack in a deep roasting pan into the oven, breast side up.  Roast at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, then turn the oven down to 300 degrees and rotate the duck a quarter turn.  Cook the duck for an hour and a half, giving it a quarter turn each time and basting with rendered fat each time.  Check for doneness by testing the legs; when they move freely and wiggle, the duck is ready.  The internal temperature of the duck and stuffing will be around 180 degrees.  Carefully remove the duck from the roasting pan and allow to cool slightly before carving.

Pour the rendered duck fat through a fine strainer, carefully, and reserve for another use, such as roasting potatoes.  It will keep for months in a glass jar, refrigerated.

Slice the duck thickly and serve with mashed potatoes or roasted winter vegetables.

Leftovers are great if crisped in a pan, in a little duck fat, then topped with a duck-fat fried egg.

Cotechino with Lentils

serves 2-4

1 Cotechino sausage

3 quarts stock 

2 cups green lentils

3 medium carrots, diced

1 leek, diced

1 small onion, diced

a bay leaf

olive oil

Bring the 3 quarts stock to a simmer in a medium pot, then add the Cotechino and turn the burner off.  Let the Cotechino poach very gently for about 20 minutes, or until firm and cooked through.  Gently remove the sausage to a plate and keep warm.  In another pot, combine the lentils, carrots, leek, onion and bay leaf, then cover with the sausage poaching liquid by about  1/2 inch.  Bring to a simmer and cook until tender, about 20-30 minutes, adding a little stock as needed to keep the lentils covered.  Once tender, return the sausage to the lentil pot and rewarm briefly before slicing the sausage into thick rings.  Season the lentils, if needed, with salt and pepper and serve the sausage over the bed of lentils.  Pour a little olive oil over the sausage and lentils.


Allow 6 hours.

1 Porchetta, 3-4 lbs.

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.  Place the porchetta on a roasting rack (or atop a few big carrots or potatoes) in a roasting pan and cover with foil or a tight fitting lid.  Slow roast in the oven for 4 to 5 hours, depending on the size of the porchetta, or until tender.  Uncover the roast and cook for another hour to crisp the fat.

Carefully remove the roast and allow to rest and cool slightly.  Pour the pan juices into a tall glass measuring cup or similar vessel, and skim the clear fat that rises to the top.  Use the rendered fat to roast potatoes, winter squash, carrots, fennel, beets, parsnips, turnips or rutabagas, or to season mashed potatoes in place of butter.  The fat will keep well in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.  Slice the porchetta and dress with some of the de-fatted pan juices.

Leftover porchetta is excellent served cold or hot as a sandwich, tucked into a toasted ciabatta with a few leaves of arugula.