Beet & Duck Speck Salad

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Beet & Duck Speck Salad

Courtesy of Chef Jake Schmidt, The Swag  

(Note: this recipe requires multiple days to make due to curing the duck speck. You can substitute prosciutto for the duck speck)

Check out more beet recipes here.


Beet vinaigrette:

1 cup red beets, roasted & peeled 
1 cup red wine vinegar
Salt, to taste 
3 cups canola oil
Sriracha, to taste 

Duck Speck:

3/4 cup kosher or pickling salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. garlic
1 Tbsp. ground fennel seed
1 Tbsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. ground clove
1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
2 fresh duck breasts, skin on

Final Presentation:

4 balls of burrata cheese
4 peaches, washed & sliced into eights
12 roasted beets, diced 
Beet vinaigrette
Duck speck, thinly sliced (may substitute 8 oz. of prosciutto for duck speck) 


Beet vinaigrette:

Place beets, vinegar, and a pinch of salt in a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. Slowly drizzle in canola oil and adjust consistency with water. Season with salt and Sriracha. Store remaining vinaigrette in an airtight container for up to a week.

Duck Speck:

Mix salt, sugar, garlic, and all spices together in a large bowl. Coat the duck breasts in the mixture. Massage spices into the meat and make sure every bit is covered. Pour any extra cure into a nonreactive, stainless-steel or ceramic container large enough to hold the breasts. Place the breasts on top and cover.

Cure in the fridge for one to three days. The longer you cure, the saltier the speck will be and the longer it will keep, but the thinner you will need to shave it when serving.

When curing is done, rinse off the spice mix and dry the breasts thoroughly on a rack, skin-side down, for one to two hours.

Now it’s time to hang them. You will need a humid place (60- to 85-percent humidity) that is between 40°F and 60°F to hang your speck. Wrap the breasts individually with cheesecloth and butcher tie them. Weigh the duck breasts in grams (much more accurate) and note the weight on a tag for each breast. Weigh them periodically as you want them to lose 30 percent of their weight before you cold smoke them. 

After they have dropped the 30 percent, unwrap them and cold smoke them at 40°F degrees for about an hour. Allow to cool and then either wrap the cured breasts in plastic or in a resealable bag. They will keep for up to three months in the refrigerator. The duck must be thinly sliced against the grain or it will be very salty and chewy.

Final Presentation:

Pull the burrata apart at the seam and spread across the plate. Lay peaches and beets on top, and spoon vinaigrette over the top. Place the speck atop and garnish with any kind of greens or raw beet slices.