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Buffalo Confit

Confit means “cooked in fat”. I brine the meat first (do this with duck too), before adding the fat. The results of this recipe will give you tender, rich meat, but is balanced nicely with the bright acidity of the fresh herbs. Wonderful for a show-stopping, center of the table event, or shred and use in appetizers or tacos. It’s sooo good!

Ingredients:

  • 1 – Wild Idea Buffalo French Shank
  • 2 – heads of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 10 – fresh sprigs of thyme
  • 10 – fresh sprigs of rosemary
  • 8 – bay leaves
  • 2 – bottles + white wine
  • ½ - cup kosher salt
  • 1 – onion, chopped
  • 1 – pound buffalo fat, rendered (about two cups of fat) duck fat could be used as a substitute

Preparations:

1. Place the shank, half the garlic, thyme, rosemary & bay leaves, salt and enough wine to to immerse shank in a zip lock bag. Smush the bag to mix the ingredients and seal. Place the bag in a bowl in case of a leak, refrigerate and marinate for 36 hours.

2. To render the buffalo fat, chop up first in smaller pieces. Place in a deep pan over medium low heat and cover. Stir occasionally, but carefully as the fat will sputter.

    3. Pour about 1/4 cup of rendered fat in the bottom of a Dutch oven, over medium high heat. Add the other half of the garlic cloves and the chopped onion. Sauté for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

    4. Remove the shank from the marinade and place in the pot. Add remaining fresh herbs and pour in the marinade. Add more wine, enough to immerse the shank and bring the wine to full heat.

    5. Tip shank on its side, with bone side closest to the top. Pour the hot rendered fat over the top. Cover and place in a 250° degree preheated oven. Cook for 5 to 6 hours, or until the meat is pull apart tender.

      6. Transfer the shank to a shallow bowl and pour some of the liquid over the top and cover. *Optional: The bone of the shank will be very loose. Remove from the meat, brush with a little oil and place under the broiler to brown, about 5 minutes. This step makes for a prettier presentation, as the bone will be white otherwise.

      7. Remove the other solids from the pot and place in a bowl, pick out the herbs. Place the wine/broth back on the stove top and bring to a boil.

      8. Place the meat on a platter and return the bone to the meat. Pour about a half cup of the hot wine/broth over the top. Pass with more of the hot wine broth. Surround the shank with roasted vegetables. I used, purple potatoes, purple carrots and Brussels sprouts.

      9. Reheat the onions and the garlic in the microwave and serve alongside.

      Note: Carve the meat or pull apart while it is hot. The meat will firm up as it cools. Store leftover meat in the wine/broth and reheat in it as well.

      Cracklings:
      cracklings
      The fat pieces left after rendering, make Cracklings, a great crunchy little snack for people or pets! For people toss with a little salt and fresh herbs. Or, break into tiny pieces and sprinkle on salads.

      Photo Credit: Jill O'Brien

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