Pine Needle Duck Egg and Bacon Sandwich

pine needle duck egg sandwich

The best start to your day

There is no better start to your day than a bloody good bacon and egg sandwich and today I can happily declare I have made the best one I’ve ever tasted.  Each year I insist on getting the biggest Christmas tree that will fit into my living room, they’re always locally grown, cost just £20 (for an 8ft tree) and hold their needles really well despite being attacked by cats/me after a few too many sherries.

Once I’ve finally accepted that the Xmas decs need to come down (usually around February) the tree normally moves from my cottage into the chicken pen for the girls to explore. This year however it’s been bloody freezing so I’ve been snapping bits off to throw on the fire. This has made the house smell amazing and whilst tucking into breakfast one morning the flavours and smells all came together and the idea for this was born.

In the past I’ve infused eggs with the flavour of truffles simply by popping the eggs in a sealed Kilner jar with a few bits of truffle (Mr Truffle sells bits of truffle as well as whole ones which are perfect for this). Before the branches are burnt the pine needles are shaken into a big tupperware box. Due to the selectively permeable shell of the egg it absorbs the surrounding aromas (hence why you should never keep eggs in the fridge) so I decided to pop a few duck eggs into a container with some pine needles and leave for a few days.

The gentle pine flavour in the rich duck yolk just rocks my world. If left infusing for too long the pine would be overpowering so just around 3 days has been perfect .  I’m leaving some more eggs in for an extra day to make a pine duck egg ravioli next, if it’s anything as good as this sandwich then I’m in for a real treat.

pine needle sandwich

 

Ingredients:

  • pine needles
  • duck egg
  • your favourite bacon
  • your favourite ketchup
  • mayo
  • rocket leaves
  • white bread

Method:

  1. Pop your duck egg into a tupperware box that contains a handful of pine needles, seal and leave for a few days.
  2. Fry your bacon in a pan until crispy, move to the side then fry your duck egg in the rendered fat.
  3. Mayo and ketchup your bread, add a layer of fresh rocket leaves then add the crispy bacon and top with your duck egg, season then pop your bread lid on and tuck in.
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Kick Ass Salad

Last November I headed off to The BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham where I was able to sample Womersley Food‘s infused vinegars.  I was photographing the show for Great Food Magazine so promised the lovely guys on the stand that I would be back to buy a bottle of their Golden Raspberry and Apache Chilli Vinegar once I was done.  Alas I got waylaid  *ahem*  at the Compass Box Whisky stand and ran out of time (lost all sense of direction).  Head honcho at Womersley is Rupert, he’s one of those lovely people on Twitter who always takes the time to chat to you and reply to your messages and well worth a follow if you use it.  Anyway, lovely Rupert very kindly sent me a bottle of the Golden Raspberry and Apache Chilli along with his Lime, Black Pepper and Lavender vinegars to play with.

Last night turned out to be a bit of a late one involving rather large amounts of wine and beer. Such indulgence combined with an early morning walk to the train station to pop an equally hungover mother-in-law on the train home had left me feeling somewhat fragile.  Normally at this point I reach for an emergency bacon sandwich but the sun was shining and I had my Womersley Vinegars to play with…perfect!

Creamy, salty feta and smoky bacon are fantastic together but throw some fresh zingy herbs into the mix, a nice hum from the red onion and the amazing sweetness and kick of the vinegar and it turns this from something nice to something really, really good.  My fella is not a fan of salads at all and has proclaimed it “seriously tasty”, from him thats pretty high praise indeed!  If you needed any more reasons to give it a go then I should mention that cheese, bacon and chilli are a sure fire hangover cure too…

Kick Ass Salad:

  • 250g feta cheese
  • 1/4 red onion
  • handful smoked bacon lardons/panchetta
  • mint leaves
  • coriander leaves
  • 2 tablespoons Golden Raspberry and Apache Chilli vinegar
  • sea salt flakes
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • few pomegranate seeds

Method:

  1. Fry off the lardons until crispy and drain on kitchen towel.
  2. Roughly chop the herbs, microplane the onion and combine with the vinegar and seasoning in a bowl.
  3. Break the feta into chunks, add to the bowl and mix gently.  Leave to infuse for 20 minutes if you can bear it then add the crispy bacon, sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and dive in!

This salad kicks serious ass!