These are one of my favorite snacks; we sell a ton of them at the Beatrice Inn. They’re really simple and really delicious. I have always loved duck eggs—I think that the yolk is tremendously rich. And once you pair them with dry-aged sausage, it’s really kind of perfect.
My trick to peeling the soft-boiled duck eggs is to immediately plunge them into an ice bath after they’re finished cooking. Then, once they’re cool, if you peel them while they’re submerged under water, the shell comes right off.
We use a dry-aged lamb sausage for this dish, but made with pork fat instead of lamb fat; pork fat is more neutral-tasting and is going to bind better than lamb fat would. When you’re covering the duck eggs in the sausage, you want to make the sausage patty thin enough to fold over the egg; you need to work a little quickly, because the meat is going to be sticky. It has this beautiful silky tackiness to it, like Play Dough, which makes it easy to work with.
- 12 duck eggs, at room temperature
- 3 T kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 2 lbs lamb shoulder, cut into 1–2” cubes, chilled
- 1 lb pork fat, cut into 1–2” cubes, chilled
- 1 T fennel pollen
- 1/2 t cracked black pepper
- 3 T whole milk
- 2 large eggs, whisked
- 1 C bread crumbs
- + neutral oil, for frying
- + caviar, for garnish
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Season with a large pinch of salt. Lower the eggs into the water, reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer, and cook for 7 minutes. Remove the eggs and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Once cool, peel the eggs and hold in cold water until ready to use. (These will keep in the fridge, covered, for up to 3 days.)
In a large bowl, toss the lamb, pork fat, salt, fennel pollen and black pepper together until combined. Fit a meat grinder with a medium die, and run the mixture through the grinder twice. Add the milk and mix with your hands until smooth and a bit pasty. Divide the sausage into 12 balls, press each into a patty, and refrigerate until ready to use.
Flatten each sausage patty enough to wrap around one egg, and pat smooth to seal the seams. Dip each wrapped duck egg in the beaten eggs, then roll in bread crumbs. Transfer the breaded eggs to a wire rack and let set in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Heat a deep fryer or a large pot of oil to 375°F. Deep-fry each egg until golden brown and the sausage is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the eggs to paper towels to drain and cool for 3 minutes. Slice each egg in half, top with caviar, and enjoy immediately.