Why Duck Fat Mayonnaise Is a Mayonnaise You Should Make

I love mayonnaise very much. As someone who has eaten more than the church dinners rely on, I think this is a seasoning that goes beyond the sandwich. Create your own was a real turning point in the rules of the game, but the mayonnaise with duck fat refuses to play this game.

We’ll get to quackery soon, but let’s start with a simple mayonnaise recipe for the uninitiated. Homemade mayonnaise is richer, creamier, and more flavorful than store-bought mayonnaise, and it’s also not that difficult to make. As far as emulsification goes, you really can’t go wrong with the Food Lab Immersion Blender method , which works with literally any mayonnaise recipe I’ve used. I use the following as my main mayonnaise:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 cup safflower oil

Place everything except the oil in the bowl that came with the hand blender and gently pour the oil over the top. (A red Solo cup works too. Kenji advises using a bowl slightly wider than the blender head, although I’ve made mayonnaise in wider containers and found it to work great.) Place the blender head down on the bottom. Turn it to maximum and let the blades draw the oil into the other ingredients. Once you see the mayonnaise ribbons begin to form, slowly move your head up and down, tilting it as needed to emulsify. Transfer to an airtight container (or directly into a sandwich) and refrigerate for up to two weeks.

The last time I made this mayonnaise, I had to shuffle the contents of the fridge to make room for it (well worth it). As I did this, I noticed my BFF duck fat and was amazed at having to turn it into a creamy, dreamy paste for all of my sandwich needs. I tried a direct one-to-one substitution of lard for safflower oil, and while it tasted good, it was too runny for spreading. I added some safflower oil and another yolk and it thickened a little, but I still had more sauce (perfect for Benedict or asparagus) than mayonnaise. After a bit of work, I settled on the following recipe:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup safflower oil
  • 1/4 cup duck fat, melted

Melt the duck fat in the microwave until it runs thin, and pour the safflower oil into the same measuring cup to cool it slightly. (You do not need to cook the yolks.) Add everything except the butter mixture to the bowl that came with the hand blender and gently pour the oil over the top. Lower the blender head to the bottom, turn it on to maximum, and let the blades pull the oil into the other ingredients. Once you see the mayonnaise ribbons begin to form, slowly move your head up and down, tilting it as needed to emulsify.

Both types of mayonnaise are fantastic examples of this genre, they are creamy, slightly piquant and very easy to spread. However, the duck fat mayonnaise has a smoky, slightly meaty, umami-rich flavor that makes me dream of simple tomato sandwiches and a bunch of potato salad. I wouldn’t hate it as a base for a creamy salad dressing . (Though I don’t think I’ll be using it in a cake ; simple stuff works best there.)

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