Roman Duck Sliders (Faux Peacock)

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Now that Gulf Wars is over and all the laundry has been done, I have a moment for more postings!  This next recipe was done for Kingdom A&S (one of three) for a Peacock recipe using duck for an alternative meat.  This recipe is my favorite.  I’ve made the patties with beef but duck beat out the beef hands down.  So if you have the time, use duck!

Roman Duck Sliders (Faux Peacock)

“Grind chopped meat with the center of fine white bread that has been soaked in wine.  Grind together pepper, garum and pitted myrtle berries if desired.  Form small patties, putting in pine nuts and pepper.  Wrap in omentum and cook slowly in caroenum.”  (Giacosa, pp. 90)

The ground meat patties of peacock have first place, if they are fried so that they remain tender… (Apicius, 54/Giacosa, pp. 90).

On a side note, the peacock was so expensive (roughly 50 denarii a bird) that some peacocks were stripped of their skin then cooked (roasted) in aromatic resinous substances until the meat was effectively mummified. Afterwards it was redressed and reserved at another banquet later that week or month without fear of rotting. (Toussaint-Samat, pp. 38)

This recipe, for ground patties, was probably used for peahens past their reproductive cycle, and at 50 denarii per bird, this would still be a very expensive and luxuriant dish to serve to nobility and emperors.


1 peacock        1 cup ground bread crumbs        1 tsp ground pepper        ½ red wine (pinot)

1 tsb fish sauce        ½ cup pine nuts          ½ lb bacon strips


First cut as much meat off the thawed duck as possible with a bit of skin.

This is the start of the meat cutting.  Even though a young duck doesn’t look like it has a lot of meat there should be enough after everything blended you should have roughly 8 patties, so don’t worry unless you are making dinner for 20.  Then you have your work cut out for you!

Place all the meat with some of the skin into a Cuisinart and hit grind.

I know…not very appetizing but the dish does get better!

Gather all your spices into one spot.

First add a little of the wine to the bread crumbs with out making a soup.  2-3 TBS should do it.  Next mix in the pepper.

Then mix the spices into the ground duck meat.

Here we have a Roman meatloaf, but we aren’t done yet!

Form patties from the duck mixture, roughly the size of your palm.  If you have really large hands, you will want to trim the patties down a little.  If your hands are a bit small you will want to add to the patties so they are a bit larger.

Here I managed to get 8 patties roughly 3 inches in diameter.

Take the patties and wrap them in a slice of bacon.

Step one…place pattie on top of the bacon.

Next cover with the bacon.  You shouldn’t need a tooth pick.  The bacon grips pretty well to it’s self.

Finally for the cooking portion, place the bacon wrapped pattie in a pan with red wine.

Here you can’t see the wine, as the patties are on top.  The wine should come almost all the way to the top of the patties not just cup the bottom of the patties as seen here.  So when in doubt…add more wine!  This is a Roman dish after all.

Then put the pan in the oven at 350 for roughly 25-30 minutes.

As seen the bacon held to the pattie and the pattie is thoroughly cooked.

Here is a single pattie.

Oh my!  This is soo tasty.  The duck is a wonderful rich meat with the wine and pine nuts.  The bacon a great salty meaty counter point to the sweet wine the meats are cooked in.  This is a definite must for the Roman cook to try at least once!