Causa with smoked duck breast

Causa is cold mashed potato. Mmm… appealing! That must be why there are hardly any recipes on the internet for causa. Well, I’m here to add to that paltry tally.

The whole point about causa, and why I like it, is that it should be cold mashed potato with stuff. In this case I happen to have some amazing stuff: smoked duck breast from the Black Mountain Smokery, picked up on our annual wander around the Ludlow Food Festival (perks of living in Ludlow!). Fresh cobnuts are in season too, and the milky, nutty scrunch goes really well with the chewy, smoky duck. What are cobnuts? Cobnuts are essentially hazelnuts before they have been dried, straight from the tree.

Smoked duck breast & cobnut vinaigrette with causa (supper for 2, starter for 4)

1 smoked duck breast, sliced
4 medium-size potatoes, good waxy ones
1 dried chipotle chilli
1/2 lime
salt & black pepper
2 tbsp extra virgin rapeseed oil
1 tbsp cider vinegar
Handful shelled fresh cobnuts
Handful flat-leaf parsley
salt & pepper
  1. Wash your potatoes and boil them in salted water with the skin on until they are cooked right through. Rinse with cold water and leave to cool. You’ll find they peel easily, and cooking them in the skin keeps more potato-y taste in ’em.
  2. Chop the chipotle and put it in a mortar with one tbsp hot water. After 10 minutes you should be able to pound this into a red liquid paste.
  3. Roughly chop your cobnuts, then finely chop your parsley. Mix the rapeseed oil and vinegar in a bowl until they emulsify together and then add the nuts, parsley, salt and pepper.
  4. Mash the potatoes, then add a tbsp rapeseed oil, the chilli paste, juice of half a lime and a pinch of salt. Mix well.
  5. If this is a starter, put a blob of mash on the plate and arrange a few slices of duck before spooning some cobnut vinaigrette on top. Watercress would be a nice garnish. I made a supper out of it instead, with more causa and a sliced avocado dressed with lime juice scattered on top. Either way, very slowly roasted tomatoes make a great accompaniment. Enjoy!

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