Main Dish

Smoked Duck and Pork Sausage Sliders with Cherry-Onion Pinot Noir Confit

Papapietro Perry Winery

4791 Dry Creek Road
Healdsburg, CA 95448

This cherry-onion confit is one of my favorite things to make at home. It has a great shelf life when refrigerated and is excellent with many dishes, including roast beef and grilled lamb. The sausage in these sliders blends amazingly well with the cherry and sweet-and-sour notes of the confit. The dish pairs well with many red wine varietals, especially Pinot Noir.

Smoked Duck and Pork Sausage

  • 3 1/2 pounds duck meat (tendons, skin and fat removed), cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 pounds pork fat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 bunches fresh thyme, leaves coarsely minced
  • 1/4 bunch fresh rosemary, leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh sage, leaves coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • Hog casings as needed
In a large bowl, combine the duck meat, pork fat, salt, pepper, honey, thyme, rosemary and sage. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. 

Grind the meat through a medium plate (1/4 inch) of a meat grinder and place in a bowl over ice. Mix the ground meat by hand and gradually add the stock to keep the mixture moist. Mix again until it is sticky to the touch. Roast or poach a small sample to check for seasoning and adjust as needed. Stuff the meat mixture into prepared hog casings and twist into 5-inch links.

Refrigerate the sausages overnight, uncovered, to let them dry. Prepare an outdoor smoker for indirect heat cooking and preheat to 200° to 225°F. Slowly smoke the sausages until the internal temperature registers 150°F, about 3 hours. Refrigerate until ready to use. 

Cherry-Onion Pinot Noir Confit

  • 2 pounds red onions, thinly sliced
  • 5 ounces dried Montmorency cherries
  • 2 cups Papapietro Perry Russian River Pinot Noir
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
In a heavy saucepan, combine the onion, cherries, wine, sugar, bay leaves, vinegar and salt. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, then continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 45 minutes more. The cherry-onion confit can be served at room temperature.


  • 48 slider buns, each 2 to 3 inches
To roast the sausages in the oven, preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the sausages on a baking sheet and roast until hot in the center, 10 to 15 minutes. 

To grill the sausages, prepare a medium fire in a grill. Place the sausages on the grill and cook until hot in the center, 6 to 8 minutes. 

Cut the sausages into slices. Cut the buns in half and place 4 sausage slices on each bottom bun. Toast on the grill or in the oven. Top with a dollop of the cherry-onion confit and secure each slider with a toothpick. Serve immediately.