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Foie Gras Terrine - to cook or not to cook?


TheSwede
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I have half a lobe of foie gras that I plan to turn into a mini terrine. However I'm debating with myself if the terrine should be cooked (in a water bath of course) or not.

My foie gras supplier told me to just de-vein the lobe, warm the foie gras sous vide style to 37C/100F, season and press into the terrine mould. Marco Pierre White (in Wild Food from Land and Sea) basically says the same, although he marinates the foie gras in white port and armagnac and puts it briefly in the oven to reach a "blood warm" temperature.

Harold McGee on the other hand definitely speaks of cooking terrines (and tourchons of course).

Does anyone have any insights?

Edited by TheSwede (log)
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I've done it both ways--though with the raw preparation we cured the foie with some pink salt, herb, alcohol, etc, then warmed to room temp and shaped, then chilled to set. Tasted great. I should also mention that it was run through a tamis to get all the veins out...so the texture was different than some terrines that use bigger pieces of scraps.

The foie should probably be cured no matter if you cook it or not, but I believe the main point of cooking in a bath is basically to set the foie so it stays together. Maybe you could run an experiment, using half for a cooked mini terrine and half for uncooked.

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I teach Garde Manger at a culinary school, and my vote is to cook it quickly. I see no advantage of not cooking it, and only downsides (such as a slight bloody taste, and health hazards if you don't heat the Nitrate if you have added any).

And curing is a definite. For flavor and safety.

My $.02!! :)

Tonyy13

Owner, Big Wheel Provisions

tony_adams@mac.com

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Sous vide would be my choice, you don't draw out as much of the fat as cooking it in an oven, just press it into your terrine mould and weigh it down. The rendered foie gras fat from cooking it in the oven would be great for your roasted potatoes.

Here's another option: Grilled and pressed foie gras terrine.

Edited by Fugu (log)
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what kind of temp you looking at for sous-vide or do you mean bain-marie.

In the Sous-vide post Nathanm suggests 60oc for pasturisation of offal.

What's your thinking?

“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

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what kind of temp you looking at for sous-vide or do you mean bain-marie.

In the Sous-vide post Nathanm suggests 60oc for pasturisation of offal.

What's your thinking?

For "real" cooking I was thinking of a bain marie with the terrine mould. I was wondering what internal temp I should be looking for to get the foie to set.

The sous vide I was referring too was just for heating the foi gras to 37C/100F for curing and easy moulding if I would go the "raw" route. Not that I have any real sous vide equipment - was just thinking of immersing a food safe plastic bag with the foie, spices etc inside in a approx 37C water bath.

Edited by TheSwede (log)
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If you wrap your Foie lobe or what ever part you have in cheesecloth and pack with salt with Potassium nitrate or some other curing salt, you don't need to cook your foie. If you cook your foie not matter how you do it to insure pasteurization, then you don't need to cure. Personally I do it both ways and the methods yield distinctly different products. A cured foie is like a raw product but with salt, a cooked foie has a different texture. It's up to you.-Dick

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I have both saltpetre & foie, but what kind of percentages of the salt do I need?

I usually do the cooked presentation, where are there details of the brining method?

“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

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I made my terrine during the weekend and it turned out very good. This is what I did:

Marinated foie overnight in fridge in a plastic bag with cognac, white port and "nitrite salt" (salt with 0.5% sodium nitrite - we don't have your pink salt over here). Brought to room temperature. De-veined, cleaned. Put back into the same plastic bag with marinade, into 45 C (113 F) water bath until completely soft (5-10 mins?). Discarded marinade. Put foie into clingfilm lined mould. Pressed overnight in fridge.

I'm very happy with the result. Good texture. Nice subtle flavours from the marinade. Beautiful light pink/yellow color with no gray oxidization.

I'm pretty sure I wont be buying anything but raw foie in the future. Since it is so easy to make a very versatile terrine (better than most store bought) and the price for raw foie is approximately half of any processed variant there really isn't any reason.

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